Uncategorized

Fedora Website Design Ideas

While stickster was in the Boston area this week, we collaborated on some new design ideas for www.fedoraproject.org and for get.fedoraproject.org.

What do you think? I’ll give you a run-down of the front page design:

Tour Widget

This is a very simplistic design but the basic idea is you have a scrollbox of screenshots you can click through and get descriptions of.

Fedora fits in your life

The idea behind this is to be a rotating widget that shows how Fedora fits into your life. Some ideas on how to do this include talking about music, photos, chat, email, browsing, etc. and mention the tools used in each, linking out to a page of more details on each topic. This particular mocked up one focuses on listening to music.

What makes Fedora different?

This widget is meant to operate similarly to the previous one – there’s a set of different static content that gets loaded into it on a rotating basis. The content here focuses on what makes Fedora different than other operating systems.

You can do this in Fedora!

This widget, again, meant to be rotating content, focusing on the little cool things you can do if you use Fedora. Some ideas we came up with for projects include making funny portraits in Cheese and creating Andy-Warholesque bitmap traced artwork in Inkscape. The main goal of this widget is to entice downloads. :)

Who uses Fedora?

Another rotating set of content to show real-life Fedora users and talk about how they use it.

The full set of mockups are here:


P.S. – As Craig and Bob reminded me to point out, we’re not going to actually use stock photo imagery in the real site. That’s why we need YOUR photos to make this redesign a success. :) Drop me a comment here if you’d be willing to help us fill the site with photos of actual Fedora users, even better, if you’d be willing to be interviewed for one of the user profiles or have an idea for a project!

Discussion

92 thoughts on “Fedora Website Design Ideas

  1. These look really slick. Well done!

    Posted by Phil Sung | August 8, 2009, 2:41 am
  2. That’s a huge improvement.

    I really have the current Fedora website, especially the download page, along with the Debian and FreeBSD websites.

    I really hope this website will happen soon, it’s really slick and very informative/meaningful compared to the websites of other Linux distros etc, nothing like Kubuntu’s silly website, giving half-baked explanations like “it’s a Linux distro based on Ubuntu” or something like that.

    Keep up the good work! Hopefully the distro itself will become less silly and less bloated with crap.

    Posted by Dread Knight | August 8, 2009, 2:54 am
  3. Looks great.. But if the clouds and mountains artistic pic should have been a real one from the raw nature. That way the page would look a bit of real and shiny..

    Apart from that, the page looks awesome..

    Posted by zenwalker | August 8, 2009, 3:22 am
  4. I think all major distro sites are in need of a serious, comprehensive redesign. I made a design for ubuntu.com that I was going to contract out to a web developer friend of mine, but since I work at BK it’s best if these issues simply gain more general awareness.

    The first impression people have of your OS isn’t your OS. It’s your website. Make it as good as you possibly can.

    Also, do it like Sun and have virtual images people can log into to try it out online for themselves.

    Posted by ethana2 | August 8, 2009, 5:05 am
  5. Agree with all above, very slick ideas. I really think hip/modern graphic themes with more content geared toward users who don’t necessarily have a clear idea of what Linux is would really help Fedora, and maybe Linux in general, from the userbase point of view.

    Keep up the great work.

    Posted by Matthew Daniels | August 8, 2009, 5:36 am
  6. I really like the way website gets better and better – first with the new community page now with this. The slickness of the page was already acknowledge but I was just asking myself if the bear is the mascot of Fedora as the mascot page on the wiki doesn’t say to have any winner :).

    Posted by MStoykov | August 8, 2009, 7:53 am
  7. You did a great job Mairin, @zenwalker I think that the clouds and the nature looks way better then a real pic.

    Posted by Gian Mario Tagliaretti | August 8, 2009, 8:09 am
  8. I’m pretty sure I’ve left messages here before telling you what a fanboi I am… but here I am again!

    If I have to pick a minor nit, I’m not sure the login screen is that interesting. But basically I love it.

    Pretty sure the “Get Fedora” page will cause ruckus with the same old opinions being trotted out, but I think these pages all look like they work together brilliantly.

    Posted by AH | August 8, 2009, 8:59 am
  9. Very beautifull Idea!! When fedoraproject.org change? :-P
    Greate work.

    Posted by diego | August 8, 2009, 9:05 am
    • Hi Diego! We’re definitely aiming to have some changes in for Fedora 12 but I do not know if that will include a new template or not. Well see :)

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 2:50 pm
  10. Looks awesome! I’ve always thought the Fedora website left a lot to be desired.
    I love the ‘i don’t know panda’ :P

    Posted by Leighman | August 8, 2009, 9:41 am
  11. I love it!

    Posted by Zach Oglesby | August 8, 2009, 9:52 am
  12. I think its great. The simple content focusing on differences is good and I like the tour widget. I have one significant gripe though, the stock photos are too corporate. They don’t say ‘community driven Linux distro’ to me. If Shelia Brown is a real person then use a photo of her, if she isn’t real then use someone who is?

