GSoD 2019 : Review and Refactoring our Information Architecture for OpenMRS

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Over the years, OpenMRS has developed a number of ways in which it documents its user and technical documentation. This has come about as a result of the different initiatives around documentation that have come and gone. Currently we have a documentation approach which provides some basic guidelines on how to make edits to a wiki page, but there is no formal guideline on how wiki pages should be created and maintained. The current areas where all OpenMRS documentation is captured include;

OMRS Wiki (largest repository )




Others done by community members on platforms such as Youtube

Objectives of this project:

The overall aim of this project is to develop a framework/ information structure best suited to the different types of consumers who visit any of the OpenMRS platforms. We also would want to have updated/developed the documentation conventions that are currently used across all the sites mentioned above.Thirdly we would want the technical writer to make recommendations and identify opportunities for documentation/guides to be captured in a more interactive format to enrich the current content we have. From there, it is envisaged that the documentation team post the conclusion of the GSoD program will restructure the wiki according to the recommendations of the technical writer.

In order to achieve this, the following will need to be completed:

  1. Review of all existing sites, portals, youtube etc information architectures to understand which information is documented where and how.
  2. Conduct an analysis on what types of consumers visit all OMRS information platforms
  3. Conduct a bench-marking assessment of other similar open source/proprietary systems to better understand their information architecture and what OMRS could learn
  4. Develop and propose an information architecture and supporting templates/guidelines to guide future contributions to documentation.
  5. Make recommendations on how documentation could leverage on other multimedia tools such as youtube

@marslan8530 I trust you have gone through some of the documentation on OpenMRS by now.

It would be great to hear your initial thoughts.

@jwnasambu @gcliff @tendomart @herbert24 @jennifer @burke


Thanks @c.antwi for this…

@marslan8530 your kindly and timely response will be very helpful to set the ball rolling on this project idea

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Hey, Yes @c.antwi i’ve gone through wiki mostly. Thank you for clearing your expectations. I assure you, i’ll try my best to live up to them. Initially, goal is to identify the audience being targeted. For this purpose, i usually make a persona of users. Currently working on that. In the persona we’ll define the audience to target and how to categorize them in terms of age, gender, profession or other parameters that matter to us the most. After we’re made a persona, we’ll start the process of bench-marking. I’ve already gone through some amazing latest UX recommendations and have observed IA for some organizations. After a scheduled call this Wednesday with my mentor @c.antwi , i’ll start updating you good people regularly about the progress and updates. In a short duration hopefully by next week, i’ll also upload a tentative timeline for 1st month after discussion with my mentor which will clear further proceedings even more.

Let’s get the work or as @gcliff said the ball rolling :))

thank you @marslan8530 for your response and i guess we shall be communicating here our progress and challenges so that the entire community can be able to have a look at whats transpiring on this project idea and also contribute some ideas ,otherwise i wish you the best as we start off :v:

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Hello everyone and i hope you’re doing great. I would like to share with you good people update of work regarding the above mentioned project as we’ve approached the business end of Google Summer of Docs.

During conversation with my mentor @c.antwi , we concluded that we need to make specific personas for each of our platforms. Take for example, website is visited by people from diverse backgrounds: Government officials, Healthcare personals and many more. We need to display high level information there. In addition to it, Wiki is place where most of documentation is stored and contains almost all low level information. These two are most important and attention deserving platforms to get started. So first and foremost, main domain of work will be OpenMRS Wiki and Website. For first month of this project, following will be tasks that i would want to complete

1- Review of information on both Wiki and Website

2- Persona’s development of users visiting our pages

3- Detailed in-depth comparison of Website and Wiki information structure with that of similar organizations like OMRS.

4- Development of information structure best suited for our above mentioned pages.

I would continuously share updates regarding project with all of you here at least once in every 3-4 days. Your suggestions, recommendations and criticism regarding depth, pace and quality of work will always be welcomed, considered, respected and will help achieve mentioned objectives within time properly.

