On Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 11:25 PM, Christoph Noack
If the information architecture is any good, the simplicity of the
website at this stage should eliminate the need for breadcrumbs.
Klaus-Jürgen already described the complex menus that might have to be
added to the page - personally, I don't "accept" that our rather
lightweight page requires that much menus and navigation concept.
Especially since the menus don't help that much at the moment (jumping
between sections, ...).
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
That was the last thing I've did before I went to bed yesterday. At
least, it looks rather colorful ...
It sure does :). At least, it draws some attention to itself (improves
visibility) - if it's done properly, that is. I think my updated
proposal  will need a few iterations in that respect. The first
option is less colorful but not integrated very well; the second
option is way too colorful, but better integrated design-wise.
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
Oh, I did think about some LibO pictures ... but more what you can
achieve (e.g. show nice effects provided by the new functionality of the
release) and how great it looks in general. This is what I mean with
"emotional" - it is about getting people interested. From a branding
perspective, the StartCenter might be a good catch - but providing less
Are you thinking of something like the slideshow on the current
"LibreOffice"/Download page ? With some jQuery, a nice fade in/fade
out effect could be added to make it more appealing (e.g. ). Or
perhaps an embedded YouTube video showing 3.3's new features in action
(assuming such a video is made, of course :P)
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.
Hehe, what luck that I've included the "Fidelity Matrix" - the 50%
information design and 20% editorial content don't cover that. Of
course, social media stuff is fine :-)
I should get into the habit of including your fidelity matrix - I'll
make up a little template for myself next time.
Additionally, I think the design can be simplified a little further,
so I've created a (somewhat weird and not-quite-there) hybrid .
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.
Great! Now it gets interesting how to put together some ideas ;-) But,
I'm running out of time ... so just a few snippets.
I tried to design my proposal for medium sized screens. So the most
important information (including the support button) is visible once you
open the page. Therefore I had to accept some size constraints for logo
I think my proposal would be able to scale down to 800x600, but it
would also be a fluid design that would expand (to a certain extent)
on wider screens. I've freed up some vertical space in the second
iteration as well.
The main problems I ran into was the sub-menu level ... the current
solution of having it at the left side "breaks" the pages (and it is
visually too strong in my point-of-view). Thus, we require a more
balanced design (e.g. wider content area, helpful additional information
below the sub-menu, ...).
Yes, sub-menus would shift the visual balance of the page considerably
to the left. There's not much we can do short of requiring minimum
numbers of sub-pages and/or centering the menus - but then the search
box would de-center the top menu :(
So if you have any ideas here ... you have my full trust, of course!
A few ideas, yes, but I don't know if they're any good :)
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