Drupal.org Redesign Prototype: Iteration 10

robertmills's picture

Hi,

This week sees the release of iteration 10 in the Drupal redesign prototype.

http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10

We're currently working with the Drupal Association to further define an advertising strategy for the redesigned d.o. Therefore, we've included a few more ads, but it probably isn't indicative of the final strategy.

In light of the Mambo cross-overs with the logotype, we're reverting to a simple wordmark. Removing the 'shape' from the logo means that the risk of confusion when combining the wordmark and mascot is greatly reduced. One logo 'shape' for Drupal is enough: The Druplicon.

As well as lots of little changes throughout the prototype, there have been some notable design additions and amendments that we would like to point you in the direction of:

  1. Homepage

  2. Community and Support page

  3. Documentation landing page

  4. Get Involved section

  5. Druplicon page

  6. Module Development page

  7. Download and Extend landing page

  8. Dashboard

  9. Drupal Core

  10. About page (formerly Choosing Drupal)

  11. Documentation Article page

This continues to build upon Leisa's IA strategy and user research and testing and as always, we welcome, and look forward to receiving your feedback.

Thanks.

Rob.

(On behalf of Mark Boulton Design).

Comments

Marketing speak vs straight forward descriptions

Daniel S. Jackson's picture

I like the design, but I think the wording could be a lot better if you cut out marketing speek like:
"Build for Today. Create for Tomorrow." and "Drupal is like Lego. An array of pieces becomes a whole. You choose how to connect them to make your site. As your site evolves you simply move the pieces, take some away, or add new ones."

These are fine enough, but it would be a lot more readable if most of the fluff was cut and the actual content remained.

We also need a clear description of what exactly Drupal is, somewhere high on the page. You have to actually read quite a lot of text on that page to deduce that Drupal is a content managment system. This should be in the very first sentence that people read when visiting, so newcomers will know what to expect and what Drupal is without having to wade through several sentences of fluff about extensability, lego and "what you can create for tomorrow".

Would also love to see menu trails highlighted for the top menu, so that it's easy to see when you're in Documentation that you're on the Documentation menu item.

I like the overall look though. How about integrating the drupal drop with the logo, somehow?

I like "Build for Today.

SeanBannister's picture

I like "Build for Today. Create for Tomorrow." as a slogan, it's better than "Community Plumbing" which translates to "Sewage System".
But I do agree the bit about lego sounds terrible, it gets the point across but the wording doesn't sit well, and it doesn't read off well.

More on writing for the web

Daniel S. Jackson's picture

You've probably read these already, but they make a good re-read and a much better case than I was able to:

Jakob Nielsens "How users read on the web": http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html
as well as most of his articles on how to write for the web: http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/

I second this. The useit.com

minesota's picture

I second this.
The useit.com site says about one "Combined" approach that increases usability by 124%
using all three improvements in writing style together: concise, scannable, and objective

The current drupal org site has EXACTLY the above in the form of its topmost central block with links to "features" "demo" etc and a very well laid out concise prominent easy right block displaying downloads.

The new design sadly lacks in the above, and it appears no one is really concerned ?

Module page

Michelle's picture

Not sure if this is worth reporting since I realize it's a demo but I found it jarring. If you go to http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/modules_detail.html the module left does not match the module in the sidebar.

Michelle


See my Drupal articles and tutorials or come check out the Coulee Region

I am really liking where

timmillwood's picture

I am really liking where these designs are going, it looks very fresh and modern. I have a few concerns.

1: Search - I think the search box and button at the top of every page it too large.
2: Header image - Is there any need for this to be an image? Could it be a solid colour? The header seems to be the last thing to load.
3: Logo - I know we are going away from Drupalicon as the logo, but I think there needs to be something more than just Drupal in a fancy typeface.

yeah, i think the search

jeannea's picture

yeah, i think the search form at the top of the page is kinda large, and the droplet icon; are we gonna remove it?
nevertheless, the design is nice. clean and refreshing.

good to see that Druplicon is put where it should be

Gábor Hojtsy's picture

Good to see that Druplicon is put more on places where it should be, and we get a wordmark instead of shapes which are not compatible with Druplicon (and resemble mambo).

Some of the areas that need

Shyamala's picture

Looks cool!

Some of the areas that need work:
1. The banner area in the homepage still very large.
2. The Search button and the text area seems too large.
3. The Icons on the About page are very large too.
4. Should there be some provision for ad on the banner area or atleast in the first fold?
5. Community and Support - use of a light Grey patch for 'How we can help' looks good, should it have curved edges? Using a similar effect on the About page and Document page may help to communicate the various ideas.
6. Shouldn't Hi, Mark Boulton sound better than Logged in as Mark Boulton?

Netlink Technologies Ltd
http://shyamala-drupal.blogspot.com/

In doc section. Good to see

ineation's picture

In doc section. Good to see guides are coming to help people...

But : Documentation guide titles are not homogeneous.
Ex : Theming guide VS Drupal Administrator guide

It should be either
* Theming guide and Administration guide (task based)
Or * Designer guide and Administrator guide (role based)

Alex
www.ineation.com

+1 to new doc landing

LeeHunter's picture

+1 to new doc landing page.

It's dramatically improved from the previous iteration (and from the status quo). I am actually thrilled to see the docs finally broken out with meaningful (!!!) headings (as opposed to "mystery meat" headings like Beyond the Basics and Getting Started) and it's great that these major pieces have been given prominence with larger fonts and higher positioning.

I don't care whether we go with a role or task naming convention for titles, but I agree with Alex that they need a little tweaking for consistency They don't all have to be the same though. We can have an Installation Guide and an Administrator Guide since installation is just a limited set of tasks.

We can also drop the "Drupal" in "Drupal Administrator/Administration Guide".

There's probably an argument to be made for consolidating hosting information in the Administation/Administrator Guide (even though I've been pushing for a separate document I'm now wavering on that point) but these are minor details.

The old approach left me to flounder because I didn't know what to look at (everything was treated as equally important and the docs that I would expect to find were hidden under opaque headings). Looking at this new design gives me confidence that I could navigate to the information I need.

I really think we're on the right track here.

Doc landing vs i18n

fgm@drupal.org's picture

The doc landing page is indeed improved, but it still misses pointers to the international versions. The same problem is actually pervasive in the whole site, although most developed countries now have national sites, and growing national content that would be a better fit for the main site.

agree

leisareichelt's picture

I agree. Dealing with the national sites and national content and even in many cases, multiple languages, is not something we've resolved to date.

The current plan is to include links at an 'article' level to translations of an article, as you would see on the LHS nav of Wikipedia (Languages).

This is only a very partial solution to the much greater issue of international content, I'm afraid.

It's on a list tho', not forgotten, if that is any reassurance...

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

there's only one thing i'm

rogerpfaff's picture

there's only one thing i'm missing after i did a quick click through. the api search field. i don't know if it was intended to show it somewhere but in fact it's one of the most useful things and it should have a place somewhere.


Remember: I compute you!

Second this. The search

kyle_mathews's picture

Second this. The search field is the only thing I use at api.drupal.org. When I'm developing, I keep a tab open with the api and am constantly looking up different functions. We don't want to lose that.
Kyle Mathews

Kyle Mathews

Great layout, font problem

fgm@drupal.org's picture

These prototypes are currently done in Helvetica which, AIUI, renders rather nicely on Apple products, but not so good on many Unix/Linux systems, and is downright ugly on most (all ?) Windows configurations. Not sure whether it's already time to care for this, or if you are just working on the information design, in which case it doesn't matter for now.

Helvetica will be in the font-stack

Mark Boulton's picture

Helvetica will be in the font-stack for headings. But, probably Helvetica Neue (which will be fine for Macs), and then we'll default to Arial for other platforms. Incidently, the prototypes use Lucida Grande for the body copy, but will also default to Arial for other platforms. We'll try and get the best possible combinations so the user experience can degrade somewhat gracefully.

font-stack

gidgetk's picture

Here's the problem with this, at least for me. I am on a pc with Helvetica Neue and Lucida Grande installed. Have you actually seen what this looks like? This seems to be an extremely Mac centric POV.

Woah woah woah

Senpai's picture

It's a little early to be trying to decide what platform will see which fonts first while the fundamental structure of the site is still in flux and there's no rock solid method for finding the best modules and rating the best content and searching the API and...

I'm just sayin.
______________________________
Senpai


Joel Farris | my 'certified to rock' score
Transparatech
http://transparatech.com
619.717.2805

More commercial interest comments

batsonjay's picture

I wish there were "commercial interest" people posting specific feedback here. (Drupal shops - where are you???)

But having had phone conversations with some other "commercial interests," I know that they have similar comments; they just have businesses to run in a crashing economy, and can't find the time to post. So I'm trying to represent many commercial interests - not only Acquia's. (Note: I've also spoken to some commercial suppliers who feel pretty differently; they're big-time jaded - feeling that the Drupal community doesn't appreciate the BIG investments in Drupal code that they make, and give back, but don't get appreciated for. This is a significant potential problem for the community that the "volunteer" interests aren't aware of - yet - but should be.)

That said, here's my comments on the current iteration:

  • First, thanks for the addition of commercial places in some of the places I previously mentioned (and others).
  • However, as I said in my previous comment, a "commercial" paragraph on the getstarted.html page (right column) is appropriate.
  • It's arguable whether only "hosting" should show up on documentation.html, and not any other kind of commercial (human or network) service. There are various kinds of people that would be helpful in getting a site started - from designers, to programmers, to people offering paid support (us). Hosting isn't so unique it should be called out on its own. On the other hand, until you can get your site online, the other services may be moot. So this is arguable.....
  • marketplace.html seems to be under-thought. Maybe it's because it hasn't been considered yet. (Mark's intro comments above might suggest this.) Faceted searching would work much better here (permits > 1 "tag" to be selected at once.) Check out the Product pages at Cnet.com, e.g. look at digital cameras. The Marketplace page could start with a block showing searchable facets, and let people click to refine results. Alternately, at least a tag cloud should show up in the sidebar. Speaking of sidebars, I wonder - would sidebar ads work here (despite main-column ads)?
  • Speaking of sidebar ads, it seems like there's an opportunity for sidebar ads on the search results page - either (or both of) ads from the other advertisers on the site, or from some ad network (google, ...).

-jb

Jaded + module promotion thoughts

Boris Mann's picture

they're big-time jaded - feeling that the Drupal community doesn't appreciate the BIG investments in Drupal code that they make, and give back, but don't get appreciated for

  • Are each of the modules they contribute listed as being sponsored / contributed by "company name"?
  • Is it code that actually has other users and contributors, or do they just contribute it?
  • what do you think they want in terms of "appreciation"?

I find mostly it's a failure on behalf of the company in marketing. Either Drupal is useful to them and they just get on with their main business, or they spend time marketing TO the community, if they want to be directly recognized. Beyond that, it's standard open source community management -- if they want more people working on their bits of code / the bits of Drupal they care about, they're going to have spend time participating ... and that's an ROI decision.

In any case, something to consider would be making it easy to tag or highlight modules as being sponsored by / whatever by "some company name", beyond just encouraging people to use the description. Tags would work here, but a project field that could be filtered by would be ideal.

they're big-time jaded -

WorldFallz's picture

they're big-time jaded - feeling that the Drupal community doesn't appreciate the BIG investments in Drupal code that they make, and give back.

Although I have to admit I'd never even given it a thought-- I can certainly appreciate why they would feel this way.

Couple of ideas off the top of my head:

  • what about an imagefield option on project pages for corporate logos for modules sponsored by commercial enterprises?
  • what about a commercial sponsor spotlight block either on the home page or module landing page?

Commercial contributors are very important to the drupal community and we should definitely encourage them contribute their efforts back.

It's unfortunate people have

laura s's picture

It's unfortunate people have gotten sidetracked from an off-hand remark not central to your comment, Jay. (I agree with some points in the replies, but it's OT to this thread, imho.)</strike

I agree, the "marketplace" paradigm still needs fleshing out. What interests me is incorporating the legacy services content, while taking the opportunity in redesign to afford new ways to enable people seeking services to drill down and find the kinds of providers relevant to their needs.


Laura
pingVision, LLC (we're hiring)

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

More a "general sense"

batsonjay's picture

Boris --

It's more a general sense that commercial interests are "tolerated", and treated as peripheral players as compared to volunteers who hang out on g.d.o / ... all the time. Maybe it's a chip they have on their shoulder; but often such things have a kernel of truth - despite having been inflated by chip-wearer....

