Entity Finder Redesign


Initial Requirements: In the "Tools" drop down, "Save Link To This Page" is a bit confusing. Entity finder is nice, but very unclear what the user is actually selecting for.

I think we should re-assess the how this fits into new feature set (including Favorites, provenance, wikis) overall.

Designer requirements (from DA)

This requires a few things

  • Find out why people currently would need to link to a project/folder/file, and whether these different use cases would require different UI and/copy

  • To understand what is currently confusing for the user during this process

  • To understand the issues with the entity finder.

  • To understand what the user should do next

Assumptions / Questions

  • Users may save links to specific files or tables in order to quickly get to specific versions

  • Users may save links to projects and folders, though it is not known why

  • UI copy “Save link to…” is not clear what it means

  • When user clicks “save link to”, how and why to use the modal (entity finder) is not clear to users.

  • Once the link has been saved, it is not always clear where it goes, and what to do next. This needs to be clearly communicated




Duminda Aluthgamage
January 20, 2021, 8:55 PM

Leaving this as “Open” as it is an Epic and the substasks are marked as “in progress” when they’re being worked on

Jay Hodgson
January 5, 2021, 12:10 AM

will be taking a look at this when it's ready for implementation (expecting within the next couple of weeks). Thanks!

Duminda Aluthgamage
December 7, 2020, 8:40 PM

Internal user studies on 4x prototypes are being performed this week and next week - will attach documentation (study guide / survey) when ready

Duminda Aluthgamage
November 24, 2020, 2:59 AM


Here is a proposal (not fully hi-fi) for the entity finder, based on our recent discussion and further reviews with Lynn and Ljubo

My plan is to wire up 3 x prototypes (move from entity, move from files, insert into Wiki) and do some quick internal validation with scientists.

However before I do, it would be great if you could review the main interactions for feasibility. The key things to note are:

1 - The yellow stickies intend to explain the interactions, but the prototype is also interactive

2 - The visual design isn’t final, but before finalizing, I wanted to confirm feasibility. Then the visual design will be scrubbed with Ljubo/Stockard. Note that if implementing sooner, we would maintain existing Synapse visual design where relevant (eg. font size and row height)

3 - The key differences to the existing Entity Finder would be:
a) SIdenav is a project location selector (all projects, current project…etc), instead of “search”, “browse”.
b) user can switch between search and browse with an icon (search also needs to be updated, but that’s separate)
c) Ability to expand and collapse folders remains, however the user can also enter project/folders by clicking the arrow
d) If the user clicks the entire row, it should select the row. Hovering should provide feedback over the entire row
e) the user should be able to search within columns, for filenames and maybe SYNID
f) there would be a confirmation modal

The “mini modal” which we discussed previously may still be relevant for mobile, but that’s also a separate (future) discussion

Duminda Aluthgamage
November 3, 2020, 7:57 PM

Reviewed with Jay on 10/30

  • Prototypes are currently being updated to improve visual design and update some of the interactions

  • Planned internal usabilty testing of prototypes in November



Duminda Aluthgamage


Meredith Slota


Ljubomir Bradic



Development Area




Fix versions


Release Version History


Story Points


Slack Channel


Epic Name

Entity Finder Redesign