Collectables vs Stories

I’ve been struggling a bit with the intersection between collectibles and media, in particular audio, which doesn’t seem to work in a useful way for me.

Right now, it seems that you can only claim ‘ownership’ of physical releases such as CDs or box sets. I can completely see the reason why it is like this, as that makes perfect sense next to other physical collectibles.

However, my personal Doctor Who audio collection is a mix of CDs, tapes, and MP3s. (So far I have not bought into any of the crazy-priced vinyl releases). Likewise, my video collection is a mix of VHS and DVD, plus a bunch of TV recordings converted to MP4 for easier watching. And that’s without considering the motley bunch of fan-made media which never had a commercial release at all.

When it comes to telling T.G that I own something, I have to search for the release or box set, then check a box. In order to show only the ones I own, I need to select a special mode from the ‘stories’ page, rather than just selecting something in the normal filters, as I can do for completion or rating status. So far I have been unable to find a way to filter showing only the things I don’t own (for example, so I can check that I haven’t missed anything)

What I would really love is a way of tagging ‘ownership’ of any media item, right from the same places I can mark completed, favourite, and rating. Then the ability to filter by presence or absence of that tag. That way I can log all the stories that I own, then filter by (owned and not completed) to see what to watch/listen next.

For extra credit, a way to indicate one or more forms of media, but that raises a bunch of tricky UI questions, so would be very much a ‘nice to have’ for the future.

I may be wildly wrong, but my gut tells me that stories and collectibles may be stored in different database tables, which is why they feel so disconnected. For someone like me who mainly collects stories (although I will hold my hand up to a small set of Doctor Who roleplaying and board games), the distinction between collectibles and stories feels disconcerting and unwieldy.


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Hey, thanks for the feedback - I’ve split this into its own topic as it may be a lot to discuss

Yes you’re right. Collectables is about physical collectable products. It currently contains almost all CDs available, most DVD and BluRay, and a handful of toys and things.

These not being physical products, it does not fall into the “collectable” category.

There is a section called “not in my collection” (in the Collectables dropdown) which shows collectables you do not own. You can also filter collectables by those which you do not own, again only on the collectables page.

No you’re exactly right. Collectables and stories are different database tables. A collectable can contain stories though - like a DVD that has certain stories in it. This is a many-to-many relationship, as many collectables can contain many stories and stories can be in many different collectables.

From any story page you can scroll down to see the collectables it’s available in. And from a collectable page you can scroll down and see what stories are in it.

That actually exists, under “my stories” there is “stories I own” and then you can filter that by not completed. But it doesn’t know you own things that aren’t physical. That’s the issue here.

This is a good idea but separate to how it currently works.

At the moment if you own the DVD “the complete first series” then the database knows that you own a copy of Rose, The End of the World, The Unquiet Dead etc etc.

I could have another, separate way to say you “own” those stories, which you could tick if you had them by some other means, either a physical or digital copy. I know some people want to keep track that way.

The main thing is not to have too many conflicting ways of doing things. I designed the site myself with very little feedback from others so it’s possible I didn’t do it in the best way. However this is a rather big change that would affect everyone. So maybe I should have a vote about it or something.

(And I accept that there isn’t enough guidance on how this all works, at the moment I just assume it’s self explanatory but I need to write it up).

Maybe we need to discuss this and have some other members join in too.

I’m currently thinking keep it how it is, but add a button that says “I own this” and then it asks you which existing collectable you own, but also gives you the option to say you own it by some other means eg. a digital copy, for your own records. Then it would mark it as “owned” for the other features and let you filter it etc.

It’s a bit of a UI problem but not impossible.

What do you think? Does that fix it?

OR thinking about it a little bit more.

A simple “I own this” button, next to the other buttons like you said.

If you say you own the DVD for Series 1, then that button is automatically selected for all stories within.

But you can choose to also press it for any story. No explanation or selection necessary.

