So as part of the ongoing www.fedoraproject.org website redesign project, I’ve been working on mockups for a new www.fedoraproject.org front page. Here’s the rough sitemap I’ve drawn up for the work:
As you can see, a lot of thought has been put into the home page and articles features on it (sections 1-5). I haven’t had much opportunity to flesh out the Get Help and Join Fedora sections yet, although I know Diana Harrelson’s anthropological study of the Fedora community is chock-full of useful data and recommendations, especially for the Join Fedora section. If you have any ideas or suggestions for either Join Fedora or Get Help please let me know, since we’re still in the process of fleshing out those sections.
Now, before I type out those img tags for the mockups themselves, a few caveats:
- These are very rough mockups. I’ve been working out the navigation scheme with Sijis – I’m not happy with it right now so he’s been helping me figure out a better way – so it will probably change. So yeah, we know it kind of sucks, we’re working on it.
- The position of individual elements on the screens will probably change. The one item I do not want to move is the download button in the right sidebar, though. I want it to be approximately in that area, although it may move up to be inside of the banner. This is because especially around a release, many users visit the website in order to download Fedora so the download button needs to be prominent.
- The main banner is meant to be a slideshow. I’ll show some examples of alternative slides for it below. The idea was that the first slide would introduce users to Fedora, and subsequent slides will show you particular new features or highlights of the latest Fedora release. We’ll also have a slide in there to promote our community.
(You can click on any of the mockups for a larger version)
Alternate slideshow banners
This page is so very rough – and these features are by no means exhaustive or even the right ones, just filler for now.
Jef van Schendel put together a content review of the current fedoraproject.org website and identified areas for improvement and called out essential elements we need to keep in place on the site. It’s a great read. Let’s dive a bit into the articles mentioned in his review and in the mockups above:
Ian MacGregor put together an initial list of tutorials for the tutorial section of the website. What do you think of them? Would you change any of them, or add additional ones? Do you know of any tutorials that already exist for Fedora that would be useful that could be formatted for the site?
Here’s Ian’s list:
- Build beautiful color palettes for your home and wardrobe (Agave)
- Automatically upload your files to a backup drive every week (crontab)
- Access your favorite apps with one click (custom desktop launchers)
- Decorate your desktop with family photos (Gimp tutorial)
- Get organized and build a personal database (Gnote)
- Turn your friends into the Hulk! (Cheese)
Your Life on Fedora
This article category still needs fleshing out. I’d like to see 5 article topics for it. ‘Your Life on Fedora’ is meant to show real-life use cases of Fedora users in a variety of situations – maybe an interview of a student with a sidebar highlighting her favorite apps, for example. My hope is that someone new to Fedora would come away from this set of articles with a better understanding of how Fedora might fit into their life.
What Makes Fedora Different?
What makes Fedora different is another article cateogory that needs more fleshing out. It is targeted at both users of other distros and other operating systems to point out what makes Fedora different from what they use now and to set their expectations. Why would you pick Fedora over another Linux distro, for example? Folks should have an answer to that question after reading this section.
There’s a lot of ways you can help, so let me run through them in case you are interested :
- Writing Articles – Do any of the tutorial ideas above appeal to you? Do you have even better tutorial ideas? Want to write a tutorial that will appear on fedoraproject.org?
- Brainstorming Article Ideas – Do you have ideas for articles in the ‘Your Life on Fedora’ or ‘What Makes Fedora Different?’ categories? Do you have a story about Fedora you’d like to share? Would you be willing to interview a friend or family member who uses Fedora?
- Mockup feedback – Do you see any crackrock in the mockups I’ve posted here? (Of course you do!) Call it out! Let me know where we’ve goofed in the mockups, and your suggestions will be warmly welcomed!
- Ideas for Join Fedora and Get Help – Do you help field questions on Fedora on the users list, forum, or IRC help channel? Have some great ideas for how the ‘Get Help’ pages on fedoraproject.org could be organized? Have you helped on-board various new Fedora contributors and have some experience you’d like to share for the Join Fedora section?
- Content for the Features Page – Does the crappiness of the filler content in the Features mockup above give you severe indigestion? Do you have a clear idea of how we should be broadcasting Fedora’s features and have the time and will to write it up?
Anyhow, our work on the website in preparation for Fedora 14 continues; I just wanted to check in with you all and show you the latest. Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments area on this blog post, or on the websites list, or in the websites channel at #fedora-websites on irc.freenode.net. We need your help to make Fedora’s website great; thanks for all of the feedback and suggestions you’ve given so far – it’s what’s gotten us here!