I'm not sure it's necessary, but your suggestion about having a natural place for a company name to show up in a tag / field in module descriptions would be a good thing. This is done "informally" now in the text of many modules; making it a structural item (that becomes a field / facet) would encourage more such visibility, and probably provide both the overt gesture of appreciation to commercial sponsors as well as provide interesting information over time to the Association / community.

Commercial Interests

Alex UA's picture

I'm not sure I agree that commercial interests are simply "tolerated", or that they're peripheral players here on g.d.o. (I would guess that a majority of the people on g.d.o, esp. the active participants, make their living selling Drupal related services). However, I'm pretty sure that you're referring to the large corporate commercial entitities, who often don't get the credit they deserve (i.e. Sony, Adobe, Reuters, etc) and I do think that we need to do more to help promote those commercial interests that contribute back to the community.

Currently, the only way that we can credit someone who pays us to build something is if that something is a new module, since we can control the module page. But what about all of the other ways companies pay Drupal shops to contribute, like making significant patches or updating documentation? It seems like each time we go through our contract negotiations we have to explain why we have a mandatory clause that allows us to contribute back any Drupal related code we create, and usually the biggest complaints have to do with the client getting credit for the work they're paying for. When we know that we have to build a new module, or extend one of the modules we maintain, then this isn't really a big deal, since we can credit them on the module page. But, as with any good Drupal shop, we do not, as a matter of principle, build modules that duplicate the functionality of other modules (accept in rare cases where the module in question is severely under maintained and is not a module we'd be interested in maintaining). Instead, we commit patches against those modules, sometimes drastically changing (and we hope improving) the modules functionality/code. In these cases it is nearly impossible to ensure our clients get recognition, outside of posting about it on the Drupal Planet (see http://zivtech.com/blog/drag-and-drop-content-ordering for an example), which makes it that much harder to get the client to agree to allow us to commit back our work (and in the end this is a mandatory clause in our contract, so it can hold up a project for a good amount of time).

I also believe that highlighting the commercial interests behind Drupal is not just a good way to get clients to agree to contribute back code, it's also a good way to get clients, period. In my sales spiel for why a client should use Drupal, I constantly emphasize the fact that so many large commercial institutions not only have adopted Drupal, but actively contribute back to the community. This has multiple benefits to potential clients: the client is benefiting from the R&D investments of these large corporations, they can be sure that the modules that are maintained and used by these large organizations will be supported in the long run, and it lends a good measure of legitimacy to the entire project (obviously Acquia adds a lot to this, since it turns these implicit guarantees into explicit ones for certain modules, as well as to core). For example, I talk a lot with potential clients about Sony's contributions to Drupal, and it would be great to have spaces on d.o. where I could point to that highlight this.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I don't think that commercial interests are completely underrepresented here, I do think we'd all be a lot better off if we figured out some way to highlight those who pay for some of the contributions. IMO, it's mind blowingly awesome that Open Source has infiltrated and entrenched itself in the enterprise, and we should be doing everything in our power to highlight this, even if it seems like (or is) cheesy advertising at times.

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

A company field may work,

laura s's picture

A company field may work, but it should allow multiple values. A very many modules, e.g., are sponsored by multiple entities. There should also be a text field for remarks about the sponsorship. Sometimes sponsorship is just for initial development, but maintenance is by someone else.


Laura
pingVision, LLC (we're hiring)

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Primary links

zsanmartin's picture

There's something I can't get along in this design.

User information < dashboard / logged in as XXX / logout > which is not that important is the most visible element in the header, whereas primary links - which are very important since they're the primary navigation element, are hidden in dark blue in the top.

It doesn't make sense at all for me. Any comments on that?

The Drupal IRC channels are

SeanBannister's picture

The Drupal IRC channels are a great way to get community support however I find a lot of people have no idea what IRC is. Could we lower the level of entry by including a web based IRC client?

Mibbit.com is SO cool, not

dwees's picture

Mibbit.com is SO cool, not to mention the fact it kicks my school's proxy server butt. I love being able to ask questions on #drupal-support while coding my school's website during work hours. Only a school blocks IRC ports while they have active web developers on staff.

Dave

Definitely like the way this

WorldFallz's picture

Definitely like the way this progressing. Just a couple of comments after a quick once over:

  • still feels like the home page header takes up too much real estate. The size on the module landing page feels much better proportioned to me.
  • the issues queue on the module landing page needs to be much further up-- i would probably put it right under the documentation block.
  • i think videos need to be given first class status on the module and core landing pages. People who are unwilling to read documentation may be more likely to watch a video-- it should be blatantly obvious when there are videos that go along with the content on the page.

Kind of agree....

batsonjay's picture
  • I'm actually neutral on home page header not being space efficient. This is a "marketing" landing page, and it needs to convey information in a not-too-dense form, or people will skip it. Absolute space-efficiency may be more of a problem here (vs. lots of whitespace).
  • I think the problem with the information arrangement on the Module pages is that this page type may need 3 columns. 2 columns pushes important information below the fold. Also, would making portions of this page this (Jquery-style) expandable help (if we need to stay to 2 columns)?
  • +1 on videos being given first-class status; but I wouldn't embed the video - I'd just make the link to them more prominent

-jb

Wow - this is looking really great

calebgilbert's picture

Nothing else to say than that - just looks really, really good. Can't wait to see it be the actual thing...

Homepager header wastes a

minesota's picture
  • Homepager header wastes a lot of 'above the fold' space. More important is (is it only me?) with this 'big header' and 'typical footer' it looks mundane and like so many cheaply available or free web2 templates. The unique theme that Druapl has now is lost completely. The wordmark has no character of its own.

  • Homepage has lots of stuff not so necessary for example "310,721 people in 24 countries speaking 14 different languages" what exactly does that have to do with Drupal or numbers of CVS a/c holders and committs? The front page misses the main news on 'above the fold' and will always look boring if stuffs like 'drupal is like lego' etc are the lines I always see

  • Very complicated first page - for example if I want to go straight to Translations (translations download) how do I go? PLEASE compare this to the current download block which has all relevant places linked nicely and prominently How do I at a glance see the current version number of Drupal like "latest release 6.6"? Can someone please explain? Infact I was not even finding the direct "themes" and "modules" download list links as they are tucked away so insignificantly ?
    MUST WE KILL the current download block ?

  • Also the left hand block on the current drupal org that rotates stuff like 'planet drupal' 'drupal video' 'drupal conferenecs' adds spice and yet functional displays. The current first page has also version numberd drupal core download links twice which is so important.
    How do I directly and easily see a link to "FEATURES" OR "DEMO" ?
    IMHO we should not be so blatantly and crudely killing the current 'above the fold' layout - it is superb, has very little or no clutter, all relevant links, relevant and current news, important sideblocks and nice large fonts making easier reads

  • Having been used to the nice, large font for so many years it is difficult to downgrade to small, narrower font. Moreover pages like http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/dashboard.html are clutter of too many font sizes and colors. Very unsmooth.

  • Lots of empty unused space on the right in http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/documentation.html

  • http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/dashboard.html is a jungle of tabs, blocks and fancy stuffs like "Recent follows". Instead it would be much simpler if we could "star" or"flag" any issue or post and ajax sort ( or delete ) and the list was available on dashboard with subscribe/unsubscribe side links.
    The dashboard really needs to be simple and rapidly functional

  • glimpses of things getting improved at the back end ? For example : search ? Has it improved? Does tyoing cck gives the first result as the module page ? Does issue or forum post submission first makes a forced preview of links related posts and solutions before the final submission is done ?
    How can only cosmesis help? Isn't cosmesis the last thing to do ?

  • And that too, such cosmesis ! Why we need to break away completely from current layout instead of enhancing and adding to it, since it is already so unique and with hell lot of better functionality also ?

show lists/recipes by module

kyle_mathews's picture

It might be useful to add to module pages a block showing the recipes/case studies/drupalists that include that module. This would promote more serendipitous learning ("I had no idea you could use this module for. . .").

Kyle Mathews

Kyle Mathews

The marketing area is still

laura s's picture

The marketing area is still too narrow, imho.

  1. The tabbed approach is a bit non-obvious, at least how it's designed now.
  2. Taxonomy could be leveraged for listings, to help categorize and classify service providers. In this sense, the tabbed approach offers not enough delineation between kinds of services. Nothing for design, theming, training.
    • IA/UX
    • TA/consulting
    • Design
    • General development
    • Imports/migrations
    • Third-party integrations
    • Theming
    • Deployment
    • Performance tuning
    • Other.... (Flash, SDK, video, etc.
    • Training
    • Hosting ?*
    • Support

    Etc.

  3. There is no distinction between sizes of consultancies. This is a major problem, imho. How does someone find just the small shops for dedicated work vs. large shops who can handle turnkey on a 3000-hour project? Omitting this distinction would almost force services seekers to other resources like the Acquia Partners page, which does offer some differentiation.
  4. Many shops end up emphasizing particular marketplaces. This could be another distinctive vocabulary, eg. Newspapers/magazines, education, non-profits, political, B2B, e-commerce, multimedia, etc.
  5. The display ads on the "sponsored" landing page are way huge, and far too few. Display ads could be tiled.
  6. In the same vein, the sponsored listings probably should not be thrown into their own area, but rather placed appropriately in their respective categories.
    • Display ads, tiled at the top
    • Premium listings placed above the alpha, above the line
    • Enhanced listings in boldface in context within the listings
  7. * I question the hosting listings here. Drupal does not require special hosting, just your basic (up-to-date) LAMP stack. And that will change with Drupal 7's ability to work with other databases. I would suggest having only hosted Drupal listed here. By this I mean hosted Drupal like Bryght/Raincity's offering. Sign up and go. In this I disagree with Jay a bit: Hosting itself should be its own area. The existing hosting advertisers and forums have been a different kettle of fish from the rest of services providers. They are not Drupal-specific, just Drupal-friendly or simply Drupal-hungry. General hosting should be its own area, a place where advertised listings etc. can happen.

Laura
pingVision, LLC (we're hiring)

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Again - faceted search helps

batsonjay's picture

Reiterating my previous comment - faceted search is one potentially good solution here. Again, if people are not familiar with it, go check out how cNet helps you find a laptop or some other tech product. You start clicking the elements in the "Find a (product)" block, and it performs a search, narrowing down results to the items (facets) you've selected.

Alternately, look at how kayak.com helps you find an airfare by choosing to include / exclude various components such as # stops, airlines, departure times, etc. Though technically not a "full text faceted search," it provides similar functionality.

A single company may provide a variety of services, and may wish to show up in several places. Raincity/Bryght is a good example; they're both a design/programming company serving mid-market customers ($50k-150k projects) as well as providing hosted Drupal (to use Laura's term). Providing Raincity/Bryght a method to tag themselves with multiple elements allows them to show up in multiple faceted search results.

(It could be that this could / should be based on CCK/views/taxonomy. But the point should be that (a) vendors have a method to identify themselves with multiple categories, and (b) visitors can select one or more category elementsw to refine results listing.)

-jb

Liking this idea

Mark Boulton's picture

I like this idea, Jay. I think it certainly solves the problem of the Drupal commercial ecosystem being so varied. To provide any kind of 'typical' navigation to this would be extremely difficult.

Absolutely-- +++++1 to

WorldFallz's picture

Absolutely-- +++++1 to faceted search. cnet is one of the better implementations i've come across-- this would greatly increase the new user experience imo.

Header area too large?

laura s's picture

I would say yes. 140+ pixels high, plus padding below it, is way way larger than needed for internal pages -- and especially for the Dashboard, authenticated user pages. That is a lot of wasted space where our challenge is providing (often quite a bit) relevant information.

I think it's fine for the main homepage though.


Laura
pingVision, LLC (we're hiring)

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

The header is doing a lot

Mark Boulton's picture

Just thought I'd chime in to provide some rationale as to why the header is that size. The header is doing a lot of things:

  • Providing top-tier navigation
  • Providing 'dual view' navigation and route into user details
  • Providing a large search box (which has been designed to support, and make easier, a behaviour we've seen a LOT in existing d.o users)
  • Provide enough space for the new branding

In order to make all of that functionality easy to scan, and be understood, before a user can make a choice, we need active whitespace surrounding those elements. I'd challenge the notion that the whitespace in the header is wasted - in my view it's doing an important job. But, I would say that. ;)

Perception of wastage will

minesota's picture

Perception of wastage will always be relative. But please compare things to the current drupal org header area - without being a clutter that the iteration is the current drupal org has prominent tabs, prominent links like Feature, Demo and very functionally and aesthetically laid Download block, plus the spicy rotating left hand block.

