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More GenPerfect

Saturday, 19 Mar 2011 | by Mark Tucker

I have so much appreciated all the comments that came from my first post about GenPerfect. I so wish that such software already existed. Here are more ideas that are part of GenPerfect for me.

Dashboards are all the rage in the world of enterprise software. A dashboard shows important and interesting information on a single page. It can contain statistics, charts, links, and more.

Here are a few samples of dashboards:

Sample MicroStrategy 8 Dashboard

Dashboard Metrics Indianapolis Museum of Art

Dundas Data Visualization Consulting Ivy League Digital Dashboard

What better way to have GenPerfect greet you than with your own customizable dashboard?

Any dashboard must be customizable as different users will want to see different things. Each section in a dashboard is often called a widget (or component, gadget, part) and surfaces a view into some data (or grouping of data) found in the system. Links often take the user right to the details so the user can get more information or enter values.

What widgets might I want available in GenPerfect:

  • Family timeline
  • Random photo of the day from all the images added to the software
  • This week in my family history – important dates and events such as:
    • 141 years ago this Thursday your great grandfather, Worth Tucker, was born.
    • Happy 99th Anniversary to John Smith and Mary Jane Holmes.
  • Birthdates and anniversaries of living relatives
  • Random trivia gathered from entered family history data:
    • The top 3 female names in your database are Mary (83 times), Ella (77), and Nancy (51)
    • Moses Tucker died approximately 1880 miles from where he was born (from Yadkin, North Carolina to Cleveland, Emery, Utah)
    • Hannah Reynolds was 18 years younger than Robert Riley. They married when she was 20.
    • The largest number of your ancestors associated with the same location: 23 (Ashe, North Carolina)
    • The non-relative that shows up the most in your database: Sam Alger
  • Total number of people, events, places in the database
  • Link to my most-recently accessed project with statistics such as last access date, number of sources, number of unanswered questions
  • List of organization and clean-up tasks (little things that I can do in 10 minutes and still be productive). Examples:
    • Add a caption and tags to this photo
    • Enter missing citation information for this source
    • Add at least 3 questions you want answered about someone in the database
    • Transcribe a document
  • List of possible problems in the database (Note: GenPerfect would keep a master list of all possible problems and allow you to mark them as resolved with an explanation):
    • Thomas Jones and Ella Murphy’s first child was born before their marriage.
    • Martha Riley was born 112 years ago but there is no death date entered.
  • People in the database who haven’t been accessed in at least 6 months.
  • Daily Inspirational quote or thought-provoking question
  • List of favorite blogs or genealogy websites
  • RSS, Twitter or Facebook feed
  • Last 5 Research Log entries
  • List of family contacts with phone numbers and e-mail addresses
  • Countdown to the next family reunion or genealogy conference or the release of the 1940 Census
  • Color-coded (heat map) showing number of references to locations on a map
  • Hours spent working in a database or on a specific project or for a specific client
  • Random national or international history fact
  • Comparative cost of various items each decade for the last 150 years
  • Daily obscure word or phrase helpful in family history research

There are so many more widgets possible than I listed here.

What are some widgets that you think are important or fun?

7 Comments »

  1. I don’t have any more ideas for your great software but I love the “little things you can clean up in under 10 minutes” . Thanks for these posts.

    Comment by Jeri — 19 Mar 2011 @ 8:03 am

  2. I think a dashboard should be inviting, informative and engaging. In a few minutes, you should be able to learn something that you didn’t realize before, pick up right were you left off working, or be drawn in and encouraged to explore. The “little things” idea is one of my favorites as it would allow me to do something meaningful even if I only had a few minutes to spare.

    Comment by Mark Tucker — 19 Mar 2011 @ 8:50 am

  3. Have you seen the Plugin system used by Gramps? It sounds a lot like what your asking for..

    http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramplets

    http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Gramps_3.2_Wiki_Manual_-_Gramplets

    Comment by Ella — 19 Mar 2011 @ 4:35 pm

  4. I did not realize that Gramps has a dashboard with widgets. Very cool!

    Comment by Mark Tucker — 19 Mar 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  5. Yeah, Kinda makes me wish I could program!

    Found out that in the next version of Gramps they may have the following:

    http://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=GEPS_019:_Improved_Sidebar_and_Split_Views

    You may want to add or put forward a few ideas for new “GRAMPS Enhancement Proposals” (GEPS)

    http://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Category:GEPS

    Comment by Ella — 19 Mar 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  6. Cool dashboard ideas, Mark. My wish-list would include: perpetual calendar, converter from Quaker-style date notation to genealogical standard; location-coordinates converter from degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal format.

    Comment by Jade — 20 Mar 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  7. I would love if the developer/company opened the product for people to develop add-on components for the dashboard.

    Comment by Jennifer Wilhelmi — 21 Mar 2011 @ 9:21 am

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