Kubuntu Website Sprint

Paweł Abramowicz pawelabrams at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 20:48:49 UTC 2015


This is Paweł 'Avras' Abramowicz here, the Quintasan's flatmate from
earlier discussion; together with a bunch of my friends we're designing
websites for some time now.

To add my two pennies worth; I see Advertica Lite as a very refreshing
proposal, but as it is a multi-purpose theme, it would need some serious
tweaking to fit Kubuntu perfectly. Its text pages are really good, and it
would be a neat theme for Kubuntu News, obviously, but rearranging the tour
and main page using Wordpress and Wordpress only (even with theme options,
but without struggling with editing the theme's CSS and PHP) might prove
difficult. I have minor concerns about the parallax, too; it must be done
right to achieve any effect, and not just be a pure decoration – and when
it is, it must be a bit more subtle.

Browsing through other distros' sites I've observed a few features worth
discussing. I'll drop the links on the end of my e-mail.

To start with, the first page a potential user sees of Ubuntu [1],
Elementary OS [2] or even Fedora [3] to some extent, are optimised for
newcomers; they have either a feature tour right on the first page, or
there is a big button (or, as marketers say, a Call-To-Action) to download
or see for yourself if you are not yet convinced. Debian [4] tried, but the
only thing they did is a white button, not big enough for a 1366x768
screen, not to mention Full HD ones.

There is a trend to delegate the news section to a dedicated blog [2n],
[3n]. It might be a fad, but I think it's a good idea, and you can use a
distinct, but similar theme for the blog. I think that's where Advertica
Lite should go, as its typography is perfect, but the landing page is not
convincing enough. A different look for a news site allows for a few
modifications, too; you can expose RSS feed and category listings, and hide
irrelevant options from the menu. The main page and the rest of the site is
mostly about visuals; the news site is all about text.

The question if Advertica Lite won't just be maintaining a status quo in
people's reaction (except from the change from "oh, it's old" to "oh, it's
new") is not about what it does right, but about what it doesn't, and
what's wrong that it doesn't avoid. It's basically another do-all news site
without a strong feeling of what you should do next. I know Kubuntu is not
a commercial project, and we don't need to bait people into buying
anything, but it would be beneficial even for a veteran user to have a
visual cue to locate the download button; the download process itself
should be straight-forward and amount of clicks needed should be minimised.
A new release, or just a current number of a version the download button
points to, should be easy to spot. The intent of the page – here, we have
the best Linux for both casual and experienced users, that is good for
every environment – should be clear.

The bad practices are now easy to point in ArchLinux' site[5] - a KISS
distro that has a reddit-type, complex website, where there is only one
download button, hidden from plain sight. Debian[4] is not good either -
it's engineer's interpretation of good practices in design, that turned out
badly. The 16-colour-palette blue is not a pleasant hue, the download
call-to-action is tiny on Full HD screens, and while the site is
responsive, it is certainly not mobile-friendly (links are densely packed,
the colors are too contrasting and hurt eyes in the long run).

To end on a positive note, there are a few features worth using :) The
double menu (static big one in header and fixed top when scrolled down) is
a good idea, but its execution could be a bit better [6]. The header image
is OK, but it can contain a call-to-action within it, and be more
attractive. To look modern, we could use a photorealistic presentation of
the system's desktop, using a ready-made mockup [7][8] or take a photo
ourselves; Quintasan and I could try doing that on our balcony with my HP
or his Thinkpad, but I'm not sure about possible results.

That's all for now; sorry for "tl", and I hope you don't resort to "dr".

[1] Ubuntu - http://www.ubuntu.com
[1d] Ubuntu Desktop Download Page - http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
[2] ElementaryOS - http://elementary.io/
[2n] ElementaryOS' blog - http://blog.elementary.io/
[3] Fedora - https://getfedora.org/
[3n] Fedora Magazine - http://fedoramagazine.org/
[4] Debian - https://www.debian.org/
[5] ArchLinux - https://www.archlinux.org/

[6] one of my coding jobs – the design is not mine, and I don't really take
pride in it - http://oderpaare.de/
[7] a free mockup; we could use this one on CC-BY, or shoot our own -
[8] two collections of mockups, unfortunately, free versions are of no
value to this project: https://placeit.net/ , http://place.to/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubuntu-devel/attachments/20150226/00fbf852/attachment.html>

More information about the kubuntu-devel mailing list