If something must be new ( and if this frenzy is to be justified ) it should be better both aesthetically and more importantly functionally.

Search is confusing on home page

laura s's picture

I still don't get the checkboxes and popular searches below, outside of the search workflow. I don't think most people would even see those.

I would recommend an "advanced search" button that provides a pop-up window to narrow the search, with a link to more advanced search options. The no-js degrade would simply link to the advanced search page.

Popular searches could be a dynamic cloud, a la Lijit, rather than a list.


Laura
pingVision, LLC

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Me, I DO like the faceted

dman's picture

Me, I DO like the faceted advanced search filters on the front page, and as a forum support person, wished that it had "Search Documentation" checked by default - a little like php.net does.
Not as draconian as its "search by correctly spelled function name", but something that weights edited handbook pages much more significantly than random duplicated forum posts. ... but that issue is probably more about better search tuning that I've been meaning to propose elsewhere.
Javascripting the advanced search options to appear when the search box is focused may work.

I do agree however that "popular searches" have never added value to me, they are just distracting.

My concern is not the fact

laura s's picture

My concern is not the fact of having targeted search options, it's how they are laid out, which strikes me as a challenge to usability.


Laura
pingVision, LLC

Laura Scott
PINGV | Strategy • Design • Drupal Development

Search issues

marcvangend's picture

I would like to re-post the comment I made before, because I think it's important for the search functionality on the home page:

I'm curious about the choice for those three checkboxes under 'refine search' on the home page. I'm missing one very valuable source of information there: the project issues. I think the third checkbox should be "forum posts and issues" or something like that. I think forum posts and issues can share a single checkbox, because usually when I'm looking for a solution for your problem, you can't tell beforehand if it will be in a forum topic or in a project issue.

When I was a Drupal newbie, it took me a while to realize that support is not only available in the forums, but also in the projects' support issues. If we encourage users to search the forum topics only, I think we'll see an increase of forum topics asking questions that have been answered before in an issue.

This is completely true,

ineation's picture

This is completely true, project issues and forum are both places to obtain support.
In fact, it reminds me that this is a true root cause of usability problems for beginners.

The problem lies deeper than just changing the checkboxes. Maybe we should rethink how support can be obtained : we should have a central place not two....

agree, but...

marcvangend's picture

I agree, but at the same time, the current situation does have its advantages. The fact that module-specific questions are asked in the issue queue instead of the forum, means that module developers can keep track of support requests much easier. So, users are more likely to get support from the developers themselves.

Maybe there is a better solution, but meanwhile, we really should change this checkbox.

Start page still information overload

eigentor's picture

I like the progress things make, and the effort you put into information architecture. This will benefit us especially in the long run.
My problems are still the same and at a more fundamental level.

Especially the Homepage IMHO is still suffering from heavy information overload, which is really worrying me. (easy to be seen by me repeatedly writing about it). I wonder if this is gonna change...

I had a look through Markboulton Work and what I like best, is http://markboultondesign.com/
Here you found a very good solution IMHO to have a catchy image and a short text on top and put the more detailed information completely below the fold. So one has a simple homepage above the fold and a lot of information below.

Also other pages apart from the Homepage (now I talk about the drupal site again ;) ) suffer from a lack of graphic or leading images IMHO. E.g. on Documentation, Association and even the about page there is lots and lots of text and very littly graphic islands to rest my eyes. A reason why the "Get started" page fot such a lot of positive remarks is because it is different: it has a big leading graphic that gives rest to the eye and balances the text. The small text size you chose (which is good imho) even increases the temptation to write lots of things into little space.

Are there plans to change this?

I know Drupal is intimidating in its mass of information, but shouldn't we rather counteract this a bit in the site layout? Espeacially you are now designing starting pages for each section. If the next pages to come after that are more loaded with text, this is a different thing, but those pages are all covers.

Even if it totally does not fit your design, here is a way I indended to revamp the Docs Starting page of the german Community (drupalcenter.de)
http://www.drupalcenter.de/node/5558#comment-51590

Sorry if all this sounds overly critical.

Life is a process

Life is a journey, not a destination

will modules be easier to find?

Matt V.'s picture

It's hard for me to tell from the prototype pages if the new design would make it easier to find the best modules to accomplish a given task.

I understand that the new design will incorporate a new categorization scheme for modules, but we're still at the mercy of module maintainers to classify the modules. From what I've seen with the current categorization scheme, there are inconsistencies in the way that maintainers choose to categorize modules. Often, modules that have very similar functionality won't be listed under the same category.

Until recently, the fastest and easiest way I found to search for modules was to load the "Browse by Name" page. That page used to list all the modules (narrowed down by Drupal version number, if you liked) and I could use my browser's page search features to search the page. Granted, it could sometimes take a while for that huge page to load, but it was still quicker than navigating the multiple paginated pages within categories or the multiple page links of a search result page.

It wasn't until I sat down to write this feedback that I realized the Browse by Name page had already changed on d.o. Is that in preparation for the new design? The tab is now paginated into multiple pages like the category pages. I realize that the single page listing is probably a resource hog, but I really hate to see it go.

Alex UA's picture

Your comment got me thinking: it shouldn't be terribly hard to have references from book pages to modules, and it seems like the best way to choose sets of modules is through the "recipes" and/or case studies that exist in various places in the handbook, so maybe creating this type of link and displaying it on the module page would be a good way to help? I bet it would be a lot easier for people to choose modules if there was an easy way to find more complex examples of what you're looking for, which usually includes the functionality from more than one module.

In fact, it kind of seems like the "Documentation" and "Links" sections on the module pages are almost identical. Maybe the documentation links could be automatically generated from the handbooks and the links could be manually added? (Maybe that's already what the plan is... I really don't know).

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

I'd love to see a module

WorldFallz's picture

I'd love to see a module name filter (similar to the issue # filter) so it becomes almost inconsequential to link to modules when doing case studies or any other posts for that matter.

Yes

aclight's picture

Until recently, the fastest and easiest way I found to search for modules was to load the "Browse by Name" page. That page used to list all the modules (narrowed down by Drupal version number, if you liked) and I could use my browser's page search features to search the page. Granted, it could sometimes take a while for that huge page to load, but it was still quicker than navigating the multiple paginated pages within categories or the multiple page links of a search result page.

The Drupal 6 version of the project module will use Views to create the listing of projects, and Views makes it easy to include an exposed filter for searching module content in conjunction with the other parameters (eg. Drupal core version, category). The results will probably be paged still, for performance reasons, but the results should be more on target because you'll be able to have the version and other fields included in the search. Maybe we'll also add an exposed filter to allow a user to select how many results should be returned per page, though that might not be possible with Views.

It wasn't until I sat down to write this feedback that I realized the Browse by Name page had already changed on d.o. Is that in preparation for the new design? The tab is now paginated into multiple pages like the category pages. I realize that the single page listing is probably a resource hog, but I really hate to see it go.

With as many modules as we currently have, the Browse by Name page regularly takes a very long time to be built and displayed. So long, in fact, that the server process was timing out. We've temporarily changed the Browse by Name list to be paged to prevent this from happening, until we can figure out what is causing the process to time out.

I'm really not enjoying the

SeanBannister's picture

I'm really not enjoying the paginated pages, and until the new Drupal site come out I'm going to find it really hard to find modules. The current drupal search just isn't up to scratch and the ability to use my browsers search to quickly flick threw keywords on a page was great.

that's got a simple solution

modulist's picture

Instead of using numbers for the different pages, have the site display the first 2 or 3 characters of the module's name. Should make it far easier to go through an alphabetical list.

Another solution is to have a plain vanilla white pages list of all the module names with titles as links -- in addition to the richer lists of modules you're now used to. This will allow you to list every module in one page without overloading the server.

@modulist

Plain listing already exists

dww's picture

I hate to contribute to the hijacking of this design review thread to talk about d.o support questions, but the "plain" listing you want is already here: Alphabetical list of Projects, by core version.

Anyway, further discussion of the newly introduced band-aid of paging on the Browse by name page belongs at #341334: Pagination on Modules page list, not here.

Can it be like 'module finder'?

JTxt's picture

fast ajax module searching, reviews...
http://drupalmodules.com/module-finder
I find myself using and recommending this often.

Move Login / User Bar to top of page?

Anonymous's picture

Nice Work so far =)
I would suggest however, that moving the user login to the top of the page and the main links lower down might make the navigation more tidy and improve usability.

The following websites use a small user bar across the very top for users log in and link to their profiles and dashboard etc..
www.spreadfirefox.com
www.designbyhumans.com
http://flickr.com/
http://deviantart.com/

I've made a quick mock up of what I mean since it's easier than trying to explain:

Only local images are allowed.

Um - I like this

batsonjay's picture

EOM

+10

zsanmartin's picture

I couldn't agree more.

This design is just getting better and better every iteration, but the position for user information and primary links is completely counter-intuitive!

José San Martin

Ok.... but OLD feel!

rport's picture

While this is Ok, it appears OLD & dated in appearance...

Too much white-space (blue) beside logo...

the You are logged in as.... Is good, this is a bit of a web standard now...

Russ

Please .........

minesota's picture
  • Please make the font larger and wider, more uniform over different areas

  • Please bring back the download block as in drupal.org now as
    ---- it mentions the version numbers clearly and one click download link
    ---- prominent links to themes, modules, translations not lost in clutter

  • Most of the first time users are here to DOWNLOAD the cms (not search) OR see
    the features OR a demo OR see a list of modules that can suit their needed web

  • Thus, link to features and demo is important and should be easily scannable
    not dug out from a jungle of info

  • She or he who had designed the drupal.org front page, specially above the fold part
    as it is currently seen now has been immensely wise, aesthetic, and functional - can
    we seek her/his feedback as the current iterations seem much weaker and even confusing at places?

  • Are we improving the re-design so that it is more than just skin and dialogues / layouts
    ---- search is intelligent,eg. just typing cck lands on the that module page
    ---- forum has logical presentation like yahoo answers
    ---- submission of any post or issue leads to list of links with possible solutions before final submission
    ---- let each user star any issue/post/page/anything and unstar (prfbly ajax) instead of the vast, useless dasboard
    ---- hover on forum which lets post preview and reply on hover (for example:http://www.planetblur.org/beta/index.php?shard=forum&channel=18)

  • If commercial stuffs must take an important place, we should remember to do justice to the
    .org extension (org was programmed for non-comm sites) and probably have a separate drupal.com and links to it from drupal org ( ??like wordpress)

  • Some minor points
    ---- the wordmark should have some 'character' of its own like the Yahoo or Google mark, something even better
    ---- the overall theme should be not seem like just another web2 theme round the corner
    ---- let users choose theme between current ??bluebeach and the newer one from their respective accounts
    ---- w.r.t some comments above like cnet search I find cnet has only 1 clear seach box on first page to start with while some sites like kayak etc are fare-search or search oriented and have faceted, drupal.org is not primarily a search site
    ---- why is search box so tall, the fonts I see on this page are not so tall, why should I want to see suddenly taller fonts in the search box
    ---- white space is good when it is proportionate, and well distributed, not just concentrated in one place
    ---- am I the only one so frustrated and upset with this new face(and not brain)lift
    ---- does the so called studies or some commenters here or designers represent true majority of current and would-be drupal users?

Ease up

dman's picture

... that's a bit harsh.
Design by committee is tragic enough as it is without extra negativity.

If you follow the story, you'll see that functional improvements are being considered and developed, but the visual design is a strand of its own. It's hard to look at aesthetics without also thinking of technical improvements, but the call for that wishlist has been out for months.

I agree that the download link should come back, and respect your personal opinions on font and whitespace, but don't think the oblique personal criticisms help make your point constructively.

.dan.

I will like to apologize if

minesota's picture

I will like to apologize if some parts are harsh.
I have been indeed following the story and it seems to me we are killing the current good design that
drupal.org has, which instead of breaking down, could be just enhanced and supplemented.

My opinion on whitespace can be personal, but opinion on font is fact, and suggestions of a drupal.org and drupal.com are ethical.

Please point out exactly which part appears as oblique personal criticism as I really meant things from heart and have tried to be objective and factual. I wil like to edit the post. And if there are anything constructive I think wisdom of the community will accept or imbibe it ignoring any emotional part in the post.

.com vs. .org

Boris Mann's picture

Wordpress is essentially financially supported / run by mainly one single company -- Automattic.com. Wordpress.com is a business, run by Automattic. Other than directly using the Wordpress open source software and supporting its development, there is no tie between the two.

