kubuntu website feedback

Jonathan Riddell jr at jriddell.org
Wed Apr 8 15:45:29 UTC 2015

And here's some feedback from VDG dude Ken

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ken Vermette <vermette at gmail.com>
Date: 8 April 2015 at 17:39
Subject: Re: Default wallpaper
To: Jonathan Riddell <jr at jriddell.org>

Oh my! It's changed dramatically since I've seen it! It's looking extremely
posh now! I'm quite happy to see how the design has really polished out. I
guess maybe I'll just throw some feedback at'chya - sorry for the
laundry-list, I'm just excited for the design. ;)

   - The pages are quite long; after scrolling past the header, perhaps
   include a sticky scrollspy (like
   http://getbootstrap.com/javascript/#scrollspy) so navigation in the page
   is easier.
   - On the features page, all the images are centred; this makes the pages
   mentally tedious. If you have the images vary in position (e.g. centre,
   left, right, left right centre) it creates better visual appeal an
   decreases cognitive load. Essentially the brain gets tired of
   "read/scroll/read", but varying the positions of text breaks reading
   fatigue. If you do this, sections which are centred are usually the really
   big-ticket items.
   - On the features page, several of the images could be cropped or
   slimmed down a bit; another trick might be overlaying the text on top of
   visually uninteresting (white-space) portions of the screenshots - maybe
   having a bit of background under the text overlay to ensure legibility.
   - On the downloads page it's not immediately obvious that it's an
   accordion structure. What you may want to do is show the preferred download
   methods at all times in each section, with a "more download options" button
   which exposes the rest of the options.
   - In the footer there's a "Download Kubuntu" link; I would break it out
   of the list and give it extremely prominent placement so users have a
   call-to-action after they have browsed a page.
   - On the download page above the accordion, I would put in mention that
   Kubuntu is free and open-source; I wouldn't explain it in philosophical
   terms, but I would make it clear that the software does not cost money and
   isn't just some trial. Specifically, phrased in a way that someone
   completely unfamiliar with open-source would understand they aren't about
   to be hoodwinked.
   - Lastly, I would add an 'installation instructions' page, linked to
   from the downloads page, including CD burning instructions from a Windows
   PC or Mac.
   - On the homepage it says "Kubuntu is an open-source alternative to
   Windows and Office" - I think that phrasing diminishes Kubuntu, I'd maybe
   re-word it to something like "Kubuntu is a free, complete, open-source
   operating system which includes everything you need to work, play, and
   share. Created by a worldwide team of expert developers Kubuntu can replace
   or compliment to operating systems such as Windows and Mac OSX; install
   Kubuntu on your personal computer to enjoy powerful cutting-edge features
   in a simple and beautiful package, or deploy it across a network to enjoy
   the benefits of security and open standards."

On a personal level, I think the page that really needs to hit it out of
the park is the features tour, and right now it feels a little unfocused.
We have a list of things we can do well, but there's no context to it; I'd
probably divide the 'Feature Tour' page into 5 entirely separate pages:
'Overview', Enjoy, Work, Connect, and Create.

   - For the overview it would just be a list of the other sections with
   'learn more' links.
   - For 'Enjoy' I'd present all the media applications and put a big focus
   on the face that we have AAA games now; it's still a major misconception
   that we don't have games, and need to start advertising that a bit. I don't
   know if you'd want to email the Valve guys for their graces on using
   screen-shots of their games, but there are some attractive games that would
   make a great hero shot.
   - For Work I'd focus on office, file management, and development. While
   not necessarily 'sexy', a section explaining how KIO could seamlessly
   connect to Windows and Mac protocols for sharing and collaborating would be
   valuable to office workers.
   - For Connect we would show Firefox, Chat, Mail, and Muon. Possibly push
   a plasmoids screenshot showing how you can feed information to your desktop
   without needing 17 applications open.
   - Lastly, I would also have a 'Create' page showing off Krita, KDenlive,
   Digikam, and even KDevelop; have the background splash behind Krita be some
   of the gorgeous artwork from that program. Linux game development is
   becoming popular, so you may want to mention that Krita has game-specific
   features such as tiling tools, and has been used in game production on
   several occasions (which it has!)

If you went this route, I would also stop linking to the raw screenshot
images on click; I'd let them sink into the background a bit, and instead
provide one or two links per section to articles and reviews praising the
applications. For example, there's a blendernation article
showing Krita being used in developing a game - those sorts of links.

Anyway, fantastic work, I hope that helps!

 - Ken
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