- Johncumbers 00:28, 24 July 2006 (EDT): Hey Jenny, nice layout, I really like the list of labs though, even as it grows, I think it shows people that they are part of something much bigger.
- Sri Kosuri 12:06, 24 July 2006 (EDT): I like it too. It solves the problems with the labs with minimal links on the front page. Some comments if something like this were to go up. Make the Main page toolbar bigger... (maybe also add community portal there). Combine toolbar with image on template and add it too all the subgroup pages. Maybe also an informational block explaining what each thing on the toolbar is. I just think that is the strongest aspect of OpenWetWare, and it should be highlighted a little more.
- Jennyn 11:51, 25 July 2006 (EDT): Added: logo into toolbar template, community portal link. I have made the font larger. Is there a way that we can have a mouse-over call-out box appear for links?
Front Page Makeover Discussion
Please proceed each comment with *'''~~~~''': to help keep track of discussion.
- Nkuldell 16:17, 27 July 2006 (EDT):I think the trimmed front page is a big improvement but I miss some statement about what OWW is. Wikipedia has a short tag line that gives first timer visitors some idea of what they are looking at.
- Jennyn 16:21, 27 July 2006 (EDT): I've added the statement about OWW. The blue divider is a bit bold, but that can be changed later.
- BC 16:19, 27 July 2006 (EDT):I like the idea of stripping down the main page and think this is a good start. However, I wonder if it makes sense that each of the "boxes" on the new main page are news/highlights of one sort or another. Its not really clear how they are different or why they are separated. One suggestion would be to go to an even more minimalist design. For example, the 37 signals webpage could be used as a model with each of their products replaced by an icon for Getting Started, Labs, Groups, Resources etc. Then there could be one news section below that. Either way, I like the start you've made Jenny!
- Jennyn 16:24, 27 July 2006 (EDT): Those are so cute! I will try that icon suggestion, and then try the news combined below it.
- Ilya 16:30, 27 July 2006 (EDT): This is nice but I think that the OWW logo is too big at 969px across. Not everyone has a 1024x768 and higher screen res and those who do often don't run the browser maximized to full-screen. Having a horizontal scroll bar is annoying. I suggest that the banner should not be wider than 600px.
- Jennyn 21:01, 27 July 2006 (EDT): I optimized it for 800x600 res, and it looks really tiny on 1024x768+. Our current front page has a 820px banner, does that work OK? Anyway, if the majority of the users like this size, we can keep it this way, or we can change the way the modules are in general and have them adjust to screensize and not be static sizes.
- Jasonk 16:35, 27 July 2006 (EDT): I like this cleaned up version much better in general, nice work. Couple comments:
- I'd like to see the protocols(definitely) and materials(probably) on the front page so that new people on the site know that the shared pages exist and they should contribute.
- I'd like to know what links people are clicking on the front page before we remove something that's very popular. This would require more sophisticated site analytics software.
- Kathleen 12:17, 31 July 2006 (EDT): In line with Jason, I'd like to see the entire Resources and Community sections remain on the front page for now to give new users a better idea of what they can find on the site and how they can contribute to the community.
- Reshma 20:56, 31 July 2006 (EDT): I agree.
- Johncumbers 20:50, 31 July 2006 (EDT): Hey Jenny, I really like having the labs list on the main page for a little longer. Whilst it is growing I think it is important to make people see what they are becoming part of. Have you thought if there is a way you could include it still or is it just too big? could you have one huge show hide with a number next to it maybe? lab (84) -show e.g.
- In other news, we have permission to use some cool photos from these people on flickr, as long as we link back to them..
- I'm working on a thing that could display a random image on the front page, so if you wanted to include one or more of these in the new design (and have it rotating each load) add one in and I'll do the rotate thing later in the week. cheers, John
- Jennyn 21:41, 31 July 2006 (EDT): Taking all of this into consideration, we will end up keeping the same text-heavy front-page that we have. Personally, I don't think that moving these pages to a navigation bar will hinder people from feeling like they are part of the community. Most websites are structured this way, and it hasn't hindered people from clicking and exploring. If anything, I would think that a front page jam-packed with information would hinder someone from exploring. As long as the website is arranged like "frames," people will be able to see the same navigation bar throughout all of the pages, and therefore shouldn't be hesitant to click away and explore the website.