That would be simpler, and not too much work to change.

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That sounds perfect, for me at least :wink:

This here, sounds like a simple solution. If it’s not too much work for you and it’s a feature that works for us, we’ve struck gold :coin:

Hey, I’ve been working on this feature and before I announce it to much fanfare, could you check it out and see if it works how you wanted it to?

There are 2 pages under “My Stories” called “Stories I own” and “Stories I do not own”.

These are primarily built up based on collectibles you own, so if you own The 60th Anniversary Specials DVD, then the stories from that DVD (The Star Beast, etc…) will show in here.

If you looked at the page for The Star Beast you’d see this button, which is disabled as to mark it as unowned you’d have to go and say you no longer own the DVD:


(In future I will link to the collectable from here so you can easily find out where you own this story).

However for stories that you own digitally, or by some other means that isn’t official, there is instead a button that lets you toggle whether you own it or not. Saying you own something there will also add it to the “Stories I own” page.

I haven’t added a filter yet for owned stories, as filters like that are quite resource-heavy, hence them only existing for patrons. I could add it if there is much request for it. The “Stories I own” page is a good stopgap there.

What do you think?

It’s definitely better than it was! The underlying data model seems right. Thanks.

I have a few comments, though.

  • The owned / unowned button always confuses me. I usually have to click it a couple of times to work out which way round it is - does it show the current status, or does it show an action which can be performed (c.f. a play / pause button)? For me, a label and a checkbox rather than a changing button would be clearer to understand.
  • I realise there may be screen space and layout issues, but I would personally find it much more useful if this option was visible in lists (like the current completed, favourite, and rating indicators) rather than just on the details page for each story. This would allow much quicker bulk updating, and probably reduce server load as there would be no need to fetch and render a details page every time.
  • I assume you have considered the edge case of stories which appear in multiple collectibles.

Great, glad you like it.

UX things like the checkboxes - I totally agree. This isn’t my forte, and I’m hiring a designer to go through everything with me to improve it.

On the bulk screen - difficult, lots to put there. I’m considering a “more…” button to show extra options.

And yes, if they’re in multiple collectables it is all fine :blush:

I don’t want to be the “one more thing” guy :roll_eyes:
… but …
while exploring this feature I noticed again that there is no option on the rating filter in the left-hand panel to select unrated stories. I (now) know there is another way to get that from the My Stories page, but it always seems very odd that the option doesn’t sit with the other rating selectors, which is where I always look first.

This filter panel (currently named ‘My Completed Stories’) is becoming more general, and should probably be renamed as just ‘My Stories’. Then it would be the ideal place to add an ‘unrated’ checkbox as well as filters for owned and unowned.

Feel free to say “it’s in the queue”, and I’ll shut up and carry on enjoying the site :wink:

Haha. Ah yes, unrated - that could work. I’ll add that to my list.

But as I said above, adding Owned/Unowned here is only going to happen if I get a lot of requests for it because I’m trying to avoid too many of these user-specific filters.


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Hey, I’ve been playing around with this because I understand what you meant here.

As well as changing the icon for Collectables (I loved the one I had, but it was a bit busy) to a simple box, I have added colour to the buttons - when selected, they are solid blue. When not selected, they are white. I’ve also altered the text for consistency.

It should now be really obvious what is selected and what isn’t. Thoughts?


Looks great to me. It’s clearer now and there’s more of that lovely TARDIS blue on the site :smiley:

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I’d be happy with that.
I do wonder if it might be better to group the two ‘status’ buttons together rather than putting an ‘action’ button in between, but that’s very much your call, @shauny

Yes I did think about that :grin: these buttons will change a lot soon anyway (and the rewatch button will probably be part of the “complete” button) I was just making a quick change while I had a few minutes.

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I finally got around to fixing this - it now shows an “Unrated” option as well, so you can filter by stories you have not rated :blush:

I’ve also moved those around.

Enjoy :blush:

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