[Clipart] [Bug 3974] Interface improvements

bugzilla-daemon at freedesktop.org bugzilla-daemon at freedesktop.org
Mon Aug 15 19:59:14 PDT 2005

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------- Additional Comments From jonadab at bright.net  2005-08-15 19:59 -------
> > Oh, and somebody draw some better buttons;
> I'd be interested to hear your feedback on my download button.

I like it better than mine.  More contrast, easier to read, and simpler, and
I like what you've done with the gradients.  It makes mine look cluttered.

The only thing about it that I'm not entirely sure about is putting the red
lettering together with the orange arrow.  These are colors from our logo,
though, so maybe it's alright, especially if you can get the yellow into the
browse button somehow.  We should get another couple of people to comment,
preferably someone with good artistic ability.

> Where is all the developer information in the menu? That is so key!
> We need people to be able to contribute this way effectively.

The developer stuff is present, but before it was absolutely choking
the site, from an end user perspective.  You can only load up the front
page with so much developer info without actively chasing users away.

Not that the developer stuff isn't important -- it's vital -- but the
developers are quite a LOT more willing (and able) than end users to 
look around, navigate the site, and bookmark relevant subpages.  

Not that we should let the developer and contributor stuff get *hidden*, 
by any means, but it's not.  In my mockup, if you look at the sidebar, the
top three (3) items are end-user items: browse, download, and search.
After that, there's submit, Discussion & Feedback (which presumably will
link to a page that tells about the all-important mailing list, among other
things), the request page (which is very useful for contributors, as well
as for people who want to make requests), and most of the stuff in the
Information section also is developer oriented.  Okay, FAQs are end-user
stuff, and arguably the screenshots, but the news, wiki, and blog items,
as well as the incoming submissions queue, are all solidly in the realm
of the developers and contributors.  Perhaps these things need to be
rearranged better, to make important ones more prominent, but is there
anything *missing* that really needs to be there?

Additionally, several of the developer-oriented links point to deeper 
structures.  The wiki, for instance, is practically an entire site in
itself.  And it's all about developer stuff.  This brings up an important
difference between the way developers versus end users use the web: to
an end user, the front page, basically, is the site; for a developer, the
front page is a navigational tool that helps you find the relevant portion(s)
of the site.  It's a completely different paradigm.

As a navigational feature, the banner across the top probably should point 
back to the main page.  Some people expect that, and the ones who don't
won't likely click on it, and even if they do, the main page is a nice
central destination from which it is easy to get to any other major part
of the site.

> Submit clipart with the simplest input box and submit should most
> definitely be on the front page very prominent. This is important!

I think it was overall a negative for usability, for a couple of reasons.
First, and most important, it was redundant and therefore confusing; we had
at least one contributor complain about not understanding which form to use
and what the difference was, and the answer I was able to give him ("if it
confuses you, just use _this_ form and ignore those other ones") was not 
very satisfactory, IMO.  

Additionally, the extra form, despite *looking* simpler, does not in practice
actually make things easier for most contributors, because after filling out
that form, the user comes anyway to the other form that the link points to.
There are (now that we've got extension sniffing for filetype determination)
rare exceptions to this, when all the metadata are already included, but that
is only likely to happen when the contributor is already familiar with our
process, in which case he's probably bookmarked the submit form anyway,
among other reasons because it provides the dropdown list of keywords.
Really, I don't think we lose much by taking the extra submit form off
the main page -- and we gain significantly in the simplicity department.
The "Submit Clipart" link is the very first thing under the Contribute
section of the sidebar; that's fairly prominent.  And if the main clipart
submission form is all that bad, so that contributors don't want to use
it, perhaps *that* needs to be redesigned.

> You should also think about where a login box would go...
In the sidebar, I should think.  If we have login, there will be several items
related to it:  if the user is not logged in, there's at minimum a box for the
username, one for the password, and a button.  When the user is logged in, there
needs to be some indication of who is logged in, a link to the place where the
user can review and/or change his preferences and whatever personal info (e.g.,
contact information), plus a logout link.  I guess that means a sidebar section.  

If I had to pick a place in the sidebar for it, I'd put it beneath the
Contribute section, but above Information.  An argument could be made for
putting it above Contribute, though.

> The fonts in the body seem a bit too large.   Also, maybe using some of
> the other colors from the logo might pretty up the site slightly.  I'm 
> not so into the bullets in the menu items.  Also, I think consolidating 
> the font stylings into one or two different styles will help 
> professionalize the site more.

These sorts of minor details need not detain us here.  As discussed in
comments 6 and 7, I assume whoever implements the HTML will tweak such 
things, but at this stage I'm more concerned with the overall design.  
As you point out, the thread is already getting long (though I have seen
much longer ones on b.m.o).

> The two buttons should have the same text as the menu.  So Download 
> Clip Art should be the same on the button as in the menu (which currently
> reads Download Releases).

Agreed.  In order to keep the button simple, let's make the sidebar read
"Download Clip Art", unless someone can think of a reason to do otherwise.          
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