My WineHQ menu structure proposal - counterproposal

Igor Izyumin igor at
Sun Nov 3 07:52:09 CST 2002

On Sunday 03 November 2002 03:09 am, Dimitrie O. Paun wrote:
> 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.

I agree with the first two, but the third is wrong.  Information should not be 
split up into illogical categories based on what you think is a logical usage 
pattern.  The fewer splits you can make, the better it is.  If I'm looking 
for a FAQ, I would first click on Documentation, but if it's buried in 
"Support" I would not even bother clicking there.  The best structure would 
have clear, logical categories and you would not have to guess where a 
certain document would be buried.  Keep in mind that it is better to group 
all information into as few logical categories as possible.  There should be 
no guessing involved.

> 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
> audiences.

How about renaming support to "Get Help", Troubleshooting", or something like 
that.  "Support" != self-help, and as a user, I would click on 
"Documentation" first.  Support implies commercial support, and I would think 
(from experience with many other websites) that it would simply be a plug for 
Codeweavers, not an area with documentation.

> 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.

OK, this section needs to be renamed, too.  'contribute' is a transitive verb, 
and in a context of a free software project implies contributing code.  A web 
guru would never click on a "contribute" link because they think it's 
instructions for sending in Wine patches.  "Help out" or "Volunteer" or 
something like that would be much more accurate.

> 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)
-- Igor

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