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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

2-in-5 Tool not the sharpest in the shed

Actually, I think the new 2-in-5 Tool is pretty good, but I couldn't resist the catchy title. Pretty good, but I don't see myself using it that much. I'm sure I'll find uses for it, but it would be a lot more useful if:
  1. I could put in a district BEN and see the information for all locations in that district. I know I can put in the list of entity numbers in the little box, but in the time it takes to do that, I'll go to a query in my own database and get much more useful numbers.
  2. "Funded" and "Eligible" didn't have the same green background. Knowing which years were funded is very important. If anything, make "Not requested" and "Eligible" have the dark green, and give the light green to "Funded." Even better, give "Funded" a nice mauve background.
  3. The browser "Back" button worked. (What does the SLD have against the "Back" button, anyway? All over the site, you try to go back and it just won't let you. ) At least it has "cookie crumb" navigation links above the table which allow you to go back to the previous screen.
  4. We could see more than 10 rows per screen. A minor nuisance for small districts, but a major pain for any large school district. And who would need a tool like this most? A large school district. But since they can't use the district BEN to pull up all locations, the tool is already hamstrung.
It's nice, though, to see the SLD put up a tool which is designed solely for applicant convenience and actually uses color and visual layout to convey information, rather than large blocks of impenetrable text. Now if they'd just gotten a visual design professional involved, maybe we'd have the mauve background. Can you tell I have a soft spot for mauve? Not the color, just the word.

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