Spawning Tool update: UI tweaks

A few weeks ago, I sent out a survey (still open here if you want to fill it out) about how users use Spawning Tool and what they were interested in seeing in future development. Thanks to the feedback there, I have made quite a few changes recently. There are a few big ones I want to talk about in more detail in future posts, but here’s a list of some of the smaller ones.

First, the browse replays page now shows the names of tagged players. This happens to be on of the most important pieces of information to see at a glance, and it doesn’t clutter the interface. I would have liked to do map name as well, but the poor standardization in map names would be messy, and you’re better off using the hierarchy from the tag filters.

Second, I slapped race icons around on the site. One totally valid criticism of Spawning Tool is that it lacks any visuals. I’m not great with either visuals or data visualization, so I largely depend on text and numbers to convey things. I’m open to other suggestions on visuals as well.

Third, I opened up tag pages for all users. I was previously using this just as an administrator tool, but it’s a handy dashboard around a player or build order. Currently, it contains the list of replays tagged and the parents and children of the tag so you can see the hierarchy that exists behind the scenes. I’m a little scared of fleshing out the page too much since generating content is time-consuming and would probably look a lot like liquipedia content, but if you have any ideas on useful things for this page, I’m open to suggestions.

Fourth, there have been various tweaks to the research pages, which were largely inspired by my own annoyances in using them. You can now filter by build orders for each players, and the View Win Rates page has more data to read things off more easily. I think I buffed out the advanced research page as well, but you should consider that “under construction” even still.

Fifth, you can now drag-and-drop .SC2Replay files onto any page (other than the upload page) to instantly upload your replays. A common use case I see for replay sharing is getting feedback from others, and I wanted to make it as painless as possible for someone to share a replay and the build orders.

Those are the minor but not trivial updates. Look for updates soon on other features, and send along any feedback on these or other proposed changes for Spawning Tool.

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