    I’ve just had another thought related to Matthew’s comment. I agree it would definitely be much more approachable to users not familiar with Linux… but does that mean we shouldn’t mention GNU and Linux? There isn’t a single use of either term on the entire page. As someone who does know what they mean, I would walk away from a distro. website which didn’t give them credit.

    Posted by Craig Loftus | August 8, 2009, 10:03 am
    • Hey Craig,

      Your point about the stockphotos is dead-on. Just to be clear, my intention was not to use stock photos – they’re just in the mockup to give a feel for what the site would look like with pictures of actual people AND because I was too lazy to draw decent stick figures. :) (I wanted to pump out the mocks as quickly as possible just to get the rough ideas out, and it’s easier to do that using a search engine on a stock photo site than manually walking through the 100’s of photos I have of Fedora users.)

      I am hoping, that as this design progresses, that we can source photos of actual Fedora users and contrbutors (so far I have photos from FUDcon Boston 2008 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mairin/sets/72157612400838690/ and some photos from FUDcon Berlin 2009 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mairin/sets/72157620486080147/) but I expect I’ll need everyone’s help in getting photos of more Fedora users & contributors.

      By the way :) If you have any photos you’d like to contrbute or know anyone who’d like to be a website model :) let me know.

      To your other point, about mentioning GNU & Linux, I do think it’s a very valid point and I think probably that’d be approprate for the ‘About Fedora’ page. Maybe it’s not the right approach, let us know, but Paul and I decided to focus to make the top priority of the front page to encourage complete n00bs to hit the download key – thus the little projects-you-can-do widget and what-makes-us-different and how-it-fits-into-your-life widgets. I think we want n00bs to want to download Fedora first, and once we hook them in we can gently introduce them to more of the details about what Fedora & Linux are, where they come from, etc. etc. Does this seem reasonable to you? We haven’t mocked up the ‘About Fedora’ page yet but I’ll certainly take a stab at integrating your suggestion into that page.

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 2:38 pm
      • Thank you for the considered reply, for those of us who “are not that bright” ;)

        I don’t really know how to respond to the 2nd point, so I thought I would spuriously look at the first sentence used to describe each of the various offerings. Smushing their styles together would give us something like:
        “Want an advanced platform for your PC? Fedora will give you that, and it will make you feel better about yourself because you will be using a community developed GNU/Linux based operating system distribution! (What ever one of those is)”.

        I think there is a fine balance to strike between sounding smarmy and baffling people. Which none of the examples below really manages all that well and I don’t feel fit to attempt. I don’t think that Linux distros should veer towards smarm for the sake of acceptability – does gloss and polish sell?

        Windows 7:
        When we asked what you wanted in a PC, you told us to make it simpler and easier to use.

        Mac OS X:
        The world’s most advanced operating system. Finely Tuned.

        Fedora:
        Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software.

        RHEL:
        The world’s leading open source application platform

        Ubuntu:
        Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers.

        Gentoo:
        We produce Gentoo Linux, a special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need..

        Debian:
        Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer.

        Suse:
        SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is the most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing – both physical and virtual – from the desktop to the data center.

        openSUSE:
        openSUSE is a free and Linux-based operating system for your PC, Laptop or Server.

        Posted by Craig Loftus | August 8, 2009, 8:22 pm
      • If you are serious about using photos, we should plan a strategy:
        1. get a Model Release Form form legal, we have one but is tied exclusively to the Picture Book
        2. define a list of photos needed
        3. get together, shot and sign the papers

        Posted by Nicu | August 10, 2009, 9:06 am
  13. I like colors (much better than present site) and easy-access links on the top, but for me it’s a bit too cluttered. Maybe remove this right-side column?

    Posted by Piotr Pyclik | August 8, 2009, 10:19 am
  14. Great work!

    Posted by R* | August 8, 2009, 10:27 am
  15. I don’t understand why the use of stock photography. These people aren’t really fedora users, and I don’t think many fedora users sit in the middle of the road with headphones on. It just looks really coldly corporate and disingenuous. Also, why the focus on one tiny feature (is it Cheese, the photo app?) of one app? It’s not really a killer feature is it?

    Posted by Bob Bobson | August 8, 2009, 10:46 am
    • Hi Bob! Craig made a similar comment above and I went into more detail there (http://mairin.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/fedora-website-design-ideas/#comment-2836) but I wanted to let you know that I absolutely do not plan to use stock photography in the real design, and if you or anyone you know who uses Fedora might be interested in helping us gather the type of photos we need of real Fedora users, please get in touch here.

      Let me tell you why Paul and I thought about using the types of tiny little things we did in the ‘projects’ widget and let me know what you think about it. Basically, the idea is to highlight the kinds of fun little, maybe stupid but maybe impressive things you might show a friend on your own Fedora machine to get them to laugh or have a good time. E.g., the widget could focus on little things that are simple (so if I download Fedora it won’t take a lot of effort for me to try it out too), visual (have a quick impact), and incite someone to want to download Fedora (hey, that looks fun, and not too hard, let’s just give it a try!)

