RFC: Proposed new web site design

Francois Gouget fgouget at free.fr
Tue Nov 25 09:37:03 CST 2008

On Mon, 24 Nov 2008, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> Can be improved with minor tweaks:
> * The news should be clickable, and take you to a separate news page
> with slightly longer stories.

Agreed. We should have a separate news page. It could probably 
work as the news archive page directly: just show the most recent 10 
news items with a link at the bottom to get the next 10, etc.

In the sidebox 'News' should link to that page.
To save space, we could omit the year, after all nowadays the news 
items are frequent enough that the year is not ambiguous.

So               November 7, 2008:
                 Wine 1.1.8 Released

would become     November 7: Wine 1.1.8 Released

And we could remove the following sentence altogether as it does not add 
anything to the new title:

   The Wine development release 1.1.8 is now available.

> * Rather than getting smaller when you hover the mouse over the buttons,
> it should be the other way around - highlight them and they get bigger

Agreed too. I guess the idea it to make it look like the button has been 
pressed but I don't like it. It would be nicer if a kind of neon ring 
lit up around it (like in some elevators).

> * I would replace it with a very small boilerplate text that says what 
> Wine does, namely "Wine lets you run Windows applications in Linux and 
> on the Mac".

We don't want to be Linux-centric however (it's hard enough as it is to 
convince FreeBSD users we don't hate them). So maybe replace Linux with 
Unix, or add in FreeBSD, or simply BSD into it. And I think we can drop 
the beginning of the sentence since it will appear as follows:

   WINE hq
   Runs Windows applications on Linux, BSD and Mac OS X.

(I'd even be tempted to bold 'applications' for newbies...)

> * The "Help!" button could be a bit friendlier, eg "Get Help" or
> "Support".  At the least, drop the exclamation point.

Well, 'Help!' has a nice Beatles ring to it, while 'Get Help' sounds 
very much like 'Go see a Shrink' and 'Support' like we're going to 
put them in touch with an 'Alcoholics Anonymous' group. <g>

More seriously, the problem with using single words is that it makes it 
harder to keep consistent about using the active or passive form. So we 
 * 'Information' and 'Development' on the passive side.
 * 'Download' and 'Donate' on the active side.
 * 'Help!' on one side or the other, depending on how you understand it.

Notice how OpenOffice.org avoids this issue by using proper sentences.

> * The download icon is weird.  A large down arrow would probably be
> better than a CD, especially since we don't offer anything CD-like.
> * Similarly, using the classic "wrench" icon for development would be a
> bit more obvious.

Sounds good too.

I'm not a big fan of the high contrast in the colors. The OpenOffice.org 
site is much softer in that respect. But then colors...

I also find the glass on the main page to be huge (as in too big). I 
don't know if it is related, but on my laptop (1024x768) there is no 
background to the right of the sidebar. There is ample blank space next 
to the main buttons though. So there's some work needed so the site can 
adapt to lower window widths. It should be able to cope down to about 
820 pixels as far as I can see here.

Francois Gouget <fgouget at free.fr>              http://fgouget.free.fr/
            Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes.
       That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away - and barefoot.

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