We should take action early. If we need to see what links are clicked on most, we should obtain the software immediately to find out that information before we start accumulating many users and affect a larger population with the website change. What may happen is that if we keep the front page with all of the information, new users will become VERY used to the location of where links are located when they visit the site, and will be even more hesitant to changing the front page.
One possible way to abridge the Labs is to sort them into categories rather than institution. On another page, we can arrange them by location, and then another page arrange them by institution (if we had a program where we could enter keywords to sort these automatically (categories?) that would work, also. Incorporating all the resources and community links on the front page is still just keeping a lot of text on the page.
At the SC meeting, we discussed that we want to change the front page to have more images, much less text, and would resemble more of an "advertisement" than what it currently is -- lists of information. If we keep Resources, Community, Labs, Protocols, and Materials, well we're simply back to square one and haven't progressed.
One thing we should think about is:
1. Do we want OWW to be a book (a cover, then contents inside)? or
2. Do we want OWW to be the classified ads of a newspaper (all the information on one page)?
Knowing the answer to this, we can determine whether changing our front page would be a good idea or not.
- Devin 22:29, 31 July 2006 (EDT): Jenny, I think this looks awesome. I like the move away from lots of text very much. I would say that there are two main things that are awkward right now. The first is the duplication of the double helix logo. I think that on the current main page having them differently sized relieves the tension somewhat, but on the new page they are too close to being the same size. But it would be best to have only one. Incidentally, I also feel that the front page should shed the wiki sidebar since a lot of the links are now also duplicated here--this takes care of the logo duplication at the same time. The second, smaller point, is that the news highlights and videos are sort of floating in the middle of the colored fields. They should either fill out the space or not be centered. Slate has a rather nice new redesign. The layout is similar to OWW but it makes much better use of repeated colors and motifs to organize the space. Strong hierarchy and flexible content, but it all hangs together nicely.
- Kathleen 23:17, 31 July 2006 (EDT): Check this out as a general outline. It looks quite bad right now because I just cut and pasted some stuff. I would imagine something like Jenny's current layout in the center flanked by the Community and Resources sections. Slims things down a bit without losing the community aspects of the site from the main page. It should all fit without scrolling and will give people some idea as to what to expect from the site and how they can contribute to the community. Just my two cents. Feel free to hate it.
- Smeister 05:16, 1 August 2006 (EDT): Jenny, it good, me like, keep it up. One thing, though: I think the navigation bar does not stick out enough. The first time I saw the page it took me quite a few seconds to find it - now maybe I'm just a bit slow but I knew what I was looking for and still had trouble. A bigger font would maybe help, but I guess then you run into space issues. Alternatively, you could add the navigation links to the center (where the 'Highlights' really are highlighted now) or better yet: to the bottom of the page.
- Reshma 08:59, 1 August 2006 (EDT): So if we are going with the book cover model that Jenny describes above, then I think Devin is right and we should drop the sidebar and just go for a static page. This would give us more screen space to play with and free up design of the page to be closer to what Slate (Devin) or 37 signals webpage (Barry). I personally prefer the 37 signals icon bar but I think we may have more items than such a navigation bar would permit. Maybe do a table with each entry the approximate size of the basecamp boxes. Some slots would be highlights and some slots for "Getting started", "Labs", "Groups" ... "Community portal" etc. Now all this being said, I am still not convinced that the book cover model is preferable to the "classified ads" model.
- Jennyn 10:13, 1 August 2006 (EDT): I also agree that if we do use the Book Cover model, we should change our wiki to the more popular website (i.e. Python wiki format rather than the Wikipedia format). This will take away the left navigation bar because it will be placed at the top page in the form of frames. I personally like the website format because it gives us more space to work with (to address Ilya's issue about resolution). With the website format, we can use more icons in place to text (addressing Barry's 37signals webpage suggestion). So with this, if icons replace the text, it wouldn't seem so text-heavy to have more text in the body rather than replacing the entire website with highlight icons, pictures of the week, and videos of the month. This may be a good way to compromise the Book Cover and Classified Ads models. At least for now.