      We could totally focus on some of the more involved & totally amazing things you can do in Fedora like manage virtual guests and migrate them between hosts, but that kind of thing takes a lot of setup and requires a high level of technical knowledge and I fear if we highlight that on a page focused towards newbies, we might draw them in to try the feature, but it might take them a lot of time to figure it out and they might give up early.

      What do you think?

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 2:47 pm
  16. Can we please have that photo of Paul ‘Hulk’ Frields cover the whole start page? ;)

    Posted by Christoph | August 8, 2009, 11:11 am
  17. Just loose the teddy bear, and I’m ok. We need enterprises interested in Fedora because that’s where things happen and that’s where the future is.

    Posted by Michael DeHaan | August 8, 2009, 1:13 pm
    • everyone loves pandas!

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 2:48 pm
      • No please, do not use pets animals and kids to make fedora web page to look like an advertisement for a toy shop. The design is nice, but not as a mainpage for an operating system.

        Posted by comodet | September 14, 2009, 2:48 pm
  18. Great job, Mo.

    Posted by John McDonough | August 8, 2009, 1:16 pm
  19. Wow Mo, that looks really cool….. but I didn’t know Paul was secretly the hulk :-P

    Pete

    Posted by Peter | August 8, 2009, 1:47 pm
  20. hey, totally nice work. A lot better than the earlier one.
    But I just have one comment,

    “Do it with fedora” sounds a little like ubuntu’s “I do it with ubuntu” marketing scheme – which sounded out rightly silly/funny(a lot of my colleagues/ friends had laughed their behinds off reading the really funny comments from digg..) No offence to ubuntu, but just my opinion.

    but rest all is cool and more informative

    Kashyap.

    Posted by kashyap | August 8, 2009, 1:55 pm
    • Hey Kashyap! thanks for pointing that out. Maybe we could go for a little something different.
      ‘Try Fedora out!’ ‘Fun Fedora Projects’ ‘You can do this too!’ eg eg

      I’ll ponder on it! Let me know if you come up with anything we could replace it with as well.

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 2:49 pm
  21. All of the above!

    For gathering contributor profiles, user profiles, and generally filling out all that concept in an ongoing, scalable way … I was thinking this seems like a great job for the Ambassadors, who have been doing this sort of thing for years in an ad hoc fashion.

    If we had a regular set of interview questions and maybe a web form to input the answers + photos, we could enabled Ambassadors to populate the database from e.g. a show floor.

    It would be pretty cool if I could do a 12 or 30 second video during a show, upload that plus the answers, and possibly have that in the rotation before very long.

    The ‘get Fedora’ page is a good one for having on regular display at an expo booth. Then, if show attendees were being added to the pool, they’d see themselves pop up, etc.

    If the redesign could include a simple process and set of tools, I’m sure the various Ambassador leaders would promote the usage.

    Posted by quaid | August 8, 2009, 4:39 pm
  22. The Panda is a an awesome concept none the less and it should stay. Corporations adopt products that are suitable for people, doh! You don’t aim a project directly at a corporation, but you aim it to the people and the corporations adopt your projects that people love so much, in order to make a business out of it.

    Some of you people are not that bright, as you don’t get it that those images are just mockups, so Sheila Brown is probably a fictive character and the watermarked istock photos are just temporary in order to illustrate the idea.

    Posted by Dread Knight | August 8, 2009, 5:04 pm
  23. Keep the teddy bear. We need a mascot… in fact the bear eating some cobbler would be great. :P

    Posted by Stephen Smoogen | August 8, 2009, 5:34 pm
  24. I would say that it isn’t enough to merely advertise cool uses of Fedora, like “Burn custom mixes for your friends and find new artists under Creative Commons!”

    Heck, -I’m- not even sure how to do that. Last time I tried to burn CDs for a friend in Fedora, I wrecked four CDs. And yes, I know how to burn CDs.

    My point is not to beat up on Nautilus and Brasero, though: my point is, I think for complete newbie-friendliness, for any “Cool Task” that you present, there should be an accompanying video tutorial.

    Go through my music collection and burn a mix CD? Present a three-minute tutorial with Rhythmbox and show me how. Find new artists on Magnatune? Show me how that works in five minutes or less.

    Video presentations have the added benefit of showing -exactly- what you’re getting when you install this thing, and add an extra layer of honesty to the advertisements (Yes, you can really do something this cool, and here is how you do it in Fedora!).

    It shows potential users exactly how to do a task, and it is upfront and honest about the workflow required in Fedora to do it.

    Remember how for every feature on the OS X Leopard Coming Soon page at apple.com, they had a video preview showing it off? Like that. Show them what they’re getting. Show them the experience. Make videos a first-class part of the Fedora advertisement content.

