As I mentioned in my blog post a few weeks ago, over the last few months we have been hard at work trying to improve how we organise all of the information and features that can be found when you view a ChemSpider record. And now you can see the fruits of our labour.
We hope that you find the changes we’ve made give you a better and easier user experience. While we think that the changes will be clear and intuitive, I’d like to highlight a few key features in my next few posts.
When you look at compound pages and other useful pages, you should now see a lot more Question mark symbols dotted throughout the pages. We’ve called this approach inline help: rather than giving you an in-depth help resource on a separate page or as a PDF, it is much more useful to have a little snippet of help right at the point in the page where you need it. Clicking on the question mark symbol should bring up a yellow text box with short guidance (where there is a need to provide more complete help, we’ll provide a link to a page which contains much more detailed information). Of course, do let us know if you have any suggestions for improvements to the help text.
Default infobox ordering*
Many users indicate they most often look for names (or name-structure associations), physical properties and spectral data, so we have put this information at the beginning of the record. Now when you come to a record, by default the Names infobox is the first box listed followed by the Properties, Spectra and the Articles infoboxes.
None of your favourite infoboxes have been removed (in fact we’ve created some new ones – see later). If you don’t like the default order, it is easy to change the ordering of the infoboxes by clicking on the titlebar and dragging them up or down the record. ChemSpider will remember your order and will use this for all future visits to the site from that PC (in the same browser/profile).
*If you have visited the site before ChemSpider will remember your previous settings. If you want to see the new default order you will need to clear your browser history or delete the ChemSpider cookies that are saved in your profile.
New infoboxes: Searches and Chemical Vendors
ChemSpider has always had great features, for instance:
The Similar Search – that allows you to find records for compounds that have the same skeleton, but have different stereochemistry or isotopic labels
The ability to load the structure from the current record into a structure search, so that you are able to modify it and construct a new search.
However, this hasn’t always been made very clear, in our redesigned compound page we have aimed to make these powerful search tools easier to discover and understand.
The Searches Infobox
Now you can find these all together in the Searches infobox – along with our Google Scholar custom queries which allow you to perform one search across publications using all of the validated synonyms (saving you from having to perform many separate searches for individual synonyms). We also help you to perform ‘structure searches’ of Google (in the form of an InChIkey search).
The Chemical Vendors Infobox
In my next post I’ll finish off discussing the improvements that we’ve made to the site. But of course, if you have any comments or questions about the features I’ve discussed here, please leave a comment below, or send an email to the ChemSpider inbox.