IA for zope.org (was Re: [ZWeb] A forest of Zope communities)

Paul Everitt paul@zope.com
Fri, 01 Mar 2002 07:39:04 -0500

On a different, but related note...

When Seb's survey comes out, one of the biggest things it will point to 
is the need for, as Alan Runyan keeps saying, an information 
architecture (IA) for zope.org.  People simply can't find anything, and 
thus they use the search (which also is a sore point).

Over the last couple of weeks, I jotted down some questions that the 
structure of zope.org should answer.  Things like "Who uses Zope?", 
"What is Zope?", etc.

I've implemented some of this with a new home page for zope.org.  The 
home page introduces two ideas that, if we made decisions on them, would 
greatly (IMO) improve the organization of the site:

1) Sections.  We need to find some way to organize the enormous blob of 
content into separate piles.  It will matter less if the separate piles 
are disorganized.  At least people will intuitively find the right piles.

A section is simply a page that provides links and visibility on some 
stuff pertaining to that section.  The section might or might not be a 
placeful organizational concept (meaning, it might not be a folder with 
all items in the section under that folder).

However, a section *should* have section owners that do the gardening. 
This would be a key aspect to making the section idea work.

2) Site map.  IMO, a site map would really force us to put the 100 or so 
most important items into a coherent place.

Seb's survey also seems to emphasize that there are two classes of 
visitor: those that don't know anything about Zope (and thus didn't fill 
out the survey), and "developers that want zope.org to help them develop".

For these two classes of users, I have a series of bullets in a sidebar 
for the home page.  This can be seen at my mockup page:


I've spent some time working on a cleaner look than the existing 
new.zope.org, but more important are the answers it has to some of the 
IA questions.

If each of the links in the sidebar led to a very well written and 
maintained page which provided the next level of links, then we'd be in 
*much* better shape than existing zope.org.  Same for the site map.

If we also spent extra time with the three or four big ticket items 
(packages, how-tos, case studies, etc.) then we'd be in good shape.

To wrap up, I'm interested in feedback:

1) Does anyone agree that the next step is IA?

2) If so, does everyone agree that sections and a sitemap are two good 
first steps towards an IA?

3) If so, does anyone have a suggestion for the major sections?

Finally, I'd like to add that Lalo has converted those mockups to Plone:


If Alan or Alex are interested in participating in new.zope.org, I'm 
interested in using Plone.