    Posted by twilightomni | August 8, 2009, 7:12 pm
    • Hi Twilightomni, that’s a fantastic idea. We did mock it up to link out to some page with the steps, but I haven’t mocked up those pages yet. I think they absolutely should include videos, and I think ‘can you do this in 5 minutes or less’ would be a good metric to figure out whether or not one of the ‘projects’ we propose as something users can do with Fedora is added there or not.

      Posted by mairin | August 8, 2009, 7:49 pm
  25. One last thing: if it can’t be demonstrated in a short few-minutes-long video clip, then I’d say it counts as one of those “you’re gonna need a lot of knowledge to do this” things (ex., migrating virtual machines) and thus should not count as a “Cool Do-It-Yourself Task.”

    It could qualify, however, as an Advanced Fedora Feature. Maybe there should be a collection of those as well.

    (Ex., the Fedora Website could have different sections. For Users (Cool Things to Do), For Developers (Cool Technologies that Come with Fedora), For Administrators (Awesome Things Fedora Can Do That Require Advanced Knowledge).

    The Administrators category could be renamed… for IT, for Businesses, something like that.

    I think with those three categories (easy newbie stuff, developer stuff [those who use Fedora to contribute], and technical-y stuff) you can show off most of what Fedora has to offer.

    Posted by twilightomni | August 8, 2009, 7:17 pm
  26. First off, let me say that this is a rather big improvement from what is currently used at fedoraproject.org. That much is very clear… it bright, it’s really clean, there seems to be a hint of excitement in the design (which is something that the Fedora Community does need to show off a bit more in my opinion).

    There is one thing that does bug me, the design of the front page does seems oddly familiar to me. Namely, it reminds me of mozilla.com mixed with mozilla.org… allot! If that was purposely done then you are welcome to ignore me, if not… then you may have to worry, since it does come off as a little un-original (as much as it may be).

    Still it’s nice, oh and one more thing…. Please kill to keep that damn Panda, mairin. The thing is too cute and seems to look like a great little mascot.

    Duv

    Posted by Duv | August 8, 2009, 8:53 pm
    • Hi Duv, the design is pretty heavily inspired by getfirefox.com which I think redirects to a Mozilla page, directly in the idea of the download splash and its basic layout, and then just the idea to have a very big color banner at the top. Very, very heavy influence there (and I hope it’s okay, I assume Mozilla being an open source group wouldn’t mind being our inspiratoin.) Very astute of you to notice. :)

      Also thanks for the panda love, I will fight for him :) He needs a name…

      Posted by mairin | August 9, 2009, 4:44 am
      • You know what, if you toss me an e-mail… I might have something for you in a matter of days for a name.

        It’s not love, much, more that something like that little guy would make the distro a little more “personable” or approachable (some people are very attracted to cute things “that rot teeth”). Which last time I checked, it something we want anyway.
        Anywho, it does give us something like Ubuntu had with the scantly clad people wallpapers… something that other people with identity with. Panda’s (which are natural playful last time that I checked) seem to describe Fedora a bit, we are playful… dangerously so.

        Duv

        Posted by Duv | August 9, 2009, 5:42 am
      • “Also thanks for the panda love, I will fight for him :) He needs a name…”

        How about Pandora ?

        He who will release all the goodness upon the world by opening the Fedora spins.

        Posted by bochecha | August 11, 2009, 11:07 am
  27. Hy Mo,

    you know I allways love your Designs. Also This ones are awsome. BUT (as allways from me) I have hopefully some improvements ;-)
    The Design-Elements and placement within an upcoming CMS I like very much. Maybe we can put this into a Theme or pattern wich everyone can work with… (a Template maybe…).
    The Top-Banner I found a bit to much Teletubby Style … I miss our 4F’s a bit in there. The “Fedora fits in your life” and “What makes Fedora different?” and so on thingys I like BUT I allways have the feeling “A, I’m on the sony or HP page” ;-) Yes, I know Stock-photos, but as we “First” maybe we can shoot our own Fotos for that?! We now have our own gallery -> fill it with lots of pics… ( make a theme out of it (like Paul Hulk) and voila we have a hackergotchie-like Button-icon thingy ;-) Have fun & enjoy.

    Posted by Henrik | August 8, 2009, 9:09 pm
    • Hi Henrik! Great ideas. I absolutely do not want to use stock photos in the final design – we need real Fedora users! I also think we’ll have to template this rather than doing it statically.

      The artwork can be worked on – I threw that together very quickly for the mockup.

      Posted by mairin | August 9, 2009, 4:42 am
  28. Fantastic idea and fantastic image :)

    Posted by innovatel | August 10, 2009, 8:05 am
  29. This is very cool, but – and it’s a big but – I’m not sure about the intended audience.