In Drupal, we have a much richer ecosystem. There are many companies, from small to large, that all participate in the same open source community. So, their presence can and should be represented directly on the main community website, as first class participants.

Thanks

minesota's picture

So should be the presence of all who contributes to drupal even in the smallest way, even if they are not 'company'. That will make the list long and the website a directory :D. Jokes apart, thanks for the feedback on wordpress. The com and org diff came in the light of making the front page and other pages light and easy and directly useful like http://wordpress.org/ or http://plone.org/ so that we can have a multipart approach rather than messy cluttering of all-in-one. That will EVEN MORE help the small and big companies, as the first time users will rather prefer to come to a simple web where they are basically for a free download and too much of commercial display can put them off. The more-than-one-time visitor or large companies will know where to find the big and small companies and surely their importance or business will not be nulled in anyway.

Download totally lost

chx's picture

Spot the download on the new front page. Congratulations if you found it. There is a comment already saying "current drupal org has prominent tabs, prominent links like Feature, Demo and very functionally and aesthetically laid Download block, plus the spicy rotating left hand block.

If something must be new ( and if this frenzy is to be justified ) it should be better both aesthetically and more importantly functionally."

Agreed

Michelle's picture

I'm with chx on this. There's just so much being crammed into the front page that people looking to actually download the thing instead of just reading the hype have to work extra hard. I feel bad complaining when I haven't contributed any ideas but I'm really not liking the direction this is taking. It's pretty and has some nifty features like that map but I think basic functionality is getting lost.

Michelle


See my Drupal articles and tutorials or come check out the Coulee Region

A bit of rationale

Mark Boulton's picture

I'd like to provide a little bit of rationale as to why we're going down this route.

Based on the research, interviewing and user testing done to date, downloading Drupal, right from the homepage might not be the best thing to do. Here's why we think that:

  1. The homepage is designed specifically to Outsiders (please see Leisa's Experience Strategy for definition of this).
  2. Our strategy is to funnel people who are unfamiliar with Drupal through 'Getting Started'. Here they will get more information, and context, as to what Drupal is and why they should use it.
  3. Downloading Drupal right off the bat might actually be damaging Drupal. For people unfamiliar with the software, it can be a frustrating experience. By providing a download link on the homepage (without any funnelling, or further context), we're setting people up for a fall.
  4. Whilst Drupal is easy to install (and I know great progress has been made here), it is not the easiest software to use and configure beyond that if compared with similarly perceived products in the market.

Please remember the homepage is designed specifically for users who know little or nothing about Drupal - it's certainly not designed for the likes of you and I. We need to help them, and to hold their hands. We need to manage the experience, and make sure its not a bad experience by not providing enough contextual information.

Thanks for all your comments so far. Really, without them, we couldn't have got so far in such a short space of time.

More highlight for getting started?

zsanmartin's picture

Newcomes not only will not be able to use search (what should I search? I just want to start using it!) but may be a little confused by overwhelming search results. I guess that there might be thousands of searches with keywors "download".

What if we put a very bright blinking Getting Started in the header, instead of or above Search box?

José San Martin

What about me as an Insider?

tstoeckler's picture

Reading your comment, I can see where the motive for the design on the homepage is coming from, but I would like to disagree on one thing:

The homepage is designed specifically to Outsiders

There are two ways of interpreting that statement:

Either you don't expect/want "Insiders" to visit the the drupal.org homepage, but to visit the site, they need (e.g. drupal.org/Project/CCK or groups.drupal.org) directly. In that case, I must strongly disagree with you; what has the whole IA discussion been for if not to provide intuitive navigation for /everyone/. What I suspect you really mean, though, is:

The "Insiders" have a drupal.org user account and, upon loading the homepage, log in and then see the dashboard, from which they can navigate. If you look at the current state of the dashboard, though, the navigational elements are the same as on the homepage and there is no block showing the download categories and the current Drupal version etc.

So if you don't want to give up the style of homepage you've chosen (which you don't, evidently), why not add such a block "only" to the dashboard, for "Insiders" to benefit from?

As a repurposed usability /

WorldFallz's picture

As a repurposed usability / human factors professional I get this-- I really do. However, I think you're completely overlooking the first impression that will be indelibly created when someone in your target 'outsider' population goes to drupal.org to get drupal and can't immediately see how to do that.

I'm not sure what the 'best' answer is. Perhaps a big obvious "Get Drupal" button on the home page that, rather than initiating a download of the latest tarball, instead leads to a landing page with some of the additional getting started type information you're aiming at along with a big ol' honkin(tm) download button?

Wanting to lead people in the right direction is one thing-- preventing them from accomplishing their primary goal in order to do so is something else. As a frequent provider of assistance in the forums I can't believe I'm saying this-- but I don't think we should be that draconian.

I also sympathize with the

gdemet's picture

I also sympathize with the rationale for not having a download block on the homepage, but if it's decided that one needs to be there, then I agree that the link should never point directly to the tarball itself, but to a download page that encourages new users to check out "Getting Started" before diving in.

I'm very much a Drupal

kyle_mathews's picture

I'm very much a Drupal "insider" so my perspective is hopelessly skewed inward on the great "should-there-be-a-download-link-on-the-front-page-or-not" debate. . . but on the other hand, I am an outsider in most of the probably hundreds of open source project websites I've visited over the years. When I visit an open source project website, 9 times out of 10 I'm not looking to download the software -- I'm just looking for information. Someone mentioned it was cool so I pop in for a quick look around. I'm researching resources for a project and I look at its feature list, etc.

Even with Drupal, before I first installed the software I probably visited the site a dozen times before actually downloading Drupal and installing it. And we should remember that most people visiting drupal.org aren't wizened PHP coders, hands calloused from years of pounding out picture-perfect code who just can't wait another click to get their hands on some Drupal code. As Drupal's reach expands, more and more our visitors will be curious hobbies, managers, project managers, and other decision makers who aren't

So I'm alright with the download button being moved down a level. It's appropriate of course that us "insiders" mourn for a moment the easy front-page access to fresh Drupal while still remembering that the front page is expensive property and not everything can afford a piece.

Kyle Mathews

Kyle Mathews

There may be another or

minesotaa's picture

There may be another or there are actually another set of users who are looking to download and test 9 out of 10 times. Remember Drupal offers free download and free cms to start with. Keeping the DOWNLOAD block or keeping things simple, easy and non-cluttered can help BOTH group of users perhaps.

Can we take a look at the wordpress org or plone HOMEPAGE for some inspiration ?

Drupal != Plone or WordPress

gdemet's picture

The problem with taking too much inspiration from the WordPress or Plone sites is that Drupal is fundamentally not like those other products - it takes a very different approach to solving the question of content management, and is really more of a Web application framework. I think that it's vitally important that the new site expresses this point of difference and accurately communicates expectations to new users. Drupal is not "quick n' dirty blogging software", it's a powerful tool used to build Web sites and Web-enabled applications of all shapes and sizes.

If the first thing that a new user does is download and try to install Drupal, expecting it to be something like WordPress, they're going to be overwhelmed and frustrated very quickly. If they're on Windows and don't have software installed that allows them to uninstall tar.gz files, they're not even going to get that far, and probably abandon the software immediately.

I do believe that someday Drupal, or a version of Drupal, will be so easy to use that anyone will be able to install, configure, and use it without having any technical knowledge whatsoever (and hopefully will still be as powerful, flexible, and secure as it is today). But that day is not here yet, and in the meantime, we need to talk about what Drupal actually is, not what we might want it to be in the future.

minesotaa's picture

Not too much inspiration but some! Just what is needed. Whether wordpress is a php script or sells auto is not important BUT we were meaning the conciseness and clarity of their frontpages.

An user is sooner or later is expected to download unless downloads are explicitly not meant for individuals - what are the texts on the first page ( iteration - please show me) or what are the texts you think you can cram on the first page prevent getting 'overwhelmed' or 'frustrated' ?? ??

As of latest Drupal it is the easiest to install and we better get rid of this 'intstallation is difficult' idea.
Whether Drupal is a cfm or cms is another debate but drupal, plone all participated in packtpub open source CMS compeition. Drupal org ( with the front page design it has now ) won prize too!

The blinking map or stats like number of cvs a/cs are unnecessarily overwhelming enough, and a download block can lead to landing page where things are better explained ( like your windows must know to deal with tar gz files etc )

Getting Started/Download

gidgetk's picture

I came to Drupal three or four months ago. The Getting Started PAGE is fantastic, the link way up the header is so hidden I never would have seen it. The feedback here is DEAD ON, these two key user tasks are hidden and the design misses the mark completely in those aspects. The percentage of focus and attention given to really irrelevant things is kind of odd. As a new user, it didn't matter much about commits or countries or languages or legos...do I want to use this and where do I start! The search is so dominant the cue is that is where I should start. Getting Started should obviously have equal or greater what if that is the desired result. I can't believe how cool that Getting Started page is, I have been looking at the prototypes all along and literally never clicked it until now.

minesotaa's picture

The homepage is designed specifically to Outsiders (please see Leisa's Experience Strategy for definition of this).

I respect what research has been done - at the same time I have been on chat and emails from '97, seen the evolution of cms-es and what people particularly newbies are looking for. "Outsiders" to Drupal are 99.9% almost always knowing why they are coming to Drupal. They may like to know how they can adapt Drupal to do their blogging or news-site, socialnet or ecommerce but for certain they know they have to come to a cms script site, and believe it or not they are looking for demo or download or features list and then modules or search other stuffs or look for custom paid services

The homepage also lets users who visit the site less often or irregularly to see if there has been update releases or new releases - the first page download link with version number makes this information easily available which boosts download of secure and better versions.

In a set-up research, demo users are not always the genre of exact users who have been
scraping the net for a cms script - infact, imho, its very hard to generate sample users in a lab
who are looking for a new cms to try, either completely new or trying a new one from their existing one.
Lab tests may help to distinguish problems of a cms after it is set up like user interface, expected workflow etc

Downloading Drupal right off the bat might actually be damaging Drupal. For people unfamiliar with the software, it can be a frustrating experience. By providing a download link on the homepage (without any funnelling, or further context), we're setting people up for a fall.

This logic is absolutlely uncalled for, imho. Instead of fall, Drupal has risen to such heights because of easy prominent navigations. It has not been so far frustrating - instead not finding it easily can be frustrating! Compare wordpress front page and those who will be coming from that background - they will be kept wondering!! Most cms-es have very well marked download link with version number and folks coming from those or used to those will have very unsmooth experience.

Removing the download block will also be causing ungraceful downgrading of the front page.

Moreover if you speak of "frustrating experience" do you think information on the first page is even close enough to stop that ? I do not think we can stop frustration to any amount unless one reads the documents etc and things like search are improved in the backend ( for example a search that works like google, I am no google lover but many a times typing human questions have given me very relevant links to drupal pages so that I had not to cram issue list or forum.) Almost all visitors do not think in the line the quoted text assumes. This is wishful presumption that people's mind will follow 'funneling', instead they follow the path of scans, needs, bumps. And we should never forget that homepages are not always read or their data delivered in the order that we may like the readers to follow.

Please remember the homepage is designed specifically for users who know little or nothing about Drupal - it's certainly not designed for the likes of you and I. We need to help them, and to hold their hands. We need to manage the experience

We cannot so easily manage their experience in the confines of the first page or any other single pages. Probably no other cms-es like wordpress, elgg and a whole lot of others do not try to do that. With memories of my newbie experinces I can assure you if Drupal had this current iteration as the front page it would have confused me a hell lot ( like mambo/ joomla did). Flashing and blinking maps ( a strict no no for clean web design at any cost and whether drupal or not, homepage should have the lightest kbs, minimum scroll, work in any browser and mobile, and should be fast even for dialup connections and non-broadband) , numbers of commits etc etc does not hold hand in any way, imho. Even an unclear thumbnail of a showcased site does not help any new or old user in its current position on the page - maybe 3 or 4 logos , hyperlinked to large sites or companies using Drupal in a sideblock would have been more appropriate.

Whilst Drupal is easy to install (and I know great progress has been made here), it is not the easiest software to use and configure beyond that if compared with similarly perceived products in the market.

As of latest Drupal it is infact easiest to install with the current webinstaller. I came to drupal long ago but actually started to use for social net needs. I have tried popular scripts like elgg, wordpress mu or buddypress, and commercial scripts like phpfox and socialengine - Drupal (from version 5x) has been the easiest and fastest to install. Things cannot get easier!! Unlike multiuser wordpress Drupal can be also be easily set on localhost. Strangely, and may be my fault I had never success with installing joomla on localhost. Some cms-es like Geeklog which are in the exact same category as Drupal have very complex installation compared to Drupal. What we can aim for is a default detailed first page that is shown right after installation - this page can describe or have links to the 'complexities'.

