[maemo-community] maemo.org redesign

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Fri Oct 10 21:44:31 EEST 2008

quim.gil at nokia.com wrote:
>> 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. 

People may be used to search engines, but the search function on Maemo
is (rightly) discrete - I just want to make sure our guy knows when he
comes to the site that there are resources available if he has a
problem. Do you think "Support" is strong enough for him? In general, I
tend to look for a forum, or maybe a wiki, or documentation, or (as you
say) a search box.

I guess the measure of how effective the search box is will be the
measure of how useful the site is to someone looking for the answer to a
question or the solution to a problem.

>> 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 *really* like the "Get involved" box from Tim in recent revisions. I
think it mixes the dynamic nature of the community with a visual element
prominent enough to get people's attention.

> This is why I didn't start on purpose the debate about what items in the
> navigation and what shortcuts.

And this is the only discussion I've been having ;) We need to agree on
purpose first, then content, then how to lay it out, no?

>> 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.

I think it's important that the most prominent things on the page
address the main use-cases. It's also important that the page be
spacious and not crowded. "Fat buttons" are a not unusual way of
grouping small amounts of related information together

>> 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 don't agree with your analysis, but on the point of developers, OK, I
can give way on that point. Users with problems, however, can't be
expected to be quite at the same level of sophistication.

> 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.

Perhaps - font size, colour schemes, all can make side menus & top menus
more prominent. But in general, they're the last thing you look at in a
page, not the first (I'm not making this up - Google heat graphs back me
up on this - first instinct is that they're decoration, you only look at
them closely after the main visual elements don't solve your problem).

Anyway - if we can agree that the use-cases (downloader, has a problem,
wants to help, wants news, developer) are right, that the content is
right, and that the lay-out is a decent start, we can move on.

> 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.

I'm not particularly rebelling against anything similar to the current
page, but the whole point is that the current front page has problems we
need to fix. It's not catering adequately to our main users right now.


maemo.org docsmaster
Email: dneary at maemo.org
Jabber: bolsh at jabber.org

More information about the maemo-community mailing list