    The mockups seem to be based around the ‘everyone can use Fedora’ theme. However, there are rather a lot of things about Fedora which mean it’s really not the best choice of a distribution for a non-enthusiast who just wants to do normal computer-y things. When this is pointed out, many Fedora project members tend to say ‘well, that’s not what Fedora’s for, Fedora is a developers’ / enthusiasts’ distro’. There isn’t a lot of enthusiasm within the project, as far as I can see, for spending the extra work to make it so that Fedora could be an awesome distribution for normal users. Few people support the idea of setting up a stable update path, or an LTS-type Fedora. There are other examples, I won’t go into them.

    Given this, our website has to have consistent messaging with what our development team is actually doing. If Fedora is going to continue to be built primarily for the benefit of enthusiasts and developers, the website needs to be designed to reflect that.

    Posted by Adam Williamson | August 10, 2009, 11:39 pm
    • Hi Adam, there was a very deliberate choice by myself and Paul to target a wider userbase than Fedora typically is used by. Why? You’ve probably seen Karsten’s community contribution pyramid (http://iquaid.org/2009/04/14/community-sets/) – the goal here is to increase the bottom portion of the pyramid in hopes of growing wider to the tip.

      I think right now we’re imbalanced by over-focusing on the contributor tip. I think other distros *cough cough* are imbalanced by over-focusing on the base.

      By no means does having a more generally user-friendly website mean that we are going towards a stable update path or an LTS-type path.

      Posted by mairin | August 11, 2009, 12:43 am
      • Well, yes, and that’s sort of my point :) I don’t think it’s a great idea to promote a distribution to a group when it’s probably _not_ actually the best distribution for most of them, just on the hopes that a small percentage of them will soldier on and become contributors. I think that’s quite arse-y to the Linux community in general, which we should think about along with our own interests.

        Posted by Adam Williamson | August 11, 2009, 3:20 pm
        • Adam, who do you propose we focus the distro towards? Developers and other highly-technical users? What design implications do you see from that? How will we grow as a distribution if we continue to preach to the choir?

          Posted by mairin | August 11, 2009, 3:45 pm
          • Just keeping the design as it is and focus on making more useful websites for packagers (I know you are working on this), making that Bugzilla UI analysis for me :), and stuff like that. Otherwise, we won’t grow our distribution by improving design of the web (and yes, I am all for as many pandas as possible), but by keeping with quality software, and making it the best distribution for developers. So, yes I don’t agree with that pyramid thing.

            Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 3:53 am
          • I don’t think we’re doing any preaching. The problem (and how I’d like to solve it) is that LTS type support is something fedora-devel is not willing to do, meaning it’s dishonest to get users to use Fedora. We also don’t quite pay as good attention to certain things that cause laptops to oops a lot. We don’t test consumer laptop hardware as well as we could and publish matrixes of what parts of things computers work and what don’t (look at UNR).

            For Fedora to market itself to those audiences in good conscience, we must first fix those underlying issues so users who see the marketing web pages also want to tell their friends about how it just works, else we end up backfiring a bit. Yes, we need a new page redesign, but the marketing angle should … fall in later, let’s talk with the Board and try to organize Fedora-devel and the resources we can control to steer towards something like that.

            (BTW, I think the new layout is great and well overdue, I just didn’t like the panda (that’s me, personally), for the same reasons Adam said. And I recognize that a lot of things are just placeholders and webcam pictures would be replaced by PolicyKit XML … ok, I’m kidding on that last one)

            The classic OSS problem here is that it’s hard to tell contributors what to work on, and this kind of focus is, historically, stuff you have to pay people to work on. Folks work on what is most interesting to them and their skills, which means they do not always look after what an end user needs — unless they are in a structure that focuses them to do this.
            (There are many exceptions, but there’s a fair amount of truth in that).

            Posted by mpdehaan | August 12, 2009, 9:49 am
      • @Adam Williamson:

        Well, My thinking is this… if Fedora doesn’t reach to groups that are the unknown willing, then simply put, it will not grown.
        Like in the gaming, the “casual” market it filled with those that, would do a puzzle, work on a sim, do something in a game that is outside of the traditional scope “gaming”. If you have noticed, those customers right now are the money makers…

        Fedora in that same token should outreach a bit to those outside of the traditional scope of users in the broad aspect. It not naive to assume that their are people that would love to work on Fedora once shown the community around it is healthy, but to sit an do nothing to try to gather such people is a waste. Even if it turns out to be small, it better to make the active effort to each to then general audience…. they could be more willing to get involved than most (myself included) think.

        Posted by Duv | August 11, 2009, 5:30 pm
      • In addition, there are other ways for a distribution to improve its perceived “friendliness” and stability that don’t involve the long-term-service debate that pops up on fedora-list.

        Just plain improving the quality of the software helps. A stable upgrade process would be nice, but alas it’s not a perfect world. Then there’s also making new infrastructure that allow developers to more easily improve Fedora and lowers the barrier of entry for new developers while improving the quality of their submissions by automating trivial but tedious tasks. These are all good ways to help improve the system.