-

-

In retrospective I think we need to decide or review at first few important parameters before the actual theme or layout skin is drawn

what will be the font and its size, will many different sizes be kept or few standard sizes - will it be even better and easier to read, as its the font which is the main medium

what are the elements to be given in the above fold assuming 1024 ( or something else as inner data of drupal org may show) as the most widely used resolution

what are the most important links that need more prominence than others, for example demo, download, feature, support, others, the most relevant current news, version number etc

divide the above fold area in grids or left middle right zones --> determine WHICH LINKS NEED TO GO TO WHICH ZONE OR GRID

what will be the amount of descriptive text which is much less read by visitor in comparison to bulleted or otherwise brief, concise short statements

once these and other key points are determined - WITH THESE WELL DEFINED PARAMETERS INVITE MOCK SCREENSHOTS FROM THE COMMUNITY ( competitive or non-competitive ) or multiple willing drupal design related firms and select the best one and improve upon that !

A couple of points

gdemet's picture

Your concerns about the typography, what kinds of elements should be displayed in various regions, etc., will be addressed in the style guide, which is one of the deliverables that will be provided as part of this project. The design iterations that we've seen so far are just one part of the picture, and are certainly not the only resource that the teams that end up building out the new theming system for drupal.org will have to work with.

MBD's assignment is to create a design system that can be used not just with the existing sites, but also extended to provide a consistent and coherent identity for all sites managed under the umbrella of the Drupal Association. If you scroll back through earlier posts to this group, you'll find tons more information about the intent of this project, the approach that the team tasked with the redesign is taking to it, and the exhaustive research they've done not just with existing community members, but also with outsiders who are either new to Drupal, or who were interested in it, but got turned off of it because the current site doesn't accurately communicate exactly what Drupal is and who it's for.

While I appreciate that some here have a lot of enthusiasm for the current site, and feel it just needs a little bit of tweaking, the reality is that the decision to move in a new direction was made long ago for a lot of very good reasons, and trying to second-guess it now is just a waste of time and energy.

[edits to remove bolding, clarify language]

I have gone through the

minesotaa's picture

I have gone through the earlier posts for sure. One or two quick points :

Moving in a NEW direction is not necessarily completely breaking what is this there, just like when you move your car to new roads you not always break it down. We were speaking about the front page, and I fail to see the newness working in its clutter and undue complexities, as I have elaborated in details above. There should not be any ego hurting if already taken decisions are changed. Are a fresh set of new users turned on by the current iterations for sure?

I am not quite sure I understand this: "what kinds of elements should be displayed in various regions, etc., will be addressed" ? We are not creating any new elements here but rearranging or re-orienting the available elements of the existing software: Drupal. Thus if we can define first what elements need to be in what regions of the first page then we can proceed towards a more meaningful and peaceful design.

If the new is IMPROPER discarding it will be useful time and energy spent, imho. Moving in the RIGHT direction is more important.

If you cut the verbosity and rather take point by point approach to what I said it will be nice.

tstoeckler's picture

Reading over the various posts again and looking throught iteration 10 once again, it's easy to see that:
There are people who want more or less direct access to a download link and there are those who don't.
Now the "Download & Extend" page in the current iteration serves the first set if people pretty well with the download of link of Drupal core and links to the other types of downnloads. I think, generally, that as "Download & Extend" is part of the primary navigation, one click to get there is an acceptable "loss", to a direct download block. The think is, though whether people actually realize that there is this page and that they can reach it by clicking in THAT link (I sure didn't otherwise I would have written this post after the first time of looking at the iteration, not the tenth time.) So a IMO reasonable proposal would be to make the "Download & Extend" button a bit prominent. I thought of two things:

  1. Coloring it differently than the other links, like on http://wordpress.org
  2. Adding a little text below it saying something like. "Latest version: 6.6" (That would make some of the previous commenters very happy as well)

But actually you guys at MBD are the crazy design experts, so I guess you have tons of better ideas of how to make that link stick out without sticking out =).

Summarizing

gidgetk's picture

I think the feedback in this thread needs to be analyzed and filtered through an open mind. While there is a lot of reference to the current design, which really doesn't work and needs to be replaced, the gist of what is being said is that the new homepage design isn't working in a lot of ways.

First, I think it is unclear how the prototype homepage is to be interpreted. Is it a near final design or a style guide? What is the definition of a style guide? What should we evaluate and what should we ignore? Layout yes, fonts no?

Second, the homepage design is more attractive than the current design, but it is not well designed for the stated purpose of "outsider". Just for a sanity check look at Joomla and Expression Engine - both have clean, simple blatantly obvious Getting Started pathways that work far better than what is being proposed here. There is no valid UX strategy that says identify the path you want people to follow and then put it in a very small link at the very top of the page.

I think the core issue really revolves around the right side block that has the giant search box. That is the by far the dominant element on the page and says quite clearly, we expect you to search rather than we expect you to read Getting Started & Download material.

There seems to be a thought process that a lot of this feedback is noise by a few people who just want the old design and that simply isn't the case. One of the fundamentals of any design project is really interpreting user feedback which might not be particularly well stated but always always means something. People are clearly trying to tell you something here.

Since you are "designing in the open", I will also say it is disheartening to see a twitter from MDB that says "heading them off at the pass" at the same time frame he posts his comments here. That sounds an awful lot like I am going to shut this down because I know I am right rather than what does all this feedback mean.

Feedback may not always be in the most articulate form, but people are clearly trying to give their time, energy, and thoughts to make a better drupal.org and should be respected.

Trends in the 'noise'

Mark Boulton's picture

Thanks for your comments.

It's sometimes difficult to, especially as we're designing in the open, to provide constructive, valuable feedback without seeming defensive (i'm talking about us here, not you). Right from the start, we've evaluated every single comment in this group. We're looking to identify trends. There is a clear trend here to address this issue, and, well, we're not done yet. There's another prototype iteration this week, and we'll be doing the same thing where appropriate to the overall UX strategy.

However, please be aware, this thread only accounts for a portion of feedback we're evaluating -- from existing, and new, Drupal.org users.

All of these comments are extremely valuable to us.

wrt to my tweet. Well, i shouldn't have to defend myself, but I will. That was a personal tweet, not representative of Mark Boulton Design, and it wasn't about this project at all. Just for the record.

[edits to clarify language and correct spelling errors]

Good to hear Mark's side

eigentor's picture

It is interesting aspect not to give them the download link voluntarily. Sure there are some "buts":

  1. If the user is to be directed towards "Getting started" this link should be very, very prominent, almost like the Download button on the download page. At the moment you won't find it as one of the other posters said.

  2. The fact of the learning curve (that is not going to flat down so soon) is a strong call to us making our software more usable. There are lots of concepts there how to do this, but we are only at the start of the road. Strongly offering the user an introductory screencast is one of the better ways.

  3. If I install a new software, all I look for on the homepage is a download link. I don't even read anything until I have installed it. I don't know if this is representative, but I doubt people will gain much insight by being forced through other pages. After you installed it, you got more time somehow, and you will take the five minutes to watch the screencast. Maybe in our instincts we are like a predator animal that has dragged the prey into a safe corner and now takes his time before eating it. But looking at the brilliant "Get started" page I think forcing someone through this does not hurt: You clearly see: Downloading and installing is only the beginning at the process, and If I was lost with the software, maybe I'd return here for more information.

With all this in mind: I understand Mark in NOT offering the download link as a big button on the Homepage. It indeed suggests a wrong picture: that drupal is so easy to start right away. But it should be a bit bigger, like the entire top menu could be. So if you magnify the entire top menu a bit and maybe put Download and Extend as second link behing Getting started, this could do the job.

If people are strongly directed towards the "Get started" page, this would also mean something else: almost any information above the fold about Modules. Themes and Documentation (apart from the top menu of course) could be removed, and eigentor would be happy ;) For if it is on the get started page - no need for duplication on the front page.

Life is a process

Life is a journey, not a destination

Getting Started and the Download Button

leisareichelt's picture

good morning all :)

it is so great to see such a spirited discussion here - my only regret is that is is happening so far down the path, at iteration 10! However, better late than never, so thank you all very much for your time and opinions.

evaluating a website design is a really difficult task, as the discussion here and elsewhere demonstrates. It is tremendously difficult to see the design from perspectives other than your own and to get some kind of distance from the content. It is also really hard to judge how well a design works from just looking at it and meandering through it - it can really only be properly judged 'in action' - does it actually let people achieve the tasks they need to achieve. Does it make easy things easy? Does it make difficult things achievable? Does it support the objectives we have for Drupal as an organisation? for Drupal end users? and on and on. This is why we're trying to get the design out in as many ways as possible to see how it's doing - both online and in person, amongst 'insiders', 'outsiders' and another groups we've recently started calling 'mid-siders'.

Disclaimers aside, there are a few things that might help move the conversation forward, hopefully! I'm going to tackle the first one here and some others in posts to follow shortly.

Get Started and the Download Button

you are dead right, the strong call to action for Get Started from the homepage has disappeared and this was an oversight on our part. Expect to see this re-instated on the next iteration and thank you for making us aware of it. We have been focussing a lot more on other 'internal' pages and just made a few small changes to the homepage this iteration which resulted in this dropping off. Our bad.

If you've been following the redesign you'll probably have noticed that we actually started with an enormous 'Download' button, which then evolved into an enormous 'Get Started' button which then evolved into more of a 'Why Choose Drupal' section. As Mark said, this is a part of a deliberate strategy on our part to 'bury' the download button a little - what we are trying to do is to make sure that they actually know what they are getting into when they 'download' Drupal, and to 'scaffold' that experience a little.

We want them not to expect it to be completely easy to set up a website using Drupal (not to apply mental models of the hosted blogging services, for example, which seem to be quite strong in people's minds), and we want them to know that there is both a strong and supportive opensource community and commercial ecosystem that can help them along the learning curve if they need it. And, I'm sure you know this already - a lot of people who are interested in Drupal will need that support. For many people who are evaluating Drupal as a solution, particularly within larger organisations, the last thing they should be doing is downloading Drupal.

So, the people we are primarily designing the homepage for are people who are coming to Drupal.org to consider it as a solution for whatever their requirements are, and who are not particularly experienced developers, or possibly not even particularly experienced with Content Management Systems/Platforms/Frameworks etc. This means that people who do have this experience, who do understand the existing Drupal vocabulary, who do want to evaluate the platform by downloading it and taking a look - these people are going to have to work a little harder to get to what they want and they will have to put up with some fluffy language (like the Legos, although I think the Lego reference is being deleted as I write this... which I think is a bit of a shame actually). But the thing is that this audience is capable of doing that little extra work, and they are also more likely to easily recognise what is so great about Drupal.

So, to summarise,

  • we are deliberately making the download link a little more difficult to find so as to better support the experience of newcomers to Drupal who do not have the ability or time to evaluate the product by downloading it, however;
  • the current iteration is missing a strong call to action to 'Get Started'. This was a (bad!) oversight on our part and we'll make sure it gets back in there in the next iteration.

I hope this helps make things a little more understandable. Do let me know if you have any questions that I can answer regarding this. I'm going to post some notes re: the size of the header and the placement/relative size of the global navigation next. If there are other issues you'd like me to address specifically, then let me know.

thanks again for your involvement, it is really much appreciated (even if it is a little painful from time to time!)

Leisa

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

....

minesotaa's picture

we are deliberately making the download link a little more difficult to find so as to better support the experience of newcomers to Drupal who do not have the ability or time to evaluate the product by downloading it, however;

Can you explain in some clear steps how the first page can 'better support' the experience of new comers who do not want to download by NOT providing the download block ? Those who do not have the ability or a company which will use paid service can ignore the download block anyway.

What are exactly the stuffs on the first page that ( without being clutter and complex) helps to support newcomers who are inable or not need download ???
Will download block be a hindrance to the above class of people ?

Big companies who need not download also actually need to download - it is some other people employed or commissioned who do it on their behalf.

What about those who visit other cms-es site like wordpress and others getting confused ?

How much descriptive textual matter you can really cramm onto the first page to 'better support experience'? IMHO, we are going off the reality track here. Better experience can be offered by better and varied DEMO links, videos, sample sites etc and not hiding Download link.

