Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
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Table of Orders

May I make a suggestion? Get rid of the small cluttered box of insect types and replace it with a proper Table of Contents. I sometimes can't distinguish the correct "bug" to click on to get to an Order, so I end up typing it in the search box. A list of orders, expandable to families of groups of families, would be much easier!

This is great!
This is great! Could it go on the main page?

There is a link to the overview on the Insect information page, just below Anatomy. I made the font a little larger. Is that noticeable enough?

here - hadn't noticed this before, but this is a good start. Needs to be moved out of Forums - old posts get lost.

I like the idea of the clickable guide
I like the idea of the clickable guide, that's why I use it frequently. But it's a bit small (14 cm on my screen) to use and some of the lovalble little critters are hard to find. I often just give up and use the search box for what i want, then click on an image that shows up, then click on on order or whatever that appears at the top. The clickable guide could be expanded so that it takes up more space and includes more icons, with permanently visible labels. And without labels, I'm not sure of its usefulness to newbies.

The labels show if you mouse-hover over the drawings.

clickable guide can use a lot of improvement --that's for sure
[but having it is a good idea, imho]

some icons [e.g. The Flea] are hardly ever used -- while several high-traffic ones are conspicuously missing, incl. damsel-, stone-, may-, and caddisfly icons... how about a harvestman? a sowbug?
The Ant icon is the only one that takes you as far as family level --not that there's anything wrong with that, but why then clicking The Weevil lands you in Coleoptera rather than Curculionoidea?
two nematocerans flank The Dragonfly -- why on earth?
The Backschwimmer is definitely not typical enough to be the sole representative of true bugs.
The Treehopper [otherwise lovely] takes a leap of imagination to associate with the model, so i doubt it would help a novice.

however, to come up with the optimum design of that panel, the question to be answered first is: who is its 'target audience', i.e., the user category we have in mind? as it's always the case on this site, different groups of users have very different agendas, habits, and skills...

One way of using it
I click the moth when I have a new moth to post. That's the fastest way to get to Moths. Similarly for some other groups, but many taxa aren't pictured separately. If I know the taxon, let's say it's Syrphidae, I use advanced search to go to the Syrphidae info page and then get Images from there.

There's plenty of room on the left side of the page for a taller set of pictures. A leafhopper and a stinkbug/shield bug would be useful. Both have distinctive shapes that vary little in their respective taxa, and they're often submitted for ID. Ladybugs. Lacewings. The ever-popular wheel bug.

A line of explanation below "Clickable Guide" would tell new users what the drawings are good for.

One wrinkle
Clicking on the moth, the butterfly or the caterpillar has the additional effect of changing your viewing preferences to either "only adults" or "only larvae" for Lepidoptera. If you're looking for a moth caterpillar, you have to know that you won't see it until you go to the Browse or Image tab and click on a different value for "View images of".

I happen to like the idea of a Clickable Guide, but
it could really stand to be updated - two Lepidoptera images [three if you count the caterpillar], two Coleoptera, but no Horseshoe crabs or springtails, etc

A larger / more inclusive clickable guide would be better - maybe using images from the guide itself. Perhaps a one page combination table of contents / clickable guide, e.g. Coleoptera. Saves having to drill down through alot of layers.

The images on the left are helpful for those
who don't know what order their bug is in, but know it "looks like this." Your list can be found under the Taxonomy tab. Click on the GUIDE tab. Click on the Taxonomy tab. Click on Insecta... and keep going as deep as you would like.

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