        Is Fedora being presumptuous by reaching to more casual users when the above improvements are still in flux/taking effect? Maybe so. But asynchronous improvement of different aspects of the distribution seem to be inevitable.

        Posted by twilightomni | August 11, 2009, 8:41 pm
      • You see, Mo, that’s exactly what I was talking about when I said that Fedora (apparently, it includes *you*) lives in denial about its ūbergeekiness.

        Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 3:50 am
      • Matěj, I’ve been there, done that. I know exactly where you are coming from. Yet, I’m tired of Fedora being an insular community. How am I going to recruit more artists and designers (the latter desperately needed for UI and interaction design) if our community remains so off-putting to them?

        Posted by mairin | August 12, 2009, 9:41 am
      • Well, you have to tell me … I mean in the same manner as I said below we want to make Fedora the best distro for developers and packagers, QA folks, etc., I think we want to make Fedora the best distro for people *who create* art. Something which looks like putting Fedora mostly in competition with Ubuntu (sorry, if it wasn’t your intent, but it’s the feeling I get from it) for getting all newbies won’t cut it IMHO. I don’t know what makes artistic folks want to switch to Fedora to make the difference, but is it this? Will they fall for couple of photos?

        I don’t know makes the artist switch to Fedora. Is it because they have best tools? Is it because they are close to upstream, so their design can have higher chance to be universally accepted as the standard one? Is it because they have the most creative community in Fedora? You tell me.

        And of course, I am sorry for not saying before, this *IS* very nice webdesign and the page looks nice. And yes, we need to redesign the webpage, but IMHO (and I won’t do the work, so this is just my bikeshedding) it should be oriented to different audience. Fedora doesn’t have the fame of the distro most accessible to newbies, but it has a great tradition of the strongest engineering qualities. I think we should keep the webdesign in these traditions.

        Actually the process I would prefer for fedoraproject.org website would be something of the googlization (or if you wish applization) … getting rid of the clutter and having just Really Useful Website (sorry, just reading Tomas The Tank Engine stories to my kids ;-)). This page you have created is very pretty, but it is yet another front page you have to go through to get to the really interesting stuff (in the same manner as the current http://fedoraproject.org) — I always start on fp.o/wiki. Why not to make this into website which would be useful for people who do the stuff? The website which would be pleasant to *use* and goo everybody dreads to tread in? Pleasant starting point (not just presentation, actually real tool) for programmer, packager, docwriter, and yes of course artist.

        Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 3:19 pm
      • Hi Matěj,

        Thanks for this discussion by the way, it is important I think to talk it out –

        ” Will they fall for couple of photos?”

        The redesign is more than a couple of photos though. You’ll notice with the user profiles and project ideas, it’s directly associating Fedora with creative activities that link to people’s real lives, rather than techno pr0n. We can attract artists by talking about how Fedora helps them be creative, instead of talking only about geeky/techy capabilities that don’t relate to their real life.

        “And yes, we need to redesign the webpage, but IMHO (and I won’t do the work, so this is just my bikeshedding) it should be oriented to different audience.”

        Who do we orient it to? Give me an example of a person. Do we orient it to… oh I don’t know… Paul himself? Is that the type of user we want? I’m not trying to orient it to anyone’s mom, by the way, that is not the goal. On the advisory board list, there’s been discussion about orienting it to users who are computer savvy but maybe have no previous Linux experience. Maybe this design casts a wider net than that… I’m not sure. But if we can agree on the appropriate audience we can tweak the design accordingly quite easily I think.

        “Fedora doesn’t have the fame of the distro most accessible to newbies, but it has a great tradition of the strongest engineering qualities. I think we should keep the webdesign in these traditions.”

        Are you telling me Ubuntu, LTS or not, is any easier for a newbie than Fedora? They have a right to try to attract Linux newbies and we do not?

        “Actually the process I would prefer for fedoraproject.org website would be something of the googlization (or if you wish applization) … getting rid of the clutter and having just Really Useful Website (sorry, just reading Tomas The Tank Engine stories to my kids ;-) ).”

        That is the point of Fedora Community – to be the really useful website aimed at Fedora contributors in particular. The Fedora website should be our main gateway to reach non-contributors – it should be our main platform for marketing messages.

        “This page you have created is very pretty, but it is yet another front page you have to go through to get to the really interesting stuff (in the same manner as the current http://fedoraproject.org) — I always start on fp.o/wiki.”

        I agree with this 100% which is why we’re focusing on making Fedora Community the first place contributors go to get to the good shiz.

        Posted by mairin | August 12, 2009, 3:38 pm
    • Indeed. I’d feel wrong leading people up a creek they really didn’t want to go down (how’s that fora mixed metaphor).

      Also, mascots should really be put to the elections system. We have some good software for that. The first question should be “do we need a mascot”.

      Posted by mpdehaan | August 12, 2009, 9:33 am
    • and sorry for typos (“I don’t know what make artists switch to Fedora…”, “… and not goo everybody dreads ….”).

      Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 3:23 pm
    • > Thanks for this discussion by the way, it is important I think to talk it out –

      You are very welcome.

      > Who do we orient it to? Give me an example of a person. Do we orient it to… oh I don’t know… Paul himself?

      I met in the last year or so pretty big number of former Ubuntu users who are leaving for Fedora. They feel like their overgrown newbie oriented distro and they would like something more bleeding edge where their effort would be more relevant for whole Linux community (yet another advantage of upstreaming everything). These kind of folks are not that much refugees from Windows, and they know very well they can make Paul green.

      > Are you telling me Ubuntu, LTS or not, is any easier for a newbie than Fedora? They have a right to try to attract Linux newbies and we do not?

      I think we have less right to promote ourselves to newbies than them (or CentOS, my black horse for newbies), because we just are more bleeding edge and so we are (and we have to be) broken more often.

      > That is the point of Fedora Community – to be the really useful website aimed at Fedora contributors in particular.

      That’s http://fcp.surfsite.org/ ???

      > The Fedora website should be our main gateway to reach non-contributors – it should be our main platform for marketing messages.

      Hmm, OK.

      > I agree with this 100% which is why we’re focusing on making Fedora Community the first place contributors go to get to the good shiz.

      OK, so idea is that I should just ignore http://fp.o exists?

      Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 5:38 pm
      • Hi Matěj,

        1) Fedora Community is at http://admin.fedoraproject.org/community. There are also banner ads that point to it on fpo.

        2) You shouldn’t ignore that fpo exists, but realize it serves as a tool to explain what Fedora is and introduce it to folks who don’t know what it is… it is lamely attempting to do that right now. The intro paragraph on the front page isn’t any news to you or I…

        3) So do you think our target should be refugees from other Linux distros? Or do you think we should specifically target ‘graduates’ from newbie distros? (is Ubuntu the only one?)

        4) How is Ubuntu any less bleeding-edge than Fedora’s stable repos?

        Posted by mairin | August 12, 2009, 5:42 pm
      • > 3) So do you think our target should be refugees from other Linux distros? Or do you think we should specifically target ‘graduates’ from newbie distros? (is Ubuntu the only one?)

        Well, generally developers or people who want to create something useful (and not only …. don’t know polite word :) … over their yet another new distro), developers, artists, where light brokenness is not that big problem, but obsolete packages and distance from upstream are. Also better quality of the process and thus (at least perceived) higher quality (not random patches from somewhere, in-house development and fixing).

        > 4) How is Ubuntu any less bleeding-edge than Fedora’s stable repos?

        Actually, I was surprised that it actually is http://oswatershed.org/ … less Karmic × Rawhide than F11 × Jaunty, but still (and I am not sure how really relevant their numbers are).

        However, just from looking on broader picture I think the second comment from the top on http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/11165/ should be our badge of honor and in bigger projects it to my random thoughts follow the reality … if thinking about big components of OS (ext4, KMS in Xorg, NetworkManager, PackageKit, not mentioning BTRFS, earlier new wifi drivers in kernel), then Ubuntu was usually one or two distro releases behind (they started testing in the release which came out sometimes around when we released distro where it was default).

        And it is not saying, that by being more bleeding edge Fedora is better than Ubuntu — to each his own, and if you target newbies you should prefer more stable and mature code, whereas when you target developers you need the freshest one risking some breakage here and there.

        Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 7:00 pm
      • Forgot one more thing:
        >… newbie distros? (is Ubuntu the only one?)

        Well, there are some others (Linspire, Mint, Mandriva???), but they are either just a shadow of Ubuntu in terms of popularity, or they are Ubuntu derivatives anyway.

        Posted by Matěj | August 12, 2009, 7:02 pm
  30. Mairin,

    In general i like the layouts…. for 6 year old kids.
    If this is the best you can come up with you might as well base it on this: http://ostiaunlobby.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/teletubbies-group2.jpg perhaps that will fit that age category even better don’t you think?

    Here is what i think it should look like (while roughly maintaining your layouts). Make it a little more professional. Cut the panda (although it’s cute) and specially REMOVE that super packager and that hulk frields. just childish playing what you did there and that’s what’s on fedora for years now. The site strikes as childish as do your new layout mockups.

    That’s it. I hope it helps improving the layouts to make them look less childish.

    Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2009, 1:07 am
  31. Mairin,

    In general i like the layouts…. for 6 year old kids.
    If this is the best you can come up with you might as well base it on this: h t t p ://ostiaunlobby.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/teletubbies-group2.jpg perhaps that will fit that age category even better don’t you think?

    Here is what i think it should look like (while roughly maintaining your layouts). Make it a little more professional. Cut the panda (although it’s cute) and specially REMOVE that super packager and that hulk frields. just childish playing what you did there and that’s what’s on fedora for years now. The site strikes as childish as do your new layout mockups.

    That’s it. I hope it helps improving the layouts to make them look less childish.

    Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2009, 1:14 am
    • The super packager banner is a banner currently in rotation right now on fedoraproject.org for the Fedora Community project.

      I think you realize how childish your comment is as you felt the need to hide behind anonymity.

      Posted by mairin | August 11, 2009, 1:33 am
      • The point ‘Anon’ is trying to make is that when you try to garner a new audience or appreciation for this distro, you could (if you’re not careful enough) insult the present community of Fedora.

        I am no expert on linux distros, but isn’t Fedora regarded as being bleeding edge? The website mock up isn’t edgy.

        Also, get rid of ‘No strings attached;’ it’s really bad. There’s not a lot of comments here on the copy writing.

        Posted by Travis | August 11, 2009, 2:13 am
      • One-level removed from Travis’s reply:

        Bleeding-edge refers to the software, not the people who use it.

        Normal, happy people can use bleeding-edge software, and have fun. You don’t have to be “edgy” to enjoy using software.

        You are applying a -development- term about the software as a -personality- term.

        Posted by twilightomni | August 11, 2009, 2:30 pm
  32. Looks OK for me but… ¿why on earth is KDE LiveCD hidden again?

    Posted by Christian | August 11, 2009, 9:40 pm
    • How is it hidden? They’re in alphabetical order and it has a large, very noticeable KDE icon next to it?

      Oh you were replying to the first mockup, sorry. check the newer mockup I posted tonight.

      Posted by mairin | August 11, 2009, 9:50 pm
  33. I was not disputing authority. You asked for opinions, and got some.

    Posted by mpdehaan | August 13, 2009, 8:13 am
    • I wasn’t alluding to any dispute of authority. You suggested we get the Fedora Board involved, I was pointing out that was unnecessary as they commissioned this design process and were the impetus for it starting in the first place.

      Posted by mairin | August 13, 2009, 10:08 am
  34. Nicu, Microsoft does have longer security update intervals, and while that is also my experience, it doesn’t require burning new media. Paul mentions Pre-upgrades in your post, and there are things we can do from an engineering perspective to improve that, though there are things Fedora still needs to improve on more before we gather thant user focus. I’ve seen the EKG numbers on how well folks on fedora-devel support the user lists for instance — not too good, and some discussions on fedora-devel that did not go as well as I’ve liked when talking about longer support intervals.

    Posted by mpdehaan | August 13, 2009, 8:15 am
    • Forget about Microsoft, we have our asses handed to ourselves in this space with Ubuntu and its 18 months “support”. 13 or 18 month is pretty much in the same league.

      Our user list is so noisy, I totally understand the developers not wanting to spend the time there.

      Posted by Nicu | August 13, 2009, 8:52 am
  35. Hi!
    Really cool blog!
    Please visite my webpage to at http://www.4createwebsite.com – For Create Website.
    Thanks! Bruno

    Posted by Bruno Lima | August 17, 2009, 7:21 pm
  36. i though these fedora’s design has made a lot improvement…something like mac os..i like it so much

    Posted by Wayan Parmana | August 18, 2009, 11:02 pm
  37. Great work!

    Posted by steve | August 25, 2009, 2:22 pm
  38. Excellent layout Mairin.

    We need to improve our official site with a design more professional and organized like in your proposal.

    Congratulations

    Posted by Rodrigo Padula | September 3, 2009, 1:42 pm
  39. Gerat job Mairin.

    Posted by VH App Design | October 28, 2009, 6:17 am
  40. Great post. Thanks for sharing this.

    Looking forward to read more from you.

    Posted by Web Design Los Angeles | November 8, 2009, 11:00 pm
  41. Someday there will only be fedora and there will be much that is good upon the earth.
    The massive marketing and manipulation of people will fail and the truth will be known. There will be peace on earth.
    LOL Sorry I had this weird picture in my head of a futurescape with a giant fedora logo where coke used to be on a business trip to atlanta again.

    Posted by Dave. C. | November 12, 2009, 5:12 pm
    • I really don’t mean to insult if it’s not the case, but your reply seems to be a pretty clever piece of spam… I may moderate it out.

      Posted by mairin | November 12, 2009, 5:21 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Ideas para un nuevo diseño para el sitio de Fedora | Actualidad | Distribuciones | Espacio Linux - Portal y comunidad GNU/Linux en español - August 8, 2009

  2. Pingback: The Grand Fallacy » Cosmetic surgery you can be proud of. - August 10, 2009

  3. Pingback: New Fedora Spins site with Fedora 12 « Máirín Duffy - November 18, 2009

  4. Pingback: Want to learn design skills? Want to help Fedora? Fedora Interaction Design Hackfest, Tuesday 24 Nov « Máirín Duffy - November 20, 2009

  5. Pingback: Design Hub Update « Máirín Duffy - March 26, 2010

  6. Pingback: Fedora websites design status « Máirín Duffy - July 21, 2010

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers

%d bloggers like this: