Aaron Shi wrote:
>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.
I'd also like to say that this is VERY much appreciated and while I'm
void of tact I really don't want to come across as critical.
Thanks in advance for the nice work.
>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,
This could be accomplished by a multitude of things which add up..
(Inside a trademark yet to be established, user experience quotes, and
mission statement page which has direct top level links.
>2) to make the site a
>pleasure to browse (for existing and new users), and
We'd have to get feedback about how it's not currently pleasant in order
to "fix" this.
>3) to make information
>easy to access.
This is critical...
>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
>Christopher, we've gone a ways since the preview images. A newer proof of
>concept / early prototype is here: http://www.aaronshi.com/gentoo/
I'll stand corrected on one thing.. Seems I should be asking for the
navigation on the right.. Not the entire menu, but some? Maybe above the
ads section? This also wouldn't take up more horizontal space.
>>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
>>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.
I should see if I can find my contact for the Mozilla project.. The guys
over there are doing a really nice job of having users do their desired
actions... (Think front page of NY times..)(Save some typing
http://www.mozilla.org/) While I'm not saying to oversell.. I'm saying
it is possible to do thing which will help drive click patterns and
actions to what we want.
>- The front page news area seems really out of character (the lines, the
>styles, the indentation, etc. seems "off")
I think the feel for the home page would entirely change if we could
trade those four boxes with one big stylish and clear/concise box saying
something along the lines of (Download Gentoo now)
>- 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
Please leave the background of the search box white and a try for higher
contrast of font colors.
You also may be surprised with how many people override default site
font sizes. It's safer to not use pixels when defining font sizes..
http://usability.gov/guidelines/fonts.html#one (It specifically mentions
those over 65, but in general has been a thing I've heard more than once
from even younger people.)
I've only been using one reference source for credibility, but if anyone
wants a lot of reading material I'd be happy to send over what I have.
(Lastly and certainly outside the scope of one email.. Do we care about
SEO? With such a busy project has their ever been any thought about
marketing? I'm not talking about selling Gentoo, but something similar
to Moz project.) Just send me a private email for anything off topic.
I hope this information is helpful/valuable in some way...
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