Renaming Terms in DevResults

New DevResults users often ask about renaming terms on their DevResults platform. This article is a complete guide to what you can and can't change, and why. 

Configuration vs. Customization

DevResults is fully configurable. This means that 100% of the content of the platform is defined by users: your activities, frameworks, indicators, disaggregations, geographic places, reporting periods and cycles, narrative questions, tags, sectors, status options, users, user permissions groups (both the group names and their permissions settings), and organizations. You can also choose which features of DevResults are turned on or off, and brand your site using your name and logo. 

DevResults is not fully customizable. Customizing software means making a copy of the code and changing certain parts. This is not how DevResults works by design; there is only one version of the DevResults software for all users, so any change we make to the platform affects all users. If you have ideas to make DevResults more flexible to suit your needs or others', we'd love to hear about it! Check out our article about feature suggestions for more info.  

While we favor configurability over customizability, there are many elements within the DevResults software that you can 'customize' or tailor to an extent. Read on to discover some of these options.

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Renaming terms

Because DevResults is used in a variety of contexts and settings, we try to use generic terminology whenever possible. For instance, we decided to refer to activities as 'activities', mostly because that's how the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) refers to them. But many organizations use terms like projects, programs, awards, or grants. Using 'pseudonyms', you can rename certain terms in DevResults to fit your organizational preferences.

Currently, we support renaming for the following terms:

  • Activities
  • Locations
  • Awarding organizations
  • Partner organizations
  • Organizations
  • Indicator result comments
  • Sectors
  • Mechanisms
  • Activity description fields (see Customizing activity description fields below)

Terms can include spaces and some punctuation such as dashes, underscores and vertical bars, but cannot include ampersands (&), slashes (\ or /), asterisks (*), or question marks (?).

Renaming these terms offers familiarity to your users, but it comes with drawbacks. These terms can only be renamed on your site, not in our Knowledge Base, Helpdesk, Release Notes, or webinars. Organizations must weigh the cost of introducing friction between their platform and support materials versus the benefit of keeping their existing terms. 

Please contact help@devresults.com if you'd like to rename one of these terms on your site, or if you'd like to suggest that we make other terms rename-able. 

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Customizing activity description fields

With activity description fields, organizations have even more control over which fields appear and in what order, allowing for full customization of the right-hand side of your activity overview page.

All new and existing DevResults sites have six default activity description fields:

  • Context
  • Objectives
  • Summary
  • Expected Results
  • Beneficiary Description
  • Deliverables & Reporting 

If you find these fields ill-suited to describing your work, then you can add, edit, reorder, or delete fields as necessary. 

Go to Administration > Custom Fields and make changes to the grid of existing field names. You can type a new field name into the last row that says "Click to add...", edit or change an existing field name by clicking in the appropriate cell, reorder field names by grabbing the left edge of the row and moving it up or down, and delete fields by clicking on the X to the left of each row.

Note: Use of custom activity fields will require you to use the same terms (without spaces, with '&'s spelled out as 'and') in form placeholders.

Warning: Deleting a field deletes all contained text. If an existing field has any entered text, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to delete that content.

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Didn't answer your question? Please email us at help@devresults.com.