Best Regards.

thanks :v: @marslan8530 for sharing the updates and for the good progress with your mentor

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@marslan8530 We also have a Github and Gitbook which also need to be included in your review and analysis.

Yea, i’ll do that after I’ve finished Wiki and Website.

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@c.antwi Kindly go through this brief document.

I would need to discuss this persona with you @c.antwi as it will help me in creating IA taking in consideration non-technical users. Kindly go through this and comment

Hi @marslan8530,

Thanks for sharing your ideas about the user personas for the website. Now that you have a better idea about who goes to the website and why, what about the Wiki? Who are the main users there?

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Hey @jennifer

No problem. Actually i was observing our site-map and comparing that to a general site. It seems we’ve some repetition and i’d suggest that we re-structure our site menu. Honestly, I intend to work on website first.

Regarding persona for our Wiki okay i’ll make another brief one and upload link here by tonight. I want you to please help me make it better. @c.antwi has not had time to look at it maybe but i’d really appreciate if senior guides and community members can critically analyze this and help me make it better. We don’t have time and resources to utilize modern tools but i’m very hopeful that senior members of community like you know and have interacted with all types of users that visit us and can help shape up a very concrete persona.

I am also picking up some time to look through it!!

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@marslan8530 Can you make the document editable so that I can include comments? Is there anything else in addition to what you have captured for the wiki? or am I looking at the wrong link?


I was thinking these personas would be pretty good thing to start of. Improving them would make Wiki a lot more user-centered than it is right now.

During my discussion with @jennifer we were talking about how to make profile and related information better. Working on 1st persona of a curious vistor, I’ve documented some information in link below.

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In light of the above, we can start looking at the current information architecture of the wiki and how it meets the needs of the personas you have identified. We may also want to look at other types of wiki’s and compare how they have structured their content in line with the personas’ they have identified vs how we have structured ours currently.

Questions that we can answer include:

  1. What information architecture approach has the wiki used?
  2. What are the good things and negative things about the information architecture of the said wiki?
  3. What aspects of our Information Architecture could we improve based on the assessment?

From there it should be possible to draft a tentative information architecture which the community can comment on.

Examples of wiki’s we could look at:

  1. and

  2. and


  4. and

cc @jennifer please copy in the person working on the website as well. I think we could arrange a design forum or two to look at this.

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@marslan8530 thats very good start though , on motivation to visit list, have more motivations and you may include what implementors may expect while joining, thanks good work

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@marslan8530, going back to your personas, I’d like to delve more into this idea of a curious user as a “customer” and as a “volunteer.”

For a curious user, I’d suggest to subdivide and make 2 personas

  1. New and curious. Wants to learn more about OMRS as a customer. (Person-A)
  2. New and curious. Wants to learn more about OMRS as a volunteer. (Person-B)

I can see Person B transitioning from a curious user to those other personas as they get to know our community and become more involved.

For Person A, I think there may be different types of customers. Certainly, we can view users as someone in a health facility using OpenMRS to manage patient data.

I can also see organizations and service providers coming to our wiki and being curious about how they work with the community and our service provider program.

I wasn’t involved in the initial iteration of the documentation profiles, so any insight from those who were are more than welcome!

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I hope this is helpful

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Thanks for the share @tendomart

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Hey everyone.

I’d like to have your suggestions. As we are in the persona building phase, i don’t see any point in different personas of testers. This link is being referred to here.

This tab contains a description that is misleading for a non-technical user.

people interested in testing OpenMRS. This title description gives somewhat information that its for people who need to use OMRS trail version or some sort(?) This page however is for volunteers/contributors to test OMRS so i’d say for testers we don’t need a separate persona and they can easily be settled in volunteering opportunities tab.

@jennifer @c.antwi @sharif @gcliff @herbert24

Let me know if i’m missing out on something?