New poll/discussion: improving technical descriptions

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Do changes need to be made to the project descriptions?

Yes, I'd like to see them simplified.
4
31%
Yes, they should have more detail.
3
23%
I rarely read the descriptions so it doesn't matter to me.
3
23%
No change needs to be made; the descriptions are fine as they are.
3
23%
 
Total votes : 13

New poll/discussion: improving technical descriptions

Postby Jesse_V » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:31 pm

In my last thread I polled those on the forum asking how comprehensible they found most project descriptions. The majority of the results indicated that most descriptions are too technical. I realize that there were only 24 votes cast (user could vote for 2 items) but I also realized that many of the users who responded are knowledgeable "power users" who frequent this forum. This would naturally bias the results towards "completely understandable; brilliant and interesting", so the situation could theoretically be worse across the rest of the F@h user-base. I think we can do something about that. There was a bit of brainstorming in that thread, and I think we've come up with some good ideas, but now I'm asking: will it make a difference?

If the results indicate that it would beneficial to pursuit simplifying them, then we can keep working on how we're going to do that.
Last edited by Jesse_V on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New poll/discussion: improving technical descriptions

Postby JimboPalmer » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:09 pm

You completely missed the "I want more detail" option, you seem determined to dumb them down to uselessness.

"This project involves folding proteins" will not help any one understand any better than "This project is a test of a novel means to significantly accelearate Folding@home Molecular Dynamics calculations by 100x without any additional increase in hardware. Thus, this method has great promise to push Folding@home way beyond what it can do now, although there is much work to do to test it to make sure that the results are scientifically valid and useful."
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Re: New poll/discussion: improving technical descriptions

Postby Jesse_V » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:14 pm

JimboPalmer wrote:You completely missed the "I want more detail" option, you seem determined to dumb them down to uselessness.

That's not entirely accurate. There are a number of influenza projects that say "we are interested in how influenza recognizes and infects cells". That's understandable, but there should be more information. Sounds like we need two scales: one for comprehension, and another for detail.

I did as you suggested and added another option to the poll, but it looks like that destroyed the eight votes that were there. Please revote and cast your opinion accordingly. Thanks.
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Re: New poll/discussion: improving technical descriptions

Postby compdewd » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:37 am

JimboPalmer wrote:You completely missed the "I want more detail" option, you seem determined to dumb them down to uselessness.

"This project involves folding proteins" will not help any one understand any better than "This project is a test of a novel means to significantly accelearate Folding@home Molecular Dynamics calculations by 100x without any additional increase in hardware. Thus, this method has great promise to push Folding@home way beyond what it can do now, although there is much work to do to test it to make sure that the results are scientifically valid and useful."

I suppose there is a point that can be reached where the simplified versions would become dumb and useless to some. However, the point as I see it is not exactly to try to replace the current descriptions, but to complement them and, in some cases, supplement them. Some project descriptions, as you pointed out, do not need simplification as they explain the point without much technicality. But, as in the description you referenced, I would like more technicality added and explained. Also, with the current plan, if a simplified project description is unsatisfactory to the community, it can be revised and discussed by the community, as the community is really who the simplified descriptions would be for.

Jesse, with that, I think my answer to the poll would be yes, with both simplification and more detail. More detail and simplification could cause the project descriptions to become quite lengthy in some cases, which may discourage some from reading them, however I think that those who are interested in reading the current project descriptions would be interested in reading a lengthier version of them if it was in terms they might better understand.
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