My WineHQ menu structure proposal - counterproposal

Dimitrie O. Paun dpaun at
Sun Nov 3 03:09:53 CST 2002

On November 3, 2002 02:35 am, Francois Gouget wrote:
> Too much nesting just hides information and forces the user to dig down
> to find what he is looking for.

I am sorry to do a AOL -- me too post, but I do agree 100% with Francois.
For WineHQ, I _strongly_ feel it's a big mistake to have more than 2 levels
of menus. Just top level, and a sublevel is more than enough.

Here are the principles I used for my proposal:
  1. Just two levels
  2. The more some info is accessed, the fewer mouse clicks
     should be required to get to it.
  3. Menus organized by usage patterns, rather then strict
     technical category.

Please keep in mind that moving one item one level down in the
menu hierarchy decreases its visibility by an order of magnitude,
while keeping it on the higher level complicates that level only

The current menu is simple, but at the expense of making the info
almost invisible! I'll give you one example: *I* (a long time Wine
contributor), was aware of the status page (which I love) from the
link that used to be provided in the WWN. The only way I new how
to get to it was to look careful through some WWN for the little
link to Status! At a certain point I could not find it anymore, I
looked for it for minutes, just to give up thinking that it got
deleted!!! I can continue to give examples on many pages, but if
I can't get to the info, something's not right.

And a comment on usage patterns. You asked why the split between
Development/Contributing, and Support/Documentation. This follows
from Principle 3. They have _very_ different usage patterns, and

When a user has a problem, he goes with one click to the support
area, where all the relevant info (and only that!) is available.
No need to go jumping through the site, it's just another click

Similarly, for the Development/Contributing. Time and again OSS
project push only the "Development" part in front, scarring
away non-programmers from contributing, just to realize later on
that they do need a lot of non-programming help as well. Case in
point, instead of spending my time on the controls, I do other
things that could be handled by non-programmers :). It's a natural
split, the Development area is very important for Wine, and people
going there are not interested in items that are listed in
"Contributing"; also, we should show people there are many other
ways to contribute, appart from coding. BTW, the Contributing
section is is Francois idea, but I strongly support it.

Thing is, I am quite happy with the structure I put forward. Please
review my desing principles, and lets see if we have any disagreement
there. You must realize this is UI design, and everybody will have a
different opinion. :) (So I must have mine)


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