Who are the major target users of Drupal - individuals or companies who need not download OR those who actually do downloads ?

How the data on iteration first page make sure "that they actually know what they are getting into when they 'download' Drupal" - I do not find any extra benefit compared to current drupal org page in this direction but I may be wrong. Do texts like number of cvs a/cs or long descriptive texts help to know them Drupal ? And 'showing' Download block hampers in that path of knowledge ? And please shake ofF the notion, if it be there, Drupal is difficult to install compared to same type of cmses - even compared with some popular commercial stuff installing current drupal is a breeze and superfast, even it can be tested on localhost.

If we really need to SUPPORT OR increase user experience first and fast before they download we need to have DEMO or TRY BEFORE YOU INSTALL and LIST OF FEATURES links that have separate full functional admin and user demos - one with core stuff, other with more of the modules The Demos should work blazing fast and smoothly and will look professional if not hosted at a third party site.

the current iteration is missing a strong call to action to 'Get Started'. This was a (bad!) oversight on our part and we'll make sure it gets back in there in the next iteration.

Getting started is not equal to download block . It is really a bad idea to dig for version number or the progress the script has made in subindex pages.

Thank you Leisa & all of

joshmiller's picture

Thank you Leisa & all of Mark Boulton Design for putting up with the crazy Drupal crowd. We can be a rowdy bunch of programmers and designers...

Much has been stated about getting people to the "adoption" stage, where they download Drupal. Great. When you have 2+ million people downloading this thing, the next logical step is to address their next logical step: Extending.

OK. We've talked faceted search, categorization, documentation, issue tracking, etc. I haven't heard you address how you're designing the module project page. There are lots of questions that have been raised and would benefit from a few simple responses from your steady hand:

  • Why is the "Join Group" button the most prominent feature on the sidebar? (Somewhere Dries asked about this...)
  • If we are to have reviews, how can we control them so they do not turn into an issue que? (My humble idea is to use a NewEgg approach and prompt the users for pros, cons, and stars. The Amazon approach would only be useful if we were selling final products)
  • Should the documentation be automatically displayed next to the module?
  • If we use faceted search, is there a way to bring related modules in with some context? For example, If we are viewing the imagecache project, we might see a list of wysiwyg modules, image modules, and gallery modules.

I'm sure there are more questions...

MJ

Module Project Page

leisareichelt's picture

hi MJ

thanks :)

yes, this is a v important page. We took an early stab at it (that we're not happy with either) and haven't really had much of a chance to get back and make really substantive changes to it (although did anyone notice the beautiful sparklines Mark put in for 'activity' this week? well... I really like them!). I have to admit I've been less concerned with it because, as a community, you guys seem to be all over it and saying v smart stuff.

Having said that, we'll be trying to get some more changes in this weeks release... so, in response to your questions, here's where I'm at:

* Yes, the 'join group' link is overly prominent and should be toned down. Basically the reason is just that it's a green button in a sea of text and it stands out a lot - it's not an indication that we think it is v important... standby to see that downgraded to a link.
* I agree re: giving structure to the reviews and actually have made a specific note to be 'inspired' by NewEgg as you mentioned earlier.
* Should the documentation be automatically displayed next to the module? - I don't know? What do you think? I'm not sure documentation is in the right place at the moment but I figure it should have a pretty high priority on the page, yes?
* I'm sure there are *lots* of great ways that we can 'relate' modules to one another - the biggest concern with this is tagging/categorizing the modules appropriately so that, if this were to be automated, we could get some useful matches coming up. I'm not sure how realistic this is so I have to say I have largely been considering more editorial/'manual' relationships - would be interested to hear other thoughts on this tho'.

Hope this is vaguely helpful and I hope we can move things a long a little more in this next release - time allowing!

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

RE: Related Modules

joshmiller's picture

I'm sure there are *lots* of great ways that we can 'relate' modules to one another - the biggest concern with this is tagging/categorizing the modules appropriately so that, if this were to be automated, we could get some useful matches coming up. I'm not sure how realistic this is so I have to say I have largely been considering more editorial/'manual' relationships - would be interested to hear other thoughts on this tho'.

It would be a sad day if relating modules could not be automated. New modules get created every day, and a lot of them by less than informed people. In fact, a lot of modules have similar / duplicated functionality because it can be hard to find the right module. If they can't find the module they want and create it, and then share it -- chances are they won't find it when posting it online.

I was hoping we would be able to leverage the faceted search functions to bring in slightly related modules based on their features.

Perhaps an informal "tag" would work? I'm thinking about facebook and how they link the "interests" of others. So if I type "big fan of cream cheese," when clicked it would bring us to a page with other people who have typed the same thing. I know this is a tagging feature using taxonomy, but there is something slightly different in the implementation. Maybe it's because they intentionally don't try to offer specific "matches."

Community Driven Relationships?

What if we let the collective determine related modules? Much like amazon tracks which books you look at in a specific track, we could start getting some statistical relevance when someone is searching, and eventually the system would say enough people look at these three modules in the same time period that they must be related.

Pivots

gdemet's picture

My understanding is that a lot of the work that's been done with the Pivots module is specifically targeted at providing much of this kind of functionality to modules pages on the new Drupal.org.

This is why I love Drupal

joshmiller's picture

This is why I love Drupal and the community.

After reading the module page... I found that it's only released for Drupal 5.x ... and the feature for using "browse history or other information in order to find relations between nodes" is still in the planning stages...

Still, its a start...

MJ

A quick question

gdemet's picture

In all this discussion of whether or not there should be a download block on the home page, I was wondering if you're addressing the issue of home page security announcements.

Right now, the first news item on the home page is always the announcement of the latest Drupal security releases, with a direct link to the binary tarballs. While I completely appreciate the need to make sure that as many people as possible know about new security releases, I've always felt that the way this is currently presented on the home page has some disadvantages.

First, for outsiders, it makes Drupal look insecure, and second, the direct link to the tarball bypasses any opportunity to provide users with much-needed "Getting Started" information. Because these announcements are so prominent, I suspect that many new users end up downloading Drupal there instead of from the "download" block, which at least points to a separate download page (although very little of the information on that download page is helpful for new users).

It seems to me like there should be a way to treat this that ensures existing users are aware of new security releases, while not scaring off newcomers.

On a separate note, I also really like the Lego analogy (it's one we use a lot when "explaining" Drupal to our clients), but I appreciate that using the trademarked name "Lego" on the homepage could lead to other issues (e.g., the infamous bikeshed thread).

security announcements...

leisareichelt's picture

I think there are probably two parts to this answer...
a) what are we doing about Drupal + Security and
b) where do security announcements live and are we promoting them on the homepage.

here's what we're thinking:
we see the security team and the ongoing security releases from Drupal as being one of it's great strengths, but understand that, if handled incorrectly, it can actually raise concerns unnecessarily. So our strategy is to really position security as a key strength of Drupal, as you can see on the 'About' page: http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/about.html

We also understand that it can be an important criteria from a technical evaluation perspective so we've included it as a link on the homepage amongst the developer centric links.

We don't think that security announcements are appropriate for the generic homepage, for precisely the reason you mention - it can make Drupal appear to be insecure, to people who don't yet appreciate the value of an active security team.

We were thinking of including security announcements as part of the News section (indicated separately as security announcements) and to also make these available as a news stream that can optionally be added to your dashboard.

How does that sound?

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

A few more quick and constructive points and questions

minesotaa's picture

A few more quick and constructive points and questions, not in any exact order :

1) In http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/iteration10/getstarted.html 'Documentation, Installation Instructions' comes at 3 while one has already 'Downloaded' and 'Extended' the script at steps 1 and 2.
Is this OK ?

2) The flash or dhtml map on first page do not work on all browsers, is it necessary ? are users expected to watch a film like thing on the first page ?

3) Information like "4212 CVS a/c holders and 612 commits this month" - necessary on first page ?

4) The important news w.r.t Drupal has got drowned and almost lost

5) "Build for Today. Create for Tomorrow" and "Why Choose Drupal?" are somewhat repitative in their core purpose. can we be more concise and use one block of easily scannable text instead ?

6) The thumbnail of showcased site occurs centrally and takes undue attention but not deliver much on drupal related info. Instead a few smaller sized logos (but which shows the sitenames more prominently and larger) hyperlinked to actual sites and possibly in a side-block could be more useful ?

7) There are at least 6 to 7 different font sizes and appearances on the first page - is this necessary ?

8) Already there has been much discussion on the Search. Please remember that from time to time Search had to be closed on drupal org due to load issues in recent past and with increasing mass of future visitors there will be even more load on such bigly placed Search. Which means we must ensure that it is available 100% of the time and 365 days, and then proceed with this design . Placing it in such a big way and then removing it even for a moment (if the need be so at any hour of crisis) will be sort of jittery.

9) The Download button issue is not just about linking download but also quickly tells what are the recommended version numbers on the index page ( and it takes the least number of words out of all info, users not wanting it can ignore it easily ) - this is of immense help to both new and old users.

10) Statistical surveys particularly low sampling can be risky and not fruitful at times - for example, a glass half full is statistically half empty, however if the glass tumbles chances of watery mess is 100% !

Follow up thoughts

gidgetk's picture

As a designer, I can say with full confidence that none of us should be trying to microdesign this.

I do have a couple thoughts regarding communication that are certainly confusing to me and this is not intended as a criticism in any way.

"It's not done" vs. "Prototype 10"
One on hand, one of the stock answers is it isn't finished yet and another answer is that this feedback is coming late to the party. That makes it difficult to know where and what type of feedback should be offered.

"Misses"
The concept that the download button was a miss a week ago and will be added back is, in my opinion, a very concrete issue that should have been said explicitly much sooner just to save a lot of time and mental energy on everyone's part.

"Channels"
The concept that this is but one of many channels through which you are receiving feedback is certainly very valid, however, I view this as the home for design communication...maybe that is incorrect. If you are absorbing themes from other channels perhaps it would be useful to communicate them here in short bursts to get everyone aligned? I don't know how to express my thought well here, but it seems that there is usually a well reasoned response AFTER everyone gets in a lather, maybe there are more proactive options.

Again, this is not intended as criticism at all, I know this is a very unconventional design process and I admire your guts for doing it.

A quandry - when to reveal the strategy

leisareichelt's picture

I'm really glad you raised this - I was trying to blog about this last night but couldn't get the words right... I'll have a stab now and see if how I go.

I completely understand your frustration with this - I feel frustrated on your behalf everytime we say something like 'it's not finished'. Unfortunately, there's not a lot we can do with that as long as we're taking this iterative and incremental approach, which I think is the only way to approach a project like this one... to finish it all and then show you guys would be madness. So, 'it's not finished' will remain - the challenge is how best to manage this.

My suspicion is that a better way to handle these releases may have been to focus your attention on the specific areas that we were looking for feedback on - things that we knew were mostly finished, or finished enough to take the scrutiny. That might also have helped to get more focus on pages other than the homepage and remove the 'it's not finished' disclaimer from our vocab a little!

The coming late to the party is also frustrating... again, there are probably ways that we can better handle that by somehow creating a 'story' of what's happened and why. How exactly we would do that, whether anyone would read it before commenting, and where we'd find the time to do it are all questions we'd need to consider!

Your other comments relate to timing. These are the ones I think are particularly interesting.

  • when is the right time for us to tell you why we're doing things?, and
  • when is the right time for us to 'get involved' in the discussion.

As you can tell, we've tried to be pretty hands off as a rule when the community is discussing the redesign. This has been deliberate and, at times, very difficult!

As you say, we've never designed like this before, so we are learning as we go.

Our approach with strategy has been not to 'position' the design with strategy as we release it - the rationale being that the design will have to stand on its own 'in the wild' so it should do likewise here.

In retrospect, I'm not sure that was 100% the right approach and were we to do this again I think I would do it differently... although I'm not entirely sure how at the minute.

The weekly iteration release makes for a punishing schedule and it is hard for us to get everything we want done each week (we rarely do!) without having time to write up strategies here and there. I have put some strategic documentation out into the open on my blog (including the transcript of a Skype chat with Mark) and also into the FLickr group, but not pointed people towards them as I didn't want to skew people's response to the design.

As I said... given time for reflection, we'd probably handle this a little differently if we did this over again.

We have also refrained from jumping into discussions here in groups too early, having learned early on in the project that if we did respond early it tended to skew the direction of the conversation, when we really needed to wait for a certain number of people within the community to have their say so we could identify the trends in the discussion before we got involved.

