What would make it easier for you to do more identifying?

This seems to be an important question for iNaturalist:
https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/35758-we-ve-reached-1-000-000-observers
(Did you see that article?)

What interface do you use? The Identify page, the Explore page, or an app (Android or Apple)?

What would make it easier for you to do more of that?

Edit: I’m asking how the website / apps can be improved.

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extensive previous discussions, e.g. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identifiers-what-do-you-id-and-how-can-observers-make-it-easier-to-do-so/8835

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That is about what observers can do, I meant to ask how the interfaces can be improved. I added an edit.

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As some people have problems with missing it, it’s the ability to ban someone’s observations from the whole flow of obs shown on id page without changing urls.

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@melodi_96, that would be helpful. Are you saying there’s a way to do so already?

@Darxus, it would be helpful to get more people to identify. Can we prompt them? For example, iNat could send users an automated congratulation message when they get to their 100th observation (or 500th or whatever) and include a couple of sentences inviting them to do some identifying.

One other thing would be preventing clueless new users from posting lots of ‘unknown’ IDs. Again, some sort of automated prompt if someone uploads more than 5 unknowns in a row or something, explaining why it’s a good idea to add at least high-level IDs to your obs except in the rare cases where you couldn’t even assign it to a kingdom.

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Yes, you can block up to three people via profile / account settings / blocked users. I had one user I was itching to block, and I looked into a bunch of their posts, came up with suggestions, and messaged them, and that seems to be going very well.

Where I found out how to do it: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/filtering-out-a-particular-user/2606/3

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I almost entirely use the website. One feature that would really help there is to mirror what is on the app when adding records (at least the Android one, I assume the iOS one too) where you can click on a species and get access and then select to its taxonomic backbone (ie the tree showing the genus, family etc). This makes it so much easier when you are trying to remember the family name etc and then dont have to go look it up.

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I’m not certain I understand what you’re saying, but on the website, if you click on a species, if you scroll down to just below the reference photos, one of the tabs is taxonomy, which I think gives you what you’re looking for.

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What I mean is to have it come up as a popup or modal dialog to select from, not go to a new tab.

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No, there’s not that kind of block. @rowan_m You can change url to “name user not” or around that, but it’s one-time edition, and there should be a way to make it automatic.

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Oh, and yes, adding an ability to start making ids from other user’s page.

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The things I’d like are:

  1. On the Identify page, Suggestions tab, default the Taxonomy to cleared. (And also preferably default the Source to Visually Similar, but at least that one doesn’t have to be changed every observation). I do a lot of identifying without it, but it’s such a useful powerful tool. It’s an easy way to look up the couple most similar species to verify differences, and I often just check to make sure the computer vision thing doesn’t see something I don’t.

  2. On the (android) app, provide some way of reviewing that flags observations as reviewed. For me, we could just flag an observation as reviewed as soon as I leave that observation, on the Explore page. (It would be slightly worse if you flagged it as reviewed as soon as I loaded the page, because I might close the app before actually looking at it.) This could be made configurable in account settings. I think it might be slightly better to add an Identify page to the app, retaining most of the code of the Explore page (not a copy, but maintained as one set of code), with some additional tweaks like this. Also, it would be nice to be able to get to the next observation without having to go back to the list and click again.

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I’ve used the Apple app for identifying. I find it very limited & not as easy to use as the Identify page.
In my ideal world the app would have a very similar layout & functionality as the Identify tool. Minimally, the ability to use the filter function and ability to swipe left or right for next observation would vastly improve identifying on the app.

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Some of these are open feature requests. Consider looking through the existing ones, voting, continuing those discussions, or submitting your own:

https://forum.inaturalist.org/search?q=%23feature-requests%20identify%20status%3Aopen%20in%3Afirst%20order%3Alatest_topic

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Here’s a general question about the filter function, indicating that it was going to be another year. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-filter-search-on-ios/10027 The posts are in February, 2020. The topic is closed, but if you don’t find a Feature Request on point maybe you’d want to cite this topic anyway.

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I’m not sure if anyone uses it, but the Account Creation filter can be helpful for removing many observations by newer users from the Identify results, if you don’t want to go through those:

image

Conversely, I often choose “in the past week” to add IDs to new users and add comments from the Frequently Used Responses page to (hopefully) set them on the right track.

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I’m a relatively new user and have done some coarse level IDs. If there was a choice in the filters along the lines of “Added more than one year ago” instead of having to choose a specific date would be helpful. For me, choosing older dates keeps me from inadvertently stepping on someone’s toes that just hadn’t gotten around to adding their own ID

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You can change the sort order from Descending to Ascending, if that helps (on the Identify mode on the website).

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Thanks, I actually do that :slightly_smiling_face: but it would be helpful to have another option in the “Date Observed” buttons. Right now I choose a range and I’m in a place where my signal isn’t the best so I have to redo the filter more often

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I use iNat mainly for identifying because I enjoy looking at spiders. I use the desktop website for identifying. It would be nice to be able to change the number of observations per page. Right now I get 30 thumbnails.

I agree with @Darxus on changing the default suggestion. I would go further and say that for unidentified observations, that there is a greyed-out suggestion in the place that the first identification would belong, once the first identification is made (just a grey-text suggestion of “maybe this is … ___ ?”

Further, when there is a suggested ID (or the automated suggestion), sometimes it is useful to see where in the taxonomy tree that ID belongs. Clicking into an IDed observation, it is titled with the best current ID… then I have to click on that taxon to find out where it lies in “Life->Animals->Arthropods->…” This breadcrumb trail of taxonomy also provides a drop-down list for the lowest identification level, but sometimes we want to browse the other options at a different level. Also, using the drop-down is nice in that it displayed possible options on the page without loading a new tab… maybe with some icons/thumbnails there, if available, would be helpful (which I realize is not feasible in the very long lists).

Also, annotations are in a tab next to suggestions … it shouldn’t be too hard to include some checkboxes in the identification screen and get rid of that tab. Alive/dead, male/female, larva/adult stage which all be a single click rather than a drop-down menu in a separate tab (I think currently very view people use those annotations, but I would imagine that searching adult/larval males/females would be really useful for certain projects). Maybe award a count of annotations added as well (if it isn’t already), just to acknowledge the extra annotation work.

sometimes I want to work-down the long list of ‘unknown’ IDs in my region/country … maybe if all those appeared 30-or-more on a screen with a suggestion of just first-level plant/animal/fungus and we could agree to all, that would speed up the processing of ‘unknown’ objects. It would also be really nice if somehow I could only look at the ‘unknown’ (unlabeled) spiders/arachnids. This would require some grouping done by the auto-suggester.

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