[ZWeb] FYI: A little bit of progress

Paul Everitt paul@zope.com
Sun, 14 Apr 2002 12:46:32 -0400

Lennart Regebro wrote:
> Showing is more efficient than telling, so heres the effects of some of the
> changes I propose:
> http://www.zope.org/Members/regebro/ZopeOrg/index_html

Gotta admit, I like this approach a little more.  I was hinting at it 
with my "3.5 vs. 3 column" bullet in my previous note.

I think the right column should be a little wider.  More comments 
interspersed below.

> But I like telling more than like showing (which is another way of saying
> that I love to hear my own voice), so I'll explain it in words to:
> One thing that strikes me is that the frontpage has a load of things that it
> wants extra focus on:

I think you're right, and that you've summed up a theme running through 
the last thread of messages (KenM said it well).  It is a reflection of 
two tensions in the design:

a. Two very different audiences (completely new to Zope vs. a Zope regular).

b. Accumulation of input from many zope-web voices during the last two 

I fully expect us do go through a brutal refactoring stage, removing as 
much as possible.

> "What is Zope"
> "Spotlight on..."
> "Info for..."
> "News"
> and maybe some sort of Sponsorship thingy.

You're obviously not that keen on the sponsorship thingy. :^)  While I 
agree that it doesn't serve the goals of the site visitors, without 
sponsorship, there would be no site to visit.  So, it has to be prominent.

See my previous note for suggestions in this regard.

> All these are fine and worthy things to focus on. And they are also quite
> enough content to have on the front page of web.


> My suggestion is that we use the right column for news, as of common web

I think you've found a good description of the right column: things that 
are time-specific.  Correspondingly, things that should change 
frequently.  The corollary, of course, is that material in the middle 
content area should change rarely.


FWIW, "Announcements" should be more prominent than News.  That's the 
point and the distinction between the two.  Thus, it should go atop news.

> practice, and let the middle column be take up by:
> Spotlight on
> What is Zope
> Info for...
> and any Sponsorship
> And thats it, really.

Looks good to me.  We might be stuck with an imbalance, though.  The 
right column might go down much further if we add in, for instance, the 
five most recent products.

> If we want to split news and announcements in to two categories, as today,
> then the announcements seem to be at home beneath the news. I don't
> understand what "Applications" does.

Replace Applications with Products.  It's meant to mimic the 
Applications area on the www.kde.org site.

I'd like to keep something like it, as I think it is a useful box of 
links for the regular visitor.  Perhaps more useful than news.

How's this for a suggestion: change it from Products to simply 
Resources.  Thus, new documentation, articles, case studies, whatever 
can flow through.

Another suggestion: if we actually *do* produce a ratings system, move 
it from a "latest resources" focus to "top resources".

I have a dual goal here:

a. Bring important information to the attention of the regular visitor.

b. Give a little net.fame to contributors (whether software, docs, 
marketing, whatever).

The idea of "Top Whatever" could then extend into each section page, 
giving net.fame at each stage.  For instance, much later on (when we 
have the time to do so), I'd love to highlight the top CVS contributors 
each week.

Anybody have a script that can probe CVS for this info?

> This would have a couple of benefits:
> News and announcements have the same format. By either merging them or
> having them beneath each other in the third column, clutter is reduced.

Agreed.  An announcement is simply a more prominent, sticky form of news.

> The "Info for..." part is very cluttered. Moving it to the middle column
> would reduce that. Also, it was an important part of the IA I and Paul made
> up, and is intended to make it easier to find the correct info. It needs to
> take some place for this, I think.

Agreed completely.  By moving it to the middle you give more opportunity 
for presenting it.

BTW, you gotta bail on the Newbies term.  It's a bit condescending.

I think I'd like an alternative presentation:

Info For
o _New Users_   New to Zope, but familiar with website development.
   _Intro_, _About Python_, _Web Programming_

o _Developers_  Experienced in Python, Zope, or other programming.
   _ Products_, _Using CVS_, _Bug Days_


> We get rid of the 0.5 column, thus reducing clutter even more.

Completely agree.  It's a lot more balanced, there's logic to the 
columns, it looks like other sites, etc.

On a couple of mundane points...we gotta move the printer icon somewhere 
else.  It's simply lost in space up there. :^)  Getting a printable 
version of a page is an infrequently-clicked operation, so it shouldn't 
be so prominent.

Second, I'd _really_ like the underlines at the top of each column (for 
the first heading in the column) to line up with each other.  For the 
left column, I suggested the sponsorship graphic.

Third, the dotted vertical line in the left margin of the content area 
was introduced by Andrew Sawyers on Friday.  It isn't in the mockups 
Olivier and Nicolas produced.  We should get some agreement before 
keeping them.

Finally, it is getting hard to keep track of all the suggestions and 
action items for the pages.  I suggest that we start trying to collect 
the ideas in something besides email.  For instance, the collector.

We could make it easier to comment on things by embedding a little form 
in the mockups at the bottom:

   Feedback on this page: [design/IA/functional] [submit]
   |   text area                                        |
   |                                                    |

Thus you eliminate the hop to the collector.  We can send along the 
login name and URL/page being commented upon.

If there's agreement, I'll do it today.