This is a note about upcoming changes to the CERN toolbar. I am proposing a number of changes to the toolbar based on several factors:
- The need to display the identity class of authenticated users from CERN single sign on, and whether or not they have used multi-factor authentication.
- Restrictions that some of you reported in development frameworks that mean that 'sign in' and 'sign out' have to be the same element.
- User testing that showed many end users having difficulty finding contextual search ('search this site') when in the toolbar.
The proposed changes are:
a) Remove the search tray entirely.
Search across common applications (e.g. phonebook, maps) can be performed from the directory, which is available from the toolbar. Contextual search moves into the application.
A search form is now available via the directory.
Contextual (site-specific) search should move down to the application itself. Here, for instance, is the new core website with its own search form. Developers are free to use their own search rather than having to pass the query to CERN search.
b) Directory and sign in behave like tabs
Sign in and directory should feel like they are more integrated with the toolbar. [see first screenshot above]
c) Remove the account tray.
Two elements remain: sign in / sign out (links); username (sometimes a link; standard display for various identity classes). The standard formats for the various identity classes are:
<li><a href="http://cern.ch/account" title="Signed in as Dan Noyes (dnoyes)">Signed in as: dnoyes (CERN)</a></li>
<li><a href="http://cern.ch/account" title="Signed in as Dan Noyes (libframe)">Signed in as: libframe (CERN)</a></li>
<li>Signed in as: username (Institute name)</li>
<li><a href="http://cern.ch/account" title="Signed in with a verified external account">Signed in as: email@example.com</a></li>
<li>Signed in as: firstname.lastname@example.org (Facebook)</li>
The 'account' tray has gone and is replaced by two elements: name for authenticated users (sometimes a link - see identity classification list above) and sign in / sign out.
d) Display whether user authenticated using normal or multi-factor authentication.
[No example to show yet - this will be at the CSS level]
Emmanuel Ormancey (IT-OIS) is looking to expose additional attributes via SSO to help with this toolbar implementation:
- ADFS_FEDERATION (e.g. CERN,EGI,FNAL,Facebook,Google)
- ADFS_AUTHLEVEL (Normal,Multifactor)
In the CERN toolbar's short life we have already seen many design iterations, and I appreciate that it's a hassle for everyone to update this. I hope that we're now approaching a stable, simple design that can persist for some time. Here is a proposed implementation timeline:
- Until 12 February: call for input and comments
- 19 February: new code available in Subversion, working examples and documentation published. Drupal module updated.
- 18 March: changes deployed
I need your input:
- Are there any technical impediments to implementing this in your environment(s)?
- Is the proposed implementation timetable feasible for you?
- Do you have any concerns with this new proposed design?