OJS Workflow: Stages

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(April 2014) The staging navigation bar is a critical feature in OMP and a new addition to OJS. Some recommendations have been made to clarify the information design of this tool. We need to decide on one for OJS 3 beta and test with users.

Current Screenshot



Currently, the bar is used to indicated three distinct pieces of information:

  1. place of submission in the workflow
  2. place of user viewing the workflow (indicated by dark blue colour and size of tab)
  3. publication status (indicated by colour of production tab - green or light blue)

Informal user feedback indicates this is not clear and may be trying to accomplish too much.


Recommendation A (John):

  1. Single style of font, with use of size, caps, gray-scale, and hyperlink color.
  2. Sections (Editorial Workflow, Dashboard, etc.. ) are identified at top of every page.
  3. Sections are made up of Pages, with Page titles hyperlinked.
  4. Tabs identify the active Page within a series of Pages in a Section, as they are throughout the site for Review Rounds, Uploads, Metadata, Issue Management, etc.
  5. Pages are identified as un-initiated (blank), Initiated, or Complete.
  6. Sections open on the first Initiated page.
  7. Pages are Initiated by the first entry of data (e.g., file) whether forwarded from a previous stage or manually uploaded.
  8. With PRODUCTION, instead of COMPLETE, use PUBLISHED

See: linked PDF mockup (revised)

Also see previews for the same recommendation A (Bruno):

Workflow stages proposalA 1.png

Workflow stages proposal A 2.png

I added the incomplete state to make sure we capture cases where users work on two stages at the same time. The incomplete also should represent an stage that still has a task notification pendent.

Recommendation B (John):

  1. ATTACH the word “STAGE” immediately below the current workflow stage in the workflow bar to reinforce the current stage.

See comments within the linked google document.

Recommendation C (Ubiquity):

  1. Simplify colour usage
  2. Show the current stage in dark blue, and all completed stages in lighter blue – and future stages (that are locked until previous stages are completed) greyed-out.

See page 28 of linked document.

Recommendation D (CDL Report)

  1. A new progress bar with clear typography and only two color states (one for active state and one for inactive state) needs to be designed.

See page 103 of CDL report.

Recommendation E (PKP Sprint):

  1. Simplify colour usage; disassociate colour from viewing location; use colour only for manuscript location
  2. Use size for viewing location
  3. Use white background (black text) for non-completed buttons
  4. Use grey for completed buttons
  5. Use blue for current manuscript location
  6. Eliminate green / blue for production

See linked google document.

Recommendation F (PKP Sprint):

  1. eliminate use of colour
  2. instead, use a checkmark icon when a stage is completed
  3. use size to indicate current viewer location

See linked google document.

Example: First two stages completed, viewing editorial stage, manuscript is in editorial stage.


Recommendation G (PKP Sprint):

  1. eliminate tabs, use time line icons

See images at the end of this linked google document.


See "discussion" tab at the top of the wiki page.


Recommendation A (24 April 2014)

  • just "complete", "initiated", and blank states
  • we can't tell the current status, so don't indicate it
  • leave off "published" as a state - keep it simple for now, reserve right to re-implement later
  • align how tasks are used with this status bar
  • permit editors to view any tab, but indicate work hasn't started yet
  • tie editor decision to author notification
  • Condition for "complete" marking: a decision must be recorded to move a submission on to the next stage, and no outstanding tasks should be active on the stage.


Prototype by Bruno (https://github.com/beghelli/omp/tree/omp-prototype), hosted experimentally on Alec's Openshift account.


Micro-evaluation Responses (May 2014)

User feedback all positive. Suggestions included adding some kind of progression indicator (step 1 > step 2 > step 3, etc.), unread message indicator on tab, and adding more emphasis to the current tab.

Detailed information is available here.


See http://pkp.sfu.ca/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=8710 for Bugzilla entry for the workflow stage-specific elements.

See http://pkp.sfu.ca/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=8760 for a Bugzilla entry for the tab styling changes, which will be site-wide.