Putting the cart before the horse. (was: Final Notes on the Ubuntu Studio Website)

Scott Lavender scottalavender at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 04:08:38 BST 2010

On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM, Benjamin Turner <
passionsplaydesign at gmail.com> wrote:

> In response to Scott's original mockup:
> http://www.fossmusicproject.org/public/images/website-mockup-3.png
> Good work Scott!
> So, starting with what works:
> 1) I like that things have been moved up the page.  The old site was
> pretty, but simple, with specific information at least a scroll's length
> down the page.
> 2) Navigation wise, I would say that someone that lands here has the
> potential of getting their bearings quickly.  The global nav is
> easily accessible in the upper right, along with lower level categories on
> the left being easily skimmed by the eye without having to 'move' the page.
> 3) On the old site the blog entries were pretty small, closer to tweets --
> "Look a new release!"  With this mockup, the space is tuned more to those
> types of posts.  Someone can easily take in the most recent information,
> again without 'moving the page.'
> As for what it can do better:
> 1) I don't really like the social media icons.  They seem to clutter up
> that valuable 'upper right' real estate.  I would question how much use they
> will get.  However, if we do decide that they belong, then I think the icons
> themselves need to be desaturated.  These current colors are good for THEIR
> respective brands, but totally destroy our color scheme, and our brand.
>  Perhaps gray/black social media icons, that regain their color with a mouse
> hover?
> 2) I would tend to agree with others that the mock-up feels busy.  I think
> that the majority of this has to do with the font settings, and to a lesser
> extent, certain page elements not lining up. (I'll post something later
> showing what I mean)
> I would submit that much 'breathing room' could be created by using a
> tighter editorial writing style coupled with a larger line height, and
> greater margins/padding.
> A quick example - within the 'what is ubuntu' section:
> "Watch the YouTube video for a quick explanation of what Ubuntu Studio
> offers or look at the feature walkthrough for a more in depth exploration of
> the features available in Ubuntu Studio."
> This feels wordy, and could possibly be removed or rewritten to something
> more succinct:
> "Explore what Ubuntu Studio can do for you"
>  ** A link to the walk-though would be included.  As for the youtube video,
> having that video right there with the 'play' button ready to go, is more
> than enough prompting for most people.
> Summary :  All in all I think this shows some merit, with more work needed
> on the actual wording, along with spacing the text correctly, and
> better alignment of the various page elements.
> I'll throw in a little design time this weekend, once I get a hold
> on Scott's svg.  Good work guys!
> -- Benjamin
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First I would like to point out that my mock-up is just a suggestion.  This
isn't necessarily the direction we have to go.  If someone has something
they want to share then please do so.  Or if someone has something they have
been working on, then please post a screen shot as well.

Secondly I would like to agree with many of the assessments.  My inspiration
was originally very simple, almost elegant, and my mock-up grew way to
busy.  As to the font size or syntax, I fear that I lack the experience as a
website designer to make something elegant.

My feelings toward what audience the website should be focused is probably a
person unfamiliar with Ubuntu Studio.  Someone who has heard about it
perhaps but doesn't really understand it yet, or did a Google search for
"free audio distribution".  I expect some experienced people will attend the
site as well, but probably will already know where to find answers or
tutorials or help directly without the website and therefore need it less.
So I feel the audience are to be musicians, new to Ubuntu Studio who wish to
learn about it so they can use it, and the website's "voice" would be

Lastly, here is my .svg file:

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