Fedora Spins Site Idea

Just an idea for a front page of a spins site. Still a work in progress, I have to work on a few things like:

  • nicer ‘did you really mean to download the main Fedora download?’ notice in the upper right
  • download buttons are still buggin’ me, and most of these are going to be bittorrent downloads so maybe download button is a bad idea or maybe there should be some kind of ‘how to use bittorrent’ thinger
  • weekly top spins list – point behind this is to give some guidance to users overwhelmed by the choices and not sure what to pick. any ideas on other ways to do this would be appreciated 🙂
  • weekly top spins list – since some downloads are torrent and some are not these stats could be hard to get
  • make this more community-oriented / alive… i added the interview splash with Chitlesh on FEL at the bottom, trying to come up with more ideas to make it feel alive – would general Federal event and news listings make sense here or would they be confusing cuz they’re not spin-related?
  • still need to mockup the ‘about spins’ page..

Let me know what you think.

About Máirín Duffy

Máirín is a principal interaction designer at Red Hat. She is passionate about software freedom and free & open source tools, particularly in the creative domain: her favorite application is Inkscape. You can read more from Máirín on her blog at blog.linuxgrrl.com.


25 thoughts on “Fedora Spins Site Idea

  1. Looks great! =P

    Posted by Keiichi | August 11, 2009, 10:42 pm
  2. Looks extremely good!

    I just wonder if it would be better if spins would be organized into groups instead of alphabetical order, like “Desktop” spins into one group etc.

    Posted by Johnny | August 12, 2009, 1:18 am
    • @Johnny, I think an alphabetical or categorized directory is a great idea, but I’ll tell you why I did them in the format I did – there’s only going to be 8-10 spins for Fedora 12, so it’s not enough spins for categorizing them I don’t think, and alphabetizing them might be a little over kill.

      Although that gives me one idea, what if we had tabs or filters at the top to switch between having the spins listed in alpha order vs in popularity order?

      Posted by mairin | August 12, 2009, 7:45 am
  3. Indeed, the download buttons can be better, for now are a bit plain and very repetitive: 10 orange boxes in a fixed pattern seems a bit too much on your design. Maybe combine somehow the spin logo/icon with the “download now” text?

    Weekly stats may be too hard to get, but featured spins is good to have and may cover the issue.

    Listing news and events would be, I think, a bit too much: there are pages dedicated to this, we don’t need to be redundant and repeat the info on every page. How about some testimonials, use cases? The trick is to not have them looking fake and forced but friendly and natural.

    Posted by Nicu | August 12, 2009, 1:30 am
  4. Hi,
    it looks wonderful! We really need new, modern web which is alive, not dead static pages.

    Only one complain – please, default/official spins (Gnome and KDE) should be treated same way! Do not hide KDE somewhere between secondary spins! Thanks.

    Posted by jreznik | August 12, 2009, 7:56 am
  5. @Christian: that is a good thing. I have my issues too with the Desktop (GNOME) spin, but the main download page *must* be clear and not confusing and present some easy to understand options.

    Posted by Nicu | August 12, 2009, 10:11 am
  6. @mairin: that’s sad. This is just another proof that Fedora is a Gnome-centric distro and KDE is just a second-class citizen.

    @Nicu: but the main download page almost *hide* the options!!! compare the size of the link to Gnome Spin (named Desktop Spin, as if Gnome is the only desktop) versus “other spins” page.

    Posted by Christian | August 12, 2009, 11:45 pm
  7. @mairin: I can’t see it in the mail but I think we (KDE SIG) should try to contact Board and recheck our status. We’d like to go one step higher, to become Fedora KDE Desktop Edition (as it’s called on current download page, I really like it)…

    @nicu: are you really sure we are targeting on right people? Not only question for webpages but for whole Fedora project. Fedora users are (from my observation) more experienced users who want some control over how they use their computer and it’s (unfortunately) suitable for beginners… Conclusion – first we need to know who are our users and then we can target on them on web… I like these new mockups but I’m not sure that are aiming on right people…

    Posted by jreznik | August 13, 2009, 5:05 am
    • I think the website should be targeted at the people who are the current users and the people we want to become our users. And because I am a geek, it does not mean I like to use and ugly website.

