Proposal-Form Improvements

We are really excited to announce a major redesign of the proposal form!

  • All proposal components (instructions, contents, persons, and terms) are now on a single page, with a navigation bar for jumping between sections.
  • Answers are now saved individually. (No more scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the Save Changes button.) For text fields, changes are saved as soon as the user exits the field or clicks the field’s save button. For all other field types (radio buttons, checkboxes, etc.), changes are saved immediately.
  • The proposal header is now “sticky” and displays the last date and time changes were made to the proposal. It also displays how complete the proposal is.
  • Incomplete / missing answers can now be easily identified with a handy new tool that highlights exactly which answers need attention.
  • Authors can now rearrange persons in the proposal (e.g. speakers, authors) and save them in the desired order.

We know change can be disorienting, so to make the transition to the new features as painless as possible, we’ve¬†created a tour that walks users through the new design. A link to the tour will be at the top of every proposal for the next three months. There is also a permanent link to the tour in the Menu drop-down in the top, right-hand corner of the page.

New Feature: Review-Chair Submission Approvals

We’ve got another exciting new feature for call admins! Now, you can allow review chairs to approve submissions for review.

ScreenshotPreviously, only call admins could approve submissions. Now, if you would like to delegate that responsibility, just pull up the settings for the review chair (in the appropriate review group) and check the "Allow?" box for the "Approve submissions" setting. (See the screenshot to the right.)

One important thing to keep in mind: Submission fees are paid when proposals are approved for review, so anyone who has permission to approve submissions will be able to charge the submission fees (but nothing else) to the credit card on file.

New Feature: Returned Submissions for Review Chairs

We’ve added a new feature to the Tracker: Now, review chairs can see submissions that have been returned for edits.

Previously, only call admins could see returned submissions. We heard from a call admin, however, that she didn’t want to promote her review chairs to admins just so they could track returned submissions. We thought it was a great idea, so we built it in!

Once again, this shows that the best ideas come from our users. If you’ve got an improvement you would like to see, feel free to pass it along. We’d love to hear it!

New Feature: Copy Options for Calls

We’ve got another new feature to announce! Call admins can now fine-tune the settings that are included when copying a call.

Copy-Options ScreenshotPreviously, all of a call’s settings were copied except the administrators and review groups, which had to be added back to the copy. Now, you can tell the system to include those settings in the copy (see the screenshot to the right) or to make a copy without those settings (in case you want a different set of administrators, for example).

Also, if your call has a custom review form, there’s now an option to include the custom form with the copy or to use the default form.

Check it all out and let us know what you think!

New Feature: Add Yourself

We’ve been adding a lot of new features to the site recently, but haven’t been updating the blog to let everyone know about them. (Sorry!)

add yourself optionOne feature we’ve just added, though, is definitely worth mentioning: An “add yourself” option when adding users to a proposal.

Previously, if you wanted to add yourself to a proposal, you first had to search for your account in ProposalSpace, like you would when adding anyone else. It wasn’t much of an inconvenience (just one step), but why not streamline it? Now, when you want to add someone to a proposal, you’re given an option to add yourself or add someone else. If you want to add someone else, the process stays the same. If, however, you want to add yourself, just click that option and you’re done!

New Feature: Reviewer Messages

new reviewer messages optionCall admins can now email reviewers using the Messaging Module!

Just go into the Messaging Module and click the New Message button, like you always have. At the top of the form, you’ll see a new field labeled “For” (right). To send messages to reviewers, just select “Reviewers” from the drop-down box, then select which review group(s) and roles (review chairs and/or reviewers) to send the message to.

As with all messages sent using the Messaging Module, the system archives the message and provides delivery receipts.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

New Feature: Activity Reports

If you’re a call admin, the next time you sign in you’ll see a couple of changes we’ve made to the Administrators page for your call.

We’ve changed the layout of the page (right) to use cards instead of a list. Each card contains the admin’s name, organization, email address, and whether they are signed up to receive activity reports (“Notifications”).

When you mouse over a card, a menu appears (right) with three icons that let you do the following:

  • modify the admin’s settings
  • email the admin
  • remove the admin

If you click the settings icon, a popup window will appear (right) with options that allow you to control what type of notifications the admin receives and when they’re delivered.

If the admin is signed up to receive notifications, it’s reflected on their card with a green checkmark (right).

You can sign up or cancel notifications at any time, and there is no additional charge to receive them, so why not try it out and let us know what you think!

Save-Changes Changes

ScreenshotWe’re rolling out a few improvements to the way call settings are saved.

  • Instead of requiring you to scroll all the way down the page to get to the "Save Changes" button, we’re displaying it as a sticky element at the bottom of the screen (right). That way, no matter where you are on the page, you’ll have direct access to it.
  • The save-changes button will only appear on the screen if you have changes that need to be saved.
  • Changes are saved in the background, avoiding the need (and time it takes) to reload the page.
  • You’ll now have an option to discard any unsaved changes and revert back to the previous settings.
  • The system will warn you if there are unsaved changes and you attempt to leave the page (either by clicking a link or reloading the page).

For now, we’ve only applied these changes to two settings pages: Dates and the Publishing Module. Once we’re comfortable everything works OK, we’ll start to apply the changes across all of the settings pages. (We’ve got some other big improvements in store for the call-management side of things, but I’ll save those juicy details for another time.)

Session Materials

Our Publishing Module now includes an option to include/exclude session materials.

Session materials have always been part of the Publishing Module, but there was no way to control their display.

Session Materials OptionsNow, call admins can enable/disable the display of session materials in both the brief and full listings by checking the boxes in the first row of the Session Materials section of the Publishing settings page (left). If the box is checked, all of the default details for each item (label, type, name, and size) will be displayed, and the option to also include the Item Description is enabled. Leaving the box unchecked will prevent session materials from being displayed at all.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this or any other feature!

Reviewer Conflicts of Interest

We’ve made a few changes to make it easier for reviewers, review chairs, and call admins to identify conflicts of interest.

Although conflicts are not very common (accounting for about 0.1% of reviews in ProposalSpace), we understand that it’s critical for reviewers to be able to flag them clearly as conflicts and for call admins and review chairs to be able to identify them easily.

Previously, the only way for a reviewer to report a conflict was to leave the review unscored and to provide an explanation in the Comments field. This would mark the review as complete, but it wasn’t clear to call admins and review chairs that a conflict had been reported unless they pulled up the review’s details.

Conflict of Interest QuestionTo make it easier for reviewers to clearly report conflicts, we’re adding a checkbox to the review form for every new call (left). Reviewers can still provide details in the Comments field, but if the checkbox is checked, the system disables the scoring option and flags the review as a conflict.

Progress IndicatorFor call admins and review chairs, we changed the way conflicts are displayed throughout the Tracker to make them easier to identify. One way we did this was by adding a progress bar to the In Review page (left) that shows at a glance how many reviewers have scored the submission (green), how many have reported a conflict (yellow), and how many have not yet reviewed it (grey). Hovering over the progress bar displays a summary of the scores, while clicking on it gives access to individual reviews.

Note: The conflict question will only be added automatically to review forms going forward. We can add it manually to any existing review form, however, so feel free to let us know if you would like to use it and we’ll be happy to include it for you!