Basic thoughts on kde.org redesign
JaseOne at myrealbox.com
Wed Nov 13 04:43:33 UTC 2002
Haven't got the time to go through your email indepth at the moment as I'm at work but will do so later, I have actually been trying to achieve the same result you are with this email and have been endeavouring to collect requirements from everyone (with requests sent to most of the major lists).
What little I have managed to pull together so far is online at:
The only section with much useful info in it at the moment is on the Menu Structure, but feel free to flesh out some of the other sections and make suggestions wherever you see fit.
NB. it is only at that location with that design as that was the most convenient place for me to put it, the requirements are completely seperate from the design they are stored on.
From: Mat Colton <mat.colton at web-xs.de>
To: kde-www at mail.kde.org
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 05:24:51 +0100
Subject: Basic thoughts on kde.org redesign
Since I joined this list about a month ago I've been watching the discussion
about the redesign of KDE.org. It has been a wild discussion but somehow
nothing really get's settled. :P
It seems to me that it's a bad idea to have ppl do layouts/designs without
knowing what kind of content is supposed to be on the page. Sebastian, Jason,
Neil and all the others have spent a lot of their time trying to get up nice
drafts to fit all needs. But what are the needs? So here's my idea on the
basics of KDE.org.
Disclaimer: The following is all IMHO. I am a nobody. But a great one. :P
The site should be 1)very easy to use, 2)standards compliant,3)accessible and
4)look great in modern browsers.
1. With easy to use I mean a clear layout and a intuative navigation. More
about my thoughts on navigation later on.
2. XHTML/CSS, nothing more, nothing less. JS is fine for me as long as it
3. Make the site template as accessible as possible. For one thing we should
check what really makes sense, what's really required to get around KDE.org
fast. More about my thoughts on naviation and the general header later on.
4. Let it shine on modern day browsers! But let any browser get the content.
There are ways to let NS4/IE4 get some CSS, but not all, so a basic layout
should work well.
*My thoughts on navigation*
Most of the kde.org drafts show a variaty of links, to me it seems in the
purpose of getting you everywhere with one click. In the first moment this
seems to be a nice idea. But actually, due to the amount of links on the page
it does take a while until you find what you're looking for. And it doesn't
take you everywhere in a click. That can't be done due to the size of the KDE
project and the different visitors wishes.
So now I allready hear you yelling "Do you really want all the links of the
page?" at me.
As I wrote earlier, due to the amount of links on the page it does take a
while until you find what you're looking for (if it's on the page) and in
many cases the link won't get you there in one click anyway. So only offer a
couple of simple links that lead to pages with an extensive overview
including short descriptions to each entry. A lot of large companies use this
kind of navigation, it's tested and easy to use. This way we solve a lot of
other problems as well. More on that later on. So my first idea:
The links in the examples are mostly grouped. IMO it would be a good idea to
get real good labels for the groups and make a global navigation out of it.
I'll take modified-4 from Sebastion as an example
http://www.kde.org/testing/modified-4/ . He has the following groups in
Inform, Download, Develop, Communicate, Explore and Related Links.
IMO "Communicate" can go into "Inform" and "Explore" can go into "Related
Links". I like the rest of the labels and categories.
So, we need the banner, it shows us which site we're on. :) Then the
navigation, so far consisting of:
Inform | Download | Develop | Related Links
Is there anything missing in the navigation bar? Yes, two things: "Sitemap",
and "Website Settings". "Website Settings" should go into the navigation, but
since it is something different than the basic KDE links, it must be somewhat
separated from the basic KDE links.
Up to now I haven't said much about the design. I won't do that in this post.
:) Until now I've only said that the header must include the banner and the
navigation I described above.
On we go...
*My thoughts on the general header*
I'll stick to Sebastians last draft. It has the following content:
- Path to current page
- Language selection
- Color sheme selection
- Mirrors link
Since we have a link to "Website Settings" in the headers we don't need the
color sheme selector (I am assuming the user can set the color sheme in
Language selection should stay in the header, but with "Choose your Language"
as the default option instead of "KDE.org International" to save space. More
on that later. The path to the current content should be at the beginning of
the content, not of the page IMO.
I can't really see the sense of the Mirrors link, isn't that the same as
"Choose your Language"?
I see no reason for diplaying the time.
So now we're done with the header? No! Something is missing: Search.
Sebastions search field functionality is quite nice IMO. It should go into
the header as well.
The header now has the following content:
- Site banner
- Navigation including "Website Settings"
- Language/Mirror selection
That isn't all too much, what do you think? I think that's great:
- It is very likely that it will fit on any screen from 800x600 without
overlapping problems with large fonts
- It leaves enough air for the design to live, not so crowded, easy to
- We have only a few global links on every page, so we can actually use
accesskeys for global navigation. If we choose them wisely the other KDE
related sites using the new design will be able to use the same accesskeys
and navigation labels, promoting the "KDE Experience" in every aspect.
- it will not have a complicated structure (which does not exclude fancy
design!!!) so it is most likely to be usable a wide field of browsers without
having to make a big fuss.
*My thoughts on the content*
The main content area below the header should include the path to the current
document, the content and the local navigation. On the KDE.org front page we
can use the local navigation area for something else, I favour
*My thoughts on the footer*
The footer should contain legal information only.
So much for my thoughts on the content on kde.org. These are rather basic
thoughts, that's why we should settle them first. Otherwise the draft
designers are more or less wasting their precious time.
That takes us back to the time plan. I agree with Sebastian that there is no
use in a pressed time shedule. KDE 4 isn't in sight, we're in the mid of the
3 series and can't make it for KDE 3.1. So why hurry? After all, it's
supposed to work and be enjoyed for the next couple of years.
I was really tired as I started writing this and by now I'm half asleep, so
I'll end your reading torture and thank you for paying attention.
My last propadanda paragraph goes to stress my opinion on the global
navigation. I really think we're best off keeping it as easy as possible. By
keeping the extensive content overviews on separate pages they're much easier
to maintain and use. Please give it a thought.
Cheers to all!
Very much looking forward to your comments,
kde-www mailing list
kde-www at mail.kde.org
More information about the kde-www