I do still think that in general that is the right approach, however I agree that in the specific example of the missing 'Get Started' button (by way of clarification, we're still not planning to put a 'Download' button on the homepage at this stage...), it would have been useful if we had made it clear this was an omission and not a strategic move much earlier on. Apologies for that.

I hope it's useful for us to share a little of what the experience is like from our side :)

It really has been amazing to be able to engage with both the Drupal community and the world at large on this project - given more time and more experience working this way there are so many things we would like to do (and to have done) - we're doing the best we can! but at the same time, really value your feedback on what the process has been like for you and what you think we might have done better/differently.

look forward to talking with you more about this.

Leisa

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

leisareichelt's picture

First up, I'd like to acknowledge that yes, that is one big old header. It is bigger than your average header and designing a header that size does mean that you're going to fit less 'above the fold'. This may seem like an unusual strategy, but it's certainly not unique, nor does it imply bad design or usability IF it is being done to support a strong strategic objective.

Hopefully you won't be surprised to hear that we do have some strategic objectives in having such a big-ass header!

Again, if you have been following the redesign process, you'll have noticed that the big-ass header is actually a relatively recent introduction to the homepage design, coming as late as iteration 7. Here is the last version before it: http://drupal.markboultondesign.com/visual/iteration6/homepage_notlogged...

1. approachability

Use of white space (or in this case, blue space) is very important to design, as I'm sure you know. Allowing breathing space around elements helps you to more easily review the content on the screen and for the designer to guide your eye from element to element. Mark is much more the expert on this tho, (In face, he's written a bunch about it that is not directly relevant to this conversation but you might find interesting here: http://alistapart.com/articles/whitespace/ )

When I've been observing people using this 'big ass header' design, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. People say that it feels calm and approachable and easy. People have compared it to a horizon line. It does seem to create a positive effect. This is great because we are trying to ensure that people aren't overwhelmed by Drupal, and that they feel positive in their ability to understand and engage with it. Everything that I've observed to date has demonstrated that the big-ass header is very helpful in achieving this end.

I can't overstate how intimidating Drupal can be to novice users, although it may strike you as ridiculous. Alleviating this intimidation without getting in the way of active Drupal users is one of the big challenges for this project and the size of the header is a big part of that.

2. focus on search

As you've picked up, one of the reasons that the header is so large is because the search element is so large. As with the header, this is somewhat unconventional, but we've done this to support the way that people want to use the Drupal.org website.

I'm going to do a separate post about the size/placement etc. of the global navigation and the rationale for that, but suffice to say that for the majority of users, and especially for regular users of the site, Drupal.org is not a 'browsing' site- it is predominently a searching site, and secondarily a place to monitor and engage with activity and conversations.

This makes perfect sense, though, when you think about what people actually come to the site to do.

This is a big part of how we conduct our research. A lot of it is talking, asking people about what tasks they need to do on d.o, watching how they currently perform those tasks (much use of Google, as you'd imagine!), getting them to perform those tasks on the new design.

Invariably, for regular users of Drupal, search was the way that people wanted to get to their content. Many people would just just Google search, when compelled to use our redesigned site, they'd go straight to search. I can't tell you how many times I've had to ask people 'if you had to use the navigation, which link would you choose?' when asking them to perform a task. This was true back when the global navigation was much more extensive and prominent, and it remains true today.

It was in response to the strong demand for search that we re-made the header to be so big and search focused.

We did some A/B testing between the more conventional navigation approach and the search-centric approach and the search-centric approach was more successful.

If you're not convinced I'd encourage you (as I have encouraged the community throughout the project) to do your own research - get people who are regular d.o users to define the tasks they do on d.o and have them 'do' the tasks using each of the designs - and see what you find. I'd be really interested to hear the results.

Finally, the size of the search element is a show of faith in the ability of the d.o search to 'do the job' in finding the information. Generally speaking, search on sites is rubbish and a conventional positioning carries this expectation of rubbish-ness.

The bold positioning of the search element here says - search is the right option for finding what you're looking for. Give it a try. (And yes, we have been assured that much work will be done on the search functionality for Drupal.org so that it does deliver on this promise).

3. search 'furniture'

Some other feedback we've received is about the 'stuff' that's around the search field and that it takes up space/wouldn't be used etc.
I agree that the vast majority of people won't refine their search on the homepage, nor will they use the 'most popular' searches... although these are able to be used, their primary purpose is to give information about the search capabilities of the site and to help people use the search properly.

By showing the 'filter' options, what we are telling people (more or less subconsiously) is the types of content that will be shown in the search results and that you are able to filter out types of content. We're exposing the range of content on the site and providing a hint that the search will be more fully functioned than a typical 'sitewide search', and certainly than the current d.o website. (and yes, significantly improved search functionality is on the menu for the implementation of the redesign!)

By showing the 'popular' searches what we're doing is alleviating 'blank page syndrome' - what do I search for? They are tiny prompts that are intended to help people formulate a search query, and especially if they are relatively new to Drupal, help to expose what others are looking at.

I could quite happily live without 'popular' searches, or replace it with something else, but the 'filter' options play an important role and should not be removed. In fact, we intend to add 'API' to the list of filters in the next release.

search results

A big part of this strategy is a much improved search results page. We've only shown hints of this so far in releases, but the next iteration will hopefully show the enhanced faceted navigation within search results to make it a really powerful and useful tool for locating information on the site.

not everyone searches!

There is an important audience who do NOT search, and they are our newer, less technical/experienced audience. They are the least likely to use the search element, and for that reason, the majority of the 'index' or 'landing' pages are designed specifically for their needs. Starting with the homepage and through all of the 'section' landing pages.

OK. That's a bit of an overview of the rationale and reasoning.
I hope that is helpful. Let me know if you have questions/comments etc.

thanks once more,
Leisa

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

white space needs to be PROPORTIONAL and RATIONAL

minesotaa's picture

two quick points :

Use of white space needs to be PROPORTIONAL and RATIONAL
In this case it is NOT proportional with the rest of the clutter ( please see http://plone.org - how they use true white space proportionately all over the first page )
Its not rational also as people who scans the above fold area will lose many details and instead go back with white space rather than impression of 'stuffs' as they get now in the current drupal org. IMHO this ( the current drupal org ) also uses white space BUT NOT TOO MUCH.
I respect people comparing with horizon or feeling calm BUT this is half the picture ( or may be the lesser picture - see my note on Statistics above)

Drupal org is primarily NOT a search site either - see the amount of issues and forums posts. To think of this as primarily a search site will be wrong notion, imho. And we need other tools like pre-submission automatic links to solutions, knowledgebase style, etc to address the problems. It will be half the picture and half the truth to assume that most popular activity is drupal search ... It actually generates issues, forum posts and solutions which should be searchable, thus the primary activity is creating or replying to content and not 'search' . That apart, please be kind to note Drupal search does not give effective results so far AND more importantly search may need to be made to disappear at times ( point 8 at http://groups.drupal.org/node/17106#comment-58816) - facts to be kept in the back of our minds while we 'design'.

Wordmark similitude

fgm@drupal.org's picture

For some time, I'd been thinking I'd already seen a very similar wordmark, and I just found it again. It's the wordmark for the long-established "Burda Moden" magazine.

Almost the same letters in the name, very similar lettering. And an annoying legal precedent a bit similar in the Milka case (Milka Couture vs Milka Kraft Foods).

Is it safe to have such similar wordmarks ? DIPA S.A. and Hubert Burda Media Holding have registered a lot of trademarks around the Burda name, including some visual brands and apparently in the web publishing registration class.

Generally speaking, the bar,

gdemet's picture

Generally speaking, the bar, at least from a legal sense, is whether the two marks are "confusingly similar", e.g., is someone likely to confuse Drupal with Burda Moden.

In this case, I'd be very surprised if that were the case. Although the lettertypes are similar, they're clearly different, at least to my eye, and although I don't know everything that the Burda Media publishing empire is involved in, I would be very surprised if there was any marketplace overlap.

But "Milka" is identical to "Milka"

LeeHunter's picture

But "Milka" is identical to "Milka" and it's not a common word (tree, boat, etc) so obviously there is confusion.

Even if there's a Prudal, Rudapl, Aprudl or even Drupla and it used the identical font it wouldn't be an issue.

And it works the other way. Drupal doesn't "own" the font (unless maybe it's custom designed) so it couldn't tell Aprudl to "stop using our font". There might be a case with the theoretical "Drupla" but only if Drupla were in the CMS business. In which case there would be a good argument that they are doing what the lawyers call "passing off" (or what the layperson calls "pissing off").

The wordmark is custom

Mark Boulton's picture

Just to add to this. The glyphs that make up the wordmark are custom. There is no typeface, just these custom letterforms.

not to be picky, but...

masande's picture

i really don't envy your position with the re-design, but am impressed by how you are skillfully navigating the hurricane of feedback. with that, i'll offer my picky impressions as a typography / branding designer for what it is worth.

the hand of the typographer has been uncomfortably visible in the logotype, if you know what i mean. the monostrokes in the 'p' and 'a' have become awkwardly contracted as they terminate into the vertical strokes. and the 'd' and the 'r' are not of the same typographic ilk as the other letters, meaning they are variable stroke width letter forms while the others are monostroke. i'd like to see a consistent stroke width throughout with sensitively tapered terminations.

the challenge is the vast mediums this mark will appear on. the rasteration of a computer display and the sharpness of print have two totally different visual requirements as you well know. i hope one more round of optical refinement is in the mix.

Mark Sanders
Q Collective

Mark Sanders
Q Collective

Great feedback

Mark Boulton's picture

Thanks for your comments, Mark.

I designed the wordmark myself. The 'awkward contraction' as they terminate the vertical strokes is due to reductions in scale. As this wordmark is dramatically reduced (as small as maybe 20px wide), those contractions become important in defining the letterforms - otherwise the 'a' looks like an 'o'. The 'D' is monostroke, but slightly contracted. As is the 'r'.

I've been toying with the idea of applying the same stroke weight of the 'r' to the 'a'. Alas, most of this subtlety is lost at incredibly small size, so designing to a happy medium is quite a challenge. Whilst we don't want the wordmark to look ugly at large size (eg Verdana), we need it to be legible at incredibly small sizes without providing multiple masters.

I'd like to look at one more round of this. Perhaps to tighten up the 'a', and introduce some variable width to the 'u'. Of course, this would only be really visible at larger sizes, but the devil is in the details right?

Cheers,
Mark

Kudos

gidgetk's picture

Leisa, excellent reasoning as usual, do have much admiration for you guys. I've been prototyping sites for a couple years and it works so well as a tool yet is a nightmare to communicate around. Thanks for taking the time, I know your schedule has to be killer.

What will happen with the wordmark?

wmostrey's picture

The last couple of iterations has changed a bit each time, with this time the "splash" being removed completely. Will there be a seperate phase to complete the wordmark or will the changes be part of a complete iteration each time? Although the wordmark should integrate well with the site, it should also be powerful enough to stand on its own on t-shirts, banners, flyers, ...

Reading through the different reactions it looks like people expect it to change a bit more (and I agree with them) so I wonder what the plan is for the wordmark itself.

Wordmark is approaching final

Mark Boulton's picture

The current state of play is the wordmark is approaching final, and there will be no further changes for this next iteration. The goal was (almost) always to use the community mascot (Druplicon) on marketing material. Having a simpler wordmark means this is possible. If the wordmark were to be strong visually - eg another 'shape', or 'icon', then there would be competition when both were presented together. The Mambo logo issue was the final nail in the coffin on this issue for me, which resulted in the removal of the splash for this iteration.

Druplicon is still very much a part of Drupal. The wordmark design has to be sensitive to this, and to work alongside it where appropriate.

The 'r'

YesCT's picture

I'd like to make another plug to support the alternative 'r'

I think it was in the comments of iteration 8 ... I like the curve without the stick (quite technical description .... :) )

Cathy Theys
http://YesTrainingAndEducation.com

Cathy Theys

Teeny (relatively) tiny navigation. Why is it so?

leisareichelt's picture

ok. This is the last in my series of three monster posts trying to throw some light on why things are as they are in the Drupal.org redesign.

Before you read this, make sure you've read the previous monster post on the big header and search, it's related.

Several people, on this forum and others, have made note of the fact that global navigation on the current design is relatively understated and certainly not one of the most prominent elements of the design. Absolutely true and, for what it's worth, entirely intentional.

Why so? Well, a number of reasons.

First and foremost, when we considered what the most important and most frequent user journeys on d.o would be, accessing the landing page for a site 'section' was very low on the list. Finding out about Drupal, getting access to specific information, monitoring issues and continuing conversations - these were much more important. None of these important user journeys require global navigation.

