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

Scott Lavender scottalavender at gmail.com
Sun Oct 17 13:33:17 BST 2010

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 8:50 PM, Brian David <beejunk at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not sure if this is directed at Benjamin or me, or perhaps both.
> Regardless, I could apply either suggestion to my design.
> However, I would like to get back to the question of decision making for
> this process.  It would be helpful for me, and probably others, to know
> exactly what approach Scott plans to take for making the ultimate decision
> here, and in what time frame.  I'm okay with whatever is decided, I just
> don't want to spend too much more time on these mock-ups before I know with
> more certainty if I'll be working on this project, and in what capacity.  It
> would be frustrating to come up with something really polished, only to have
> it decided that we'll be moving in a different direction. :)
> --
> -Brian David


Sorry it has taken so long to reply.  Just been very, very busy, man.

The part that you quote was actually directed at Benjamin (I had already
mentioned the colours to you previously), however, a dark theme would be
desired for your mockup as well.  Our current theme is dark, it's more or
less a trademark, so I think we should probably stay with it for the website
as well.

* The Process *
I'll be honest about this process; I haven't really had a cohesive plan
through the beginning of this, mea culpa.  Obviously I did not start with a
definite and clear vision of what the website should be, much to the
detriment of the process itself.

However, this is how I would like to proceed from here on out:

Unless someone else proffers another mockup, the choice is between your
mockup, Brian, and Benjamin's.  They are both leagues better than the one I

I have already made a few topical suggestions on an aesthetic level along
with some more fundemental/philosophical suggestions concerning audience and
purpose.  Hopefully we can see updates soon (within a week or so) per these
suggestions. One thing I didn't mention before is that yours did have a
definitive branding with the logo emblem, which can be powerful.

* Deciding - How *
As to how I will be deciding which direction, my primary concern now is with
how well the website will serve its users.  Pretty may be a feature, but if
the website is functionally useless people will only visit it once, and that
is suboptimal and nondesirable.  The website that addresses this concern
will most likely be chosen.

I tend to believe the majority of people who will use this website are
either completely ignorant about Ubuntu Studio and coming to learn more
about what Ubuntu Studio is exactly or else somewhat experienced and want to
know more about how to use it.  Therefore, it is my opinion that we need to
address this audience and their needs/expectations to maximize the
usefulness of this website.  I imagine most of this is already defined here
- https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/TaskWebRevamp#Rough%20Site%20Map, it
just needs to be placed into the website.  Put yourself in their shoes and
try to accommodate what they might expect.  Hell, get a friend to visit the
current website and have them tell you what would make it better ;)

* Deciding - When *
I would expect to make a decision about which direction to take when we see
updates to the mockups.  In a rough timetable, hopefully this can be done
within a month from now.  This allows for you and Benjamin to update your
mockups and me to think about it thoroughly.  Keep in mind I'm also working
on everything else Ubuntu Studio, including other major changes for Natty,
while others might focus entirely on the website update, I have deadlines in
other arenas as well.  There may be some lag.

Once a direction is made, we find out who would like to be involved in
building the site.  Perhaps the person who creates the chosen mockup doesn't
develop or code websites and we may need to rely on others who volunteer
after that point.

* Timetable *
The end goal would be to have the website ready for when Natty is released
(or possibly before).  If we can pick a direction within the month then this
should give us almost five months to code the site and develop content.

I have a VPS that I will make available as a sandbox to develop the site as
necessary.  Once it is acceptable we can see about moving it over to the
code under ubuntustudio-dev on Launchpad and then onto the Canonical

I warn those who think that it is already taking too long that I expect the
whole process to take several months to accomplish, to do this correctly and
through proper channel it will take time.  For example, I expect it to take
several weeks wading through bureaucratic machinations to just be able to