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Hi Christoph, all,

First of all, apologies for my absence - of course catching up reading
100s of messages some additional took time away too :)

On Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Christoph Noack <> wrote:
Hi Bernhard, all!

Am Donnerstag, den 16.12.2010, 01:39 +0100 schrieb Bernhard Dippold:
1. Create a website that can be active as soon as possible.

This website is the SilverStripe website (clear decision by the SC),
that needs content (now!) as well as design (at least to the LibO 3.3
release) showing the world, that we are an active community able to
provide professional software and present it in a professional way.

During the last days, I was thinking about how to improve the current
website design. I know that I'm a bit late, so please consider these
ideas to be ... ideas. If some of these could be implemented - this
would be great. I'm currently sure that this will positively affect the
experience of our users ...

+1. I think there's a lot of room for improvement, and I don't think
there's any excuse for LibreOffice not to launch the Silverstripe site
with a stronger design.

So, why improvements?

Although the visual and structural design of the current (static)
website has proven to work rather well, this design might not work that
good for Silverstripe. I started to draw some boundary boxes (several
days ago) for one of the pages - in a very simplified point-of-view, the
aim should be to reduce the number of lines to reduce an uncluttered

In this example, there isn't even a sub-menu that will add another item
on the left hand site. Also, on some pages there seems to be a
breadcrumb menu:

If the information architecture is any good, the simplicity of the
website at this stage should eliminate the need for breadcrumbs.

So, I started to work on a menu concept (and iterated a lot, I fell back
to very simple but powerful version...) and added some more visual
design. Thus, here is an example for the welcome page - along with the
menus to be used on other pages:

My assumption is, that (having users in mind, and basic developer
information as well) two menu levels should be sufficient for the page.
Thus, we can avoid using the breadcrumb. The sub-menu is directly placed
below the main menu (if required on that page).

I think this could be a workable idea... but maybe we could use a
secondary color for the second menu (e.g. blue) otherwise it might get
a bit too green

Another nice side-effect is the search functionality (once being
available) is well integrated and also provides visual feedback if used
(usually, search leads to somehow "nowhere" on other pages).

But, of course, there are also many open points - e.g. the proper
integration of the language projects (usually offered in the upper
right), ... and how to provide such "Emotional Artwork" (in the most
simple case a static picture).

IMO, a screenshot of the start center would be the thing to have on
the homepage... visually, it provides the greatest screenshot
marketing potential, and it also hints at LibO's functionality. Maybe
that can encourage us to develop the start center's emotional appeal
in the future as I don't think the LibO visual identity has any overt
emotional connotations - it's very neutral and professional - maybe if
we had a mascot, it could feature there, but even then I'd suggest
having a picture of the mascot standing/sitting next to the start
center. I'm not in favor of using photos of any sort, but if someone
thinks that might work, Flickr has a handy creative commons search
option [1].

However, it would be great to know what you think ...

Your design is quite different to what David is proposing (with the
blog/twitter widgets featuring prominently on the homepage) - I'd
prefer a mix of the two - that is, have news items and social media
links on the homepage, but also have big buttons as in your design for
other activities such as contributing.

Additionally, I think the design can be simplified a little further,
so I've created a (somewhat weird and not-quite-there) hybrid [2].
I've included some alternative ideas but my main intention is to
demonstrate (what I think is) improved spacing and header + footer. In
terms of the visual design I think it is more consistent with the
application branding (e.g. splash screen) and more tidy (as well as
minimalist). The content there is just to demonstrate styling and
spacing... but I think we need to have a larger conversation about the
home page content.



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