For 'new' users (outsiders) , we consider the movement from Home to About/Why Choose Drupal and/or Get Started the most important user journey. (granted you can't tell this from the missing links to these on the current iteration homepage - our bad, and an accidental omission as discussed elsewhere)

for 'existing' users (insiders) the primary user journeys are to specific content via search/search results and to monitor content/issues/discussions/news etc. which is done via the dashboard.

Hence the emphasis on the search element and the dashboard element (which for existing users will generally replace the generic homepage and will be highly customisable and focussed on monitoring content of personal interest). And hence the demotion of the generic 'global' navigation.

We also know that you guys, once you get involved with Drupal, don't tend to use the global navigation yourself. You use bookmarks, you use the URL (eg. groups.drupal.org etc.) using the browsers memory - both of these are more efficient than going to the homepage and navigating through a hierarchical navigation structure.

Yes, it does seem like a somewhat unorthodox approach, and contradictory to 'good usability', but that's not necessarily the case either.

There is a lot of evidence that shows that people would really rather NOT use global navigation if they can avoid it. People much prefer to use contextual (in content) links for navigation and local (relevant to that section) navigation to get to where they want to go. Global navigation is usually used only as a last resort (or if someone forces you to use it in a usability test!)

Again, if in doubt I encourage you to conduct your own research. Get people to define a few tasks that they would 'do' on d.o then put them in front of this prototype and ask them to do the tasks here, and watch them. very few people will go to the global navigation as their first port of call. In my experience, if they are doing that, it's because there is important information and links missing from the central content area.

A few authors more eminent than me have written on exactly this behaviour. If you have a moment, take a look and see what their experience has been with global navigation vs. local/contextual navigation and search.

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000109.html
http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2005/10/19/global-navigation-not-worthwhile/
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2004_05_25_index.html

edited to add another interesting and relevant article on this topic: http://www.guuui.com/issues/01_05.php

hope this makes sense and, as ever, awaiting your feedback.

Leisa

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
user experience consultant (design research and user centred design)
working with Mark Boulton Design on the drupal.org redesign project

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com
@leisa

Demoting /Hiding the Primary Navigation:

Anonymous's picture

“People would really rather NOT use global navigation if they can avoid it”

You ARE correct that most people would rather follow contextual links than the primary navigation. Many users are able to navigate well-designed websites with out ever needing to use the primary navigation. However this highlights the importance of contextual links needing to be well designed and easy to use. This does not make primary navigation valueless! Primary links help to make sense of a Web sites structure even if they are not actively clicked on. Primary links are also a great way of quickly displaying the scope of a website, and for regular users who understand the structure, they can be far more efficient than typing a URL in to the browser!
Demoting the PRIMARY navigation to tiny little links at the very top of the page and away from the main content is contrary to common practice and I cannot see a compelling reason for doing so?

In terms of navigation I believe some of the earlier iterations, (or a layout like on I earlier suggested, http://groups.drupal.org/files/druaplNav.png ) would be more readily understood by users.

Also a comment on the different header size for the home page. It does look cool, however having the navigation change on different pages is generally a no no as it makes the navigation appear inconsistent which can make users feel uneasy.

By the way you guys are doing a great job! Doing open research and development with so many programmers and designers can’t be easy =)

First, thankyou

dman's picture

First, thankyou so much for your clear expositions on the state of play, and the justifications for some of the decisions that have been made. I really do not envy the team in this worst-of-all-possible-methods design review process :-)

I'll admit to being late to the party, so my opinions are self-muted.
I don't mind the large banner/space, and your explanation helps even more. As does the approach to 'primary' navigation. Info on the search decision is also good. I say I don't use the recent search info, but to have it there as a prompt-hint is a totally clear idea.

But.

For all the clarification about keeping uninformed newcomers from premature download - that's just frustrating.

The first time I was introduced to Drupal it was by a peer who said "have a look at this" - took me to the d.o. frontpage using my browser, downloaded and installed. I do the same nowadays. As do a whole bunch of videocasts, I believe. If I had to present that process off this iteration, I'd have to hit the page, stop, think and hover before I remembered where I was going. Heck, maybe we'd have to hit search to find "download"! That's so wrong.
Is the Drupal target market really just newbies who can't be trusted to install server scripts or is it web developers who expect to be able to go to a site promoting an OSS product and find a "Download Now" link?

Yes there is a learning curve. Yes we want to present them with warnings and prerequisites. So have a button saying "Download" that takes them to those warnings and present the actual file download from there. This is probably what is actually being done with the "Get Started" link but it's not presented that way and that may be what's hanging people up here. Maybe it's just the phrase. Put it back to "Download" and make it point to the "Get Started" page. Some UI architect will say that's not right - but it's exactly the path that the user and their thought processes take.
Simpleton presses download and gets the warning.
Developer presses download and sees the requirements.
Returning user presses download and ignores the boilerplate.

But the keyword has to be "Download".
Even if the current architecture and click path remains the same :-). The rationale behind that speed bump is clear, it's just the obstruction/obscuring it with marketing-speak is not the right thing to do to the webmasters that count.

Again. Thanks for your efforts in designing in the open like this, and interaction/feedback with the masses. It's gotta be painful, but you're explaining it well...

P.S. I miss Druplicon. It gave character to a community product which is now a bit faceless and corporate. IMO :-( But that was probably in earlier discussions :-/

Please improve the dashboard

minesotaa's picture

Emphasis on search necessarily does not mean it has to be so giant sized :) and please do not forget point 8 in http://groups.drupal.org/node/17106#comment-58816.

Will drupal org allow henceforth 'friendships' and 'follows' like twitter ? I find Drupalicon, Friends Update, recent follows of NOT much use in the dashboard area instead we need to have ability to 'star' any written thing or writer, and these items can have 'updated' stamp as they already have now.

My research shows that :
#
When I visit a forum topic list or issue list it will be extremely useful to see the post ( or first n part of it) on hover ( users needed this and we could hardpress vbb to adpopt this in my / our forum frenzy days)
Ability to star or flag an issue or forum topic without actually posting in it ( if I need not post) and see this list from my dashboard ( we could persuade yahoo and google to use this immensely useful feature, as well as drupal modules are there for it)
Ability to delete any item from this list so that only the useful or needed ones remain in the list.
Added advantage will be if I can assign priority color icons or labels to items in this list for my own quick refernece, though this may not be that much necessary

Thus the dashboard can contain NEWS incl security ones, custom block where I can add any global or other links, and A LIST of my starred items. This makes things easier and cuts out jungle of data.
The profile tab can be used to have subtabs : all my forum posts, all my issues, my groups etc - this helps to cut out the clutter of tabs at the first go and appears logical too

The dashboard should be a quick and useful transit area instead of several columns and so many blocks
of data presented all together!

#
The other important thing that dashboard can include in sideblock is perhaps things like "play bug bingo" "play patch bingo" - this encourages to participate in solutions from the dashboard area.

#
Inbuilt search :
When I post a topic or issue an inbuilt search should present a list of related topics and/or solution before letting me hit the submission button finally.

#
Thing I find missing from dashboard is CREATE CONTENT LINK - is it hidden somewhere there or just missing ? Are other users seeing it ? As I am not logged in the dashboad, please will some other user confirm ?

[PS : thanks for the useit links. useit however does not recommend to do away with navigation completely and asks to use minimum of links and that discussion is more on general content sites. drupal has well defined structurally demarcated areas like Modules, Themes etc - think of your email : without links like Inbox, Compose, Folders, etc things will be a mess. It is interesting to note that while you refer to useit principles here, useit principles are very much violated in the front page design iteration http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html ]

dashboard content

catch's picture

The content of the dashboard is entirely up to what the Drupal community can come up with in terms of functionality - so this any many other smaller details will be down the the implementation process. Most of what you've mentioned are already feature requests against project modules, some with patches, some not - having the dedicated 'download and extend' subsite will make some of these easier to implement - but there's a long way to go - part of MBD's remit was to provide a theme flexible enough that we can add these features as we go along, it's not up to them to code them for us or determine exactly how every piece will fit together.

Research pays off

eigentor's picture

Hehe, the backing with user testing and research is really convincing. And I believe what you say. The only navigation link you regularly use when going to the site of a new software you plan to evaluate, is the "download link" apart from wanting to know what this software is all about. (which should be evident from the front page).

I wish we would be that far with user testing. sigh...

Life is a process

Life is a journey, not a destination

Little thing

greg.harvey's picture

Thought I'd throw this in there: http://drupal.org/node/337303

This discussion doesn't

christefano's picture

This discussion doesn't really belong in the Consulting and Business group and I've removed it. If anyone thinks that it does belong there, please let me know why and I'll put it back. Thanks!

Marketplace redesign

Amazon's picture

The reason I added it to this group is because the new marketplace in the redesign was meant to reflect the needs of the consulting and businesses in the Drupal community.

Kieran

Drupal community adventure guide, Acquia Inc.
Drupal events, Drupal.org redesign

I wouldn't have known if you

christefano's picture

I wouldn't have known if you hadn't pointed that out. Thanks!

download taking to get started

eigentor's picture

dman makes an interesting point. This could indeed be a way. Even pointing the "download" in the primary menu directly to download and the big button first to get started would not be unallowed.

For on some software download sites, you know, they take you to up to four different pages of ads before you get the software. Even at Sourceforge you do not get there directly but have to click twice.

Still: "Get started" implies something else then "Download" and it might be better in a semantic way to give the people what they expect. The "Get started" implies there is more to getting started than just downloading - and I think this is the whole point. We stand upright to saying: "Drupal is complex. Just take your time and read a bit, and you won't be frustrated."

I strongly remember from Dries state of Drupal keynote in Barcelona, that our "Conversion Rate" is not really good. Conversion rate means the percentage of downloaded Drupal core packages that lead to an actual online site. This should be improved by any means. Sorry for crossposting, but things like Form Builder give me hope ;) .

Life is a process

Life is a journey, not a destination

Documentation handbook on the homepage

ineation's picture

Documentation manuals are the first elements I am reading when I evaluate a new CMS. It give me the best insight of the possibilities of the application (much better than reading the marketing feature page).

Therefore I hate spending too much time looking for them.

As the navigation menu is small (as a strategic choice) I suggest there should be another way to find handbooks from the homepage.

error pages

bertboerland's picture

please do not forget the error pages (like 404) and more then design, make a useful page so it is not the end of the site but the start to a better search

--

bert boerland

--

bert boerland

Tabs

dmitrig01's picture

I don't like the tabs. They are navigational elements which belong in the navigation - tabs convey something different: local tasks (based on the page you're currently on). My father got very confused by this.

I'm just having a look at

SeanBannister's picture

I'm just having a look at the tabs on the new drupal homepage and if you have a look at the selected tab such as "Drupal Homepage" you'll notice it has a very low quality grey around it that makes the buttons look squared off rather than rounded. Could this be a little bit more of a transparent drop shadow or remove the grey altogether because I think it's a little thing that will make a big difference.

Drupal = Search?

CZ's picture
  1. The blue head and the search form is too big. The old design is better, because I see the logo (a visual identification) then the text "Drupal" and then the most important "Documentation", "Download", "Themes", "Modules" and more.

In the new design, first of all, I read "Drupal" and "Search" (why search?) and noting more.. (other links are too small). The new design tell me: "You are on Drupal with no logo and you can (have to) search for more information!!

  1. The links like: "Get Started" are in a the place of banner ads.
  2. The link "Login/Register" is in the middle of homepage. Why? It is not so important for me every time. He can be placed on the top right corner.
  3. Why is the text "Build for Today. Create for Tomorrow" in the blue head and not in the content of page?

Conclusion: The old design is better ordered and have more color and the best usability and this new design is step backwards!!

I agree!

minesotaa's picture

I agree!

Thank you!

CZ's picture

Thank you!

In subpages, secondary menu

aydos's picture

In subpages, secondary menu may be not below but at right hand side of header

ie not like:

Documentation
Docs Home | API | Index | Recently updated

but:
Documentation _________ Docs Home | API | Index | Recently updated

this may gain space ( and a little confusing of which page is current)

Amazing redesign, however i

mimetic2's picture

Amazing redesign, however i have two concerns:

1 - FORUMS

The forums are way too hard to get to. It's under the fold on the community website and not bolded enough in the menu bar. I think it should be one of the first things that the community should see. Also i think it should stand out more, as Forums are extremely important for a community.

2 - Black text blue background is hard to read.

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