First of all, kudos to Curtis and team. This is definitely a step up from
last time I checked. While I don't always agree with what's done, I do very
much appreciate and respect all the effort that's put in.
Here goes the comments... I'm just going to add to the discussion rather
than starting from the beginning.
> Usability and navigation needs work. Think in terms of end user..
> Someone may not land on the home page.. At which point he
> will have to navigate to where he/she needs to get as quickly
> as possible. With click-through patterns (If you can get the
> data) see where people are going and make that most
> accessible.. Navigation should be fairly site standard and
> potentially even show a hierarchy of where they are in the
> site. (ie Home > Solutions > etc) Do we have this data? Is
> now the time to do a structure change to allow for faster digging?
I've been stressing these points since day one, finally someone gets it! If
we don't enhance the underlying design of the site (i.e. the "substance") in
order to remedy some of the problems with the old design, the redesign would
more appropriately be called a "face lift." I don't know what actually goes
under the hood with all the xml etc., but to me, as it appears, it's simply
a face lift. The functionality hasn't changed one bit. Navigation is still
a nightmare. On a site as complex as Gentoo's, users -- especially those
new to Gentoo (who also happens to be those who are critical to the growth
of Gentoo) -- will be easily lost. They will have a hard time finding the
information which they seek to make their decision to use Gentoo or to make
their Gentoo experience successful.
In hindsight, I realized that the project didn't have (I couldn't find) a
clearly defined strategy (What is it trying to do? To achieve? And why?
What's the ultimate goal?) and corresponding sets of concrete and achievable
objectives that feeds into the strategy to make it work.
When I started the project, I aimed for 3 things 1) to make a solid
impression on visitors of the site in order to convey the values and
benefits of Gentoo, i.e. in order to gain new users, 2) to make the site a
pleasure to browse (for existing and new users), and 3) to make information
easy to access. Graphics and eye-candy (if you will) along with
strategically placed (and clearly/easily identified) critical "Gentoo
elements" helps to achieve 1). 2) and 3) relates to usability (how
efficiently and effectively a user can do what they want to do), navigation
(how easily can a user move through the structure of the site, not simply
linearly as non-linear navigation is what makes moving quick), and "flow"
(how intuitive and logical is the structure of the site and the information
Now it seems that these goals were too ambitious given our limited
resources. However, we seem to be taking baby steps toward them, which is a
> I've looked at the preview images for the winning contest..
> Is it too late to consider moving the three navigation boxes
> to the left hand side and or keeping some of the left hand
> navigation there..
Christopher, we've gone a ways since the preview images. A newer proof of
concept / early prototype is here: http://www.aaronshi.com/gentoo/
> While we are an open source project there are still two very
> desirable actions we want users to do..
> 1) Download and try the software (Rename mirrors and get
> gentoo to Download and make it very clear where users can
> download from.)
> 2) Make a donation (this should also be something more than a
> standard PayPal button, but still discrete and site blended.)
Agree with both objectives in the general sense. The donation objective
never occurred to me, but it's a very neat idea since Gentoo is an NPO and
suffice to say it doesn't sit on a mountain of cash so any extra funding is
probably a positive thing.
- The front page news area seems really out of character (the lines, the
styles, the indentation, etc. seems "off")
- General spacing is messed up, i.e. lots of white space where there
- Table borders don't quite fit into the theme
- I thought the 3 jump pads are only supposed to appear on the front page?
I don't think the bolding or whiter shade is necessary for my credits at the
bottom. Thanks for thought though, but such credits should be as
unobtrusive as possible so that users can better focus their attention
elsewhere on what's important. It's probably better left as before --
unbold, dark shade of purple (see bottom of
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