      I remember the early days of Mozilla (long before Firefox) when mozilla.org was a very ugly and hard to use website, “our users are developers and they know how to use it” and the “normal” users were expected to go to netscape.com. And then Firefox came and swept everything away.

      If we continue targeting only developers then our user base will continue shrinking, we must also target normal users because:
      – normal users are those we want to grow into contributors;
      – developers want users, they go where the users are.

      I think ignoring end-users is, for the long term, suicidal.

      Posted by Nicu | August 13, 2009, 5:27 am
  8. Which makes little or no sense. The spins likely to be needed most should be the top two. Both need re-naming, and should be ‘Fedora Gnome Desktop’ and ‘Fedora KDE Desktop’.

    Posted by Anne Wilson | August 13, 2009, 5:17 am
    • This is something out of my control. If you care about this, you should contact the Fedora Board.

      Posted by mairin | August 13, 2009, 10:06 am
    • I disagree, the spins needed the most are “Install DVD” (yes, this as number one, instead of a “live” toy) and “Desktop Live”.

      Posted by Nicu | August 13, 2009, 10:19 am
  9. Coming to the party a bit late:

    1. I like having both the “top spins this week” and “featured spin” sidebar items; I think the two combined will actually create a meritocratic ranking of “top spins this week.”

    2. Nitpicking here, but the shade of yellow for the download buttons seems… off.

    3. Is there some way to put the functionality of a “learn more >” link into each spin’s section without making the page too cluttered? If the current design already plans on linking the icon and name of each spin to that spin’s homepage, that might be enough – basically, I’m trying to gently put in “join the community! contribute!” on-ramps wherever possible. 😉

    Posted by Mel | August 17, 2009, 5:17 pm
  10. @Nicu: I didn’t consider the ‘download dvd’ as a spin, otherwise I would agree with you – apart from the naming issue.

    @Mairin: My comments about renaming are not intended to be political. The point is that the current name does not tell the prospective user which desktop will be installed by default. This is not an issue for regular Fedora users, but is for prospective ones. Of course this is not restricted to Fedora – If you consider a different distro for a particular purpose you generally have to ‘suck it and see’ – as it rarely indicates the desktop type. My feeling is that it would be helpful to prospective users.

    @Mel: Given my reservations about the spin names, I proposed the gnome desktop spin and kde desktop spin as the top two on the basis of them being the most common downloads. This is not to denigrate the others mentioned – it’s just that they tend to be somewhat specialist.

    Posted by Anne Wilson | August 18, 2009, 3:12 am
    • @Anne whether or not your comments are intended to be political, this is not the place for your prospoal. As was pointed out to you before, the Fedora Board is the place to send your proposal.

      Posted by mairin | August 18, 2009, 9:41 am
    • @Anne: on which data are you basing the claim about the KDE spin being so popular?

      Posted by Nicu | August 18, 2009, 10:05 am
  11. @Nicu: On the Top Spins this Week, in the illustration at the top of this article

    Posted by Anne Wilson | August 18, 2009, 10:16 am
    • Even if it wasn’t fake data, I expect the KDE is the most downloaded spin from the spins *other* than Desktop (GNOME) and Install DVD. But far behind those. It is, obviously, more popular than specialised things like AOS, Electronic Lab or BrOffice.

      Posted by Nicu | August 18, 2009, 10:53 am
  12. @ Mairin: that wasn’t clear. The principle remains, the most used spins should be listed first, with specialised ones easy to find but not at the top of the list. Users or potential users will be looking with an idea or purpose in mind. I don’t see how alphabetical ordering would be helpful to the user.

    Posted by Anne Wilson | August 18, 2009, 12:57 pm
  13. Looks very nice…

    Chitlesh picture is also a nice touch.

    Posted by Nenad Radulovic | August 20, 2009, 3:52 am


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