[maemo-users] Better planet layout through Greasemonkey/Stylish

From: randall.arnold at nokia.com randall.arnold at nokia.com
Date: Fri May 11 23:39:24 EEST 2007
This is a great discussion!  Your contribution certainly helps, Neil.

Randall (Randy) Arnold
Quality Feedback Analyst


>-----Original Message-----
>From: maemo-users-bounces at maemo.org 
>[mailto:maemo-users-bounces at maemo.org] On Behalf Of ext Neil MacLeod
>Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 3:21 PM
>To: maemo-users at maemo.org
>Subject: Re: Better planet layout through Greasemonkey/Stylish
>Quim Gil wrote:
>> Usability is not tied to fixed or flexible width, you can find 
>> examples of good and bad practices with both modalities. 
>Obviously our 
>> current implementation has serious problems specially in areas like 
>> the Planet, agreed. This doesn't mean that fixed width is 
>> wrong. For instance Andrew, who is suggesting an alternative layout 
>> for the Planet uses fixed width in his blog, like many bloggers do.
>OK I take your point - fixed width is not necessarily bad. But 
>unnecessarily narrow fixed width *is* very bad, particularly 
>when articles are wrapping lines at 5, 6 or 7 word intervals 
>when there is acres of space to the left and right.
>> Agreed. However, reading a planet at that width is not a great 
>> alternative and example of readability either. Read Planet Ubuntu at 
>> that width. Many Planet readers are use to that but, really, I think 
>> something better can be done. For some reason newspapers and 
>> have columns and etc (old basic usability stuff).
>I have been taught in the past that English is most readable 
>when lines are wrapped at an average of 10-13 words per line. 
>An average of eight words per line would still be readable, 
>but the current Maemo Planet design is not so readable. I 
>agree that a flexible width design can result in too many 
>words per line, but since this is somewhat under my control I 
>would prefer that to an artificially constrained layout where 
>I am constantly flicking my eyes left-right-down every 
>half-dozen words or so.
>> The problem is not the fixed width, which is more or less the same 
>> that i.e. http://www.maemopeople.org/ and the average 
>Wordpress blog, 
>> so to say. The problem is how we deal with the content area: 
>> hackergotchis, fonts, navigation bar and some code wrong 
>that creates 
>> unnecessary extra white space.
>Hopefully if you aim for a content area that wraps lines with 
>at least 8 words per line on average (though 10 would be 
>preferable) it will be substantially more readable. 
>maemopeople.org for instance, wraps at around 11 words per 
>line on average.
>> One option is to get rid of the hackergotchis, or the navigation, 
>> letting the content with the usual width in blogs. Hackergotchis are 
>> cool (when they have pictures). The navigation is not 
>essential. If we 
>> have to drop something this will be the victim. Let's see. 
>Oskari has 
>> as priority number 1 fixing the (troublesome anyway) navigation and 
>> the Planet layout. Give him some days.
>The navigation definately needs a rethink, both in 
>presentation (look) and architecture. If the vertical nav is 
>retained, use a smaller font however a multi-level horizontal 
>nav may be better as it would free up the right hand column 
>which is mostly wasted space unless content can be designed to 
>flow into the right hand column below the nav.
>hackergotchis I can't say I care for them - given a choice, drop em.
>> Web structure is not completed.
>Understood, sorry for jumping the gun :)
>> "Upfront and center" is where they are located in the frontpage.
>Perhaps it's just me, but the section of the front page that 
>contains the Bugzilla and Wiki links is just plain odd. It's 
>detached from the main navigation and seems unnecessary and 
>redundant. The links present in this section could/should be 
>in the main navigation, freeing up space in the front page and 
>making it easier to navigate to common pages such as 
>Wiki/Bugzilla from anywhere within the site.
>Dedicated links to common pages should be present in the main 
>navigation, and not present only in a disjointed section of 
>the frontpage.
>> We want to provide a context for those users that don't even 
>know that 
>> there is a wiki or a bugzilla. And for those that don't know what a 
>> wiki or a bugzilla are, but they want to read tips&tricks 
>and complain 
>> about something that doesn't work.
>Context is good, but it's not making it obvious. Perhaps it's 
>because these areas of the site had dedicated sections in the 
>old site that they now they seem to be more peripheral.
>> This is why the wiki will be under Support and will be 
>focused to the 
>> community exchanging all the info that is not part of the official 
>> documentation. The wiki will be also linked from Development > 
>> Documentation ("If you are looking for more check...".
>> This is also why bugzilla will have several entry points and 
>> customized simple forms not to discourage anybody. Entry points 
>> include Development and Support, also the Roadmap to suggest 
>new features.
>More entry points the better! :)
>> Funny. Let me just remind though that the development of the website 
>> has been done totally in the open at 
>> https://garage.maemo.org/projects/maemo2midgard/ . If we would have 
>> get all this feedback before now all we would be doing other things, 
>> probably. We did get feedback and lots of help (thanks!) but 
>for some 
>> reason we failed gathering all the opinions that now are raising.
>Indeed, it is a shame as you guys have all put in a tremendous 
>amount of work and it's not nice for it to be picked apart 
>now. I'm as responsible for that as anyone here, and you have 
>my apologies for not commenting on this prior to launch and 
>realising the flaws of the current design.
>However if the majority of the ITT forum readership prefer the 
>current look & feel, you've done a good job! :)
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