[maemo-community] maemo.org redesign

From: quim.gil at nokia.com quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Thu Oct 9 08:17:23 EEST 2008
Hi, answers based on

> The guy who comes to the site to get help with a problem - 
> where will he click?

He would go to the search (not a coincidenc that I was proposing a
"support" segmentation by default) or perhaps he would look at the shiny
shortcut we have for him in the top right column. Or perhaps we have put
a dedicated item for him in the top riht navigation bar.

You don't need to add thick buttons to offer Help/Support. Your guy
needs help but it is safe to suppose that he is not being chasedby a
crocodile or having a heart attack. People is used to search engines
nowadays. Besides, usually web services have an option for help/support
in their navigation areas and the footer. 

> The guy who wants to find out how he can help, or how he can 
> give feedback - where does he click?

"Get involved", "Contact" or similar words can be used either in the
navigation bar or the shortcuts. If we loose someone's feedback because
he didn't find the thick icon after 0,3 seconds then perhaps that
feedback or contribution wouldn't have been that big anyway.

> I think we definitely need to address this use-vase 
> prominently - right now, he has maybe 5/6 links to consider: 
> "Mailing lists", "Documentation", "Users united", "Bugzilla", "Wiki".

This is why I didn't start on purpose the debate about what items in the
navigation and what shortcuts. This belongs to a next level of
discussion. Sining off the first discussion by agreeing that we will
have a nav bar, a shortcuts list and no thick buttons in the middle of
the screen would help moving forward.

> I still think it's a mistake to have Bugzilla, wiki, mailing 
> lists on the front page. Garage doesn't mean anything to 
> someone who's not already a community member. I'm not sure 
> that "Documentation" makes sense as a front page link, because 
> you have 3 types of documentation:

I agree and I'm not sure either about documentation. But can we please
hold on all those parallel debates around texts/words until we agree on
the main thing and graphic designers can start trying to implement THE
layout before us driving them mad (as we are doing with the poor Tim)?

'Lorem ipse...' is widely used in graphic design for a reason.

> There are elements of this design I really like - I do think 
> it's promising, but I think we need to have the "solve a 
> problem", "developer", "downloads", "news" "get involved" 
> prominent on the home page.

Navigation bar + shortcuts. Nobody said one of these or both shouldn't
be "prominent on the home page". I don't think fat buttons in the middle
of the screen serve a better purpose.

> On the new design, Downloads and 
> News are really well represented, and we've dropped the links 
> for solving problems and getting involved to some extent.

I like how Tim has integrated the "Get Involved" part in his last

> And "Development" has been reduced to one small link in the top right.

And what is the problem if this is the place where developers are used
to find the link for them? (again, plus the footer). You are in a
software platform website and you have a home full of software apps and
related news. It is obvious that somewhere there is going to be a link
for Developers. Top right corner, found it. 

> I'd really like us to go back to prominent placement of 
> categories like "problem", "get involved", "developer" - 
> perhaps with big graphical buttons like Tim proposed in his V1.

I hope to have given enough arguments sustaining why those big graphical
buttons are no better solution that good usage of the old good
navigation elements in the header. Perhaps one problem here is that you
are assuming that the list of shortcuts will be boring and grey,
unvisible. Well, making it prominent and visible is just a matter of
playing with pixels keeping the same structure.

Please approve the pencil mockup as a good default approach and invite
graphic designers to play around it having in mind the list of targeted
users and use cases listed at
http://wiki.maemo.org/Task:Improving_maemo.org/proposal . Tim is right
by saying that at some point the real progress needs to happen on top of

PS1: max width vs flexible width - I have gone through this discussion
many times and I had enough of it. You can find good and bad
implementations for both cases. One thing is truth: long horizontal
lines are difficult to read. Many sites are 100% flexible in
header/footer but have limited max width for the body text. Again, good
designers are used to deal with these issues.

PS2: why the urge to avoid anything similar to the current homepage?
There are many complaints about maemo.org but overall the homepage
*structure* serves decently the purpose. We have heard many comments
about better usage of the space, links that could be changed, less focus
on pure development... These points have very little to do with the
structure itself.

More information about the maemo-community mailing list