An even simpler Patrons Management interface for circ desk staff


I sat down with my staff to introduce them to the Control Room interface, since I’ve decided we will use it for managing prizes (10+ prizes per kid). Staff are on board with this, and generally love the program, but during our meeting I jotted down some concerns and possible changes.

Only the Patrons Management permission is granted to staff who will be working the circ desk and helping patrons through the Control Room interface. However, it still feels that they have permission to do too many things.

The biggest concern was that it was too easy to delete patrons (the Delete button is more prominent than the Edit Record button), as well as delete their badges, logs, prizes, etc. Our staff don’t want to delete anything - ever, even when requested (the request could be forwarded to someone more familiar with the Control Room). If ‘deleting’ could be filtered out so a new permission was created to just manage patrons instead of delete anything, that would be most excellent.

A feature to add, just as a workflow helper, would be the ability to select a patron by clicking anywhere on the line, rather than only on the small Edit Record button (which staff found to be too close to the Delete button - and some staff repeatedly tried to select a patron from their name on the line, rather than the Edit Record button). An alternative would be to link the patron name to the Edit Record screen, if the whole line can’t be selected.

I have a few more ideas for this interface, but will gather my thoughts before submitting. Thanks for considering!


You are right on all points here. My one (really weak) response is that at least after clicking the red X you do have to confirm that you want to delete the patron before it actually removes them (for the record: I did not have anything to do with the initial specification, design, or implementation of this code - I am totally on board with your observations about the Control Room not being particularly intuitive).

It seems like a no-brainer to have a user permission that won’t allow people to do anything apart from probably reset a patron’s password or handle the prize award stuff. Accessing the patron notifications is now a separate permission due to some issues we had last year, so at least there’s that.

One of my dream list 2017 enhancements is literally: completely scrap the Control Room and provide an administrative interface that is responsive, easy to use, and makes everything much simpler (wizard-style, like the initial configuration process). I was hoping to do that this year (my plan was to make a second admin interface for just our general staff and volunteers to use which would be completely separate from the Control Room) but I just didn’t have enough time. Keep thinking about ways that this process can be improved and streamlined, I really intend for us to get there after this year.


I would love to help with this! I had to restrain myself from writing out an overhaul of the Control Room, just so I could make sure my simple changes were heard. :slight_smile: Even just the splash screen is confusing for staff who don’t have all the permissions, because they see stats for things they don’t know exist (first question was “What are Challenges?!”).

I’ll continue compiling my ideas on this, because I LOVE making simple, “pretty”, user-friendly interfaces. Thanks, @harald!