How to get started.

I downloaded 2.0 and created my account. I can't find a place on the site where it says to get started with putting in my sources and start using the site. I found the library, but when I click on it, it only says I have nothing in my library, but won't open the window. How to I get started? I only planned on using the free version, but do I have to upgrade to a paid version before it will allow me to input information? Can anyone PLEASE HELP ME?!?!
  • You don't need to buy anything. Take a look at the video tutorials .

    To open your Zotero library, you'll need to click on the "Zotero" icon at the bottom-right corner of your Firefox window. Watch the tutorials and post here if you run into trouble.
  • Thanks I had same question
  • edited August 6, 2010
    Yes, thanks. What a user-UNfriendly design! I hope it gets better. Simple guides and explanations would help work-around this.
  • What a user-UNfriendly design! I hope it gets better.
    Do you have specific criticism or suggestions?
  • A welcome screen with a few basic points on "how to get started," especially indicating the logo at the bottom of the pane and where to find the tutorials, which I just found by going to "support." I understand you might think that support "Support" covers it, but reads differently than "Help."

    Also, it wasn't clear to me that in order to use Zotero I needed to leave the site. And this seems odd in comparison to Diigo and Delicious.
  • A welcome screen with a few basic points on "how to get started," especially indicating the logo at the bottom of the pane and where to find the tutorials
    Like, which shows up when you first install Zotero and which links to and various other documentation pages?
  • Yes, Dan, exactly! That's what needs to be first, not another registration form. These pages you noted are just the ticket. (The red hyper-linked text might better be a list of buttons (preferably with graphics), rather than something to read over (and miss!) Also, helpful would be to mention that info in the Quick Start Guide. For example, the Quick Start Guide does not mention the icon in the right of the URL window is a key to getting started, when it's really more important than the logo in the bottom pane. I only figured it out by watching the video. Thanks, for the links.
  • That's what needs to be first, not another registration form.
    I'm not really sure what you're saying. The page I linked to already shows up when you install Zotero—that was my point.

    And I'd say knowing how to access your Zotero library is certainly more important than the URL bar icon—and given that you weren't clear on that yourself, I would think you would agree.
  • I assume what you mean is that the Quick Start Guide should show up rather than the current start page. That's not the case for various reasons, but, among other things, it might make sense for the graphic on the start page to have an arrow pointing to the Zotero icon in the status bar rather than to the address bar icon.
  • No, that's not what I mean. The quick start guide is really just a list of features. I think the page that is most helpful to a new user is: I would not recommend the Quick Start Guide for a new user.

    Finding Your Library is easy as it is a tab. A new user goes to it and finds "There are no items in this library." A new user needs to know how to "get stuff into your library," "archive the web," etc. These pages (i.e. pages that go to the explanations of those functions) could well be listed on Welcome screen to new users or in a sidebar or tab always.
  • edited August 6, 2010
    It would be simple to hyperlink the graphics on the home screen to those pages I mention:
    "Capture Research Data," "Archive Web Pages," and "Store."
  • Sorry, but you're not making sense to me. Your second post in this thread stated that you didn't know how to find your Zotero library (i.e., by clicking the Zotero icon in the status bar). Now you seem to be saying that finding your library is easy, yet you're still referring to your online library rather than your local library, when the point of this thread is that those aren't the same. Perhaps you're still confused as to the difference?

    Knowing how to get stuff into your Zotero library isn't particularly helpful until you actually understand what and where your Zotero library is.
  • LOL--When I referred to the bottom pane button I didn't realize that it was a library, but yes, of course, it is. The My Library is easy to find with the tab.

    All would be much easier for a user if it were easy to get to:

    Thanks for your interest, but I'm really past caring. No one will notice afterall.
  • Thanks for your interest, but I'm really past caring. No one will notice afterall.
    People here took time out of their day to understand your concerns and help you, and to try to figure out how your suggestions might be generalized (e.g. apply to the very large community of potential users out there), and this is your response? You obviously do care, as does everyone else here. So what's with the attitude?
  • it might make sense for the graphic on the start page to have an arrow pointing to the Zotero icon in the status bar rather than to the address bar icon.
    I think that would indeed make sense Dan, given the kind of problem exemplified here and elsewhere lately.
  • yes, I agree with Mark.
  • The primary reason for the arrow pointing to the location bar on the start page is that I still frequently run into people who have been using Zotero for months but who have not ever used the icon in the location bar. There are still a number of new users who default to thinking the "Create new item from current page" button is the only way to get things into Zotero. It might make sense to add an additional image about opening Zotero there, my general impression is that this is not as big an issue as people failing to realize what the location bar icons are for.
  • it's just that we've had a couple of people unaware of this every week for the last months on the forum.
    A lot of people seem to compare Zotero to delicious or digo (see above), which would explain that misunderstanding.
    So by all means keep the picture with the URL bar icon, but it would really be a good idea to add one with the status bar icon - maybe instead of the "Create New Item from Page" - icon or so.
  • Yeah, not finding the Zotero pane at all seems like a bigger problem than not finding the URL bar icon—and more relevant to a start page. (As we know, other Firefox extensions have start pages that point to the new interface elements, presumably for this same reason.)

    The Quick Start Guide could probably also have a separate item for opening the pane, below "How do I install it?". The intro video uses the shortcut key, so users could easily watch that and not understand where the pane is coming from.
  • Ok, I added a "How do I open Zotero" section to the quick start guide.

    I am also working on adding some step-by-step instructions on adding sync credentials in the Firefox extension on the validate page that loads up after the registration page

    I am optimistic that this should help close the loop and get users to understand 1) how to open the Firefox extension and 2) the relationship between the Firefox extension and the website.
  • that looks great Trevor (and Dan).
    While we're at it:
    1. I think it would be great to replace the pictures with the old menu items (i.e. the snapshot logo) - people have been confused by not finding them
    2. I do think it'd be great if we could make the quick start guide more accessible - right now it's one small link from the start page and actually two links deep from the homepage - that doesn't seem ideal. In that context I find it somewhat unfortunate that clicking on the centerpiece of the homepage (the Collect - Organize - Cite - Sync part) doesn't take you anywhere - seems like a missed opportunity.
  • Ok, I swapped out the images for "What does Zotero do" and "Saving a Web Page." I think those were the only ones that showed old buttons.

    Your second request is also a good idea. Clicking on icons does take you through the tabs, but each of the three features on each tab could very well link out to the documentation about that given feature. I will think a little more about the best way to do this. If others have thoughts on this feel free to share them as well.
  • I maybe on the wrong thread but I am going to try anyway. i am brand new to Zotero. I am trying to use it to manage my growing reference library for my dissertation. I have simply been adding to my list in MS Word as I found articles. I think Zotero would be a big help but I can't seem to export my existing reference list into Zotero. I have not been using EndNote or any other software specifically designed to manage my reference collection. Is there a way to transfer the collection other than go to each article and save them one at a time?
  • alilley - better to start a new thread -
    in your case, something similar has been discussed here:
    so you can continue in that thread
  • to follow on adamsmith's idea's for the re-organisation of the zotero homepage:
    to the top right, there is now the following list:

    Download word processor plugins
    Download previous Zotero version (1.0.10)
    What's new in Zotero 2.0?
    Upgrading from Zotero 1.0
    Having trouble installing?

    I think "what's new in zotero 2.0" and "Download previous version" and maybe even "upgrading from 1.0" are not necessary in such a prominent space, since probably almost everybody now who had 1.0 has updated and people who come here for the first time at this moment have not need to use 1.0, now where there are no problems with 2.0. I would propose to delete those and replace them with a link to quick start guide.
  • and while we are at it, some further thoughts on the homepage:
    -Twitter updates needs too much space, for a relatively unimportant thing
    -The logos of the sponsors are rather large, and take too much space
    -Since the beginning I have never really understood the second task bar at the bottom with different items (but some doubles and in strange ways: for example: "blog" at the bottom leads to the same place as "more zotero news" to the right) than those at the top.
    In principle this is fine, but since the homepage is so long, the lower task bar is never visible and I have to scroll down to see it, i.e. I have to remember that there are some ways to get to some pages down there (and only down there). I think this is all rather confusing than helpful and I would suggest to either streamline or drop the lower taskbar.
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