[Grok-dev] Re: Grok site: changing "Learn" to "Documentation" in the main navigation

Tres Seaver tseaver at palladion.com
Fri Jan 4 12:49:31 EST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Sebastian Ware wrote:
> 3 jan 2008 kl. 15.32 skrev Lennart Regebro:
>> On Jan 3, 2008 3:21 PM, Wichert Akkerman <wichert at wiggy.net> wrote:
>>> Do we want to emulate everyone else or try to find the best approach?
>> When it's a matter of taste, we emulate.
> Is this a joke?!? Why on earth don't we just copy an existing website?
> This is one of the worst design experiences I have ever had. We spent  
> weeks about half a year ago discussing the design of the website on  
> this very mailing list only to find that it is all gradually being  
> changed during implementation. I haven't seen a single improvement,  
> just a slow and painful degradation... :(

Design by committee is always somewhat painful.  Please note that some
of the choices you point out are not "design":

  - Using nouns for the "URL structure" of the site is "information
    architecture", not design.  I'm pretty sure that lots of folks will
    find it "normal".  Note that the site still uses "steering" verbs on
    the home page.

  - Even though it is spelled via CSS, setting font sizes relative to
    the user's own preferred size is an accessibility / usability

> If this is due to lack of leadership or lack of respect for other  
> peoples work, I don't know, but personally I am not very happy about it!

Given that folks have different sensibilities, and that there is no
single "customer" whose preferences dictate such choices, I would have
been astonished that any design would survive untouched, especially one
which occurred *before* implementation of the underlying site.

I *can* suggest a form of argument which might be more useful:  create a
second skin for the site, and "restore" the elements of the original
design which you believe to have degraded.  People can then compare the
two by hacking the URL bar to select skins, or even choose the one they
like as their preference.

> Having said that. This is a community effort and I'll just keep my  
> thoughts to myself from now on if this makes the process move forward.  
> This website has been delayed too long allready.

- --
Tres Seaver          +1 540-429-0999          tseaver at palladion.com
Palladion Software   "Excellence by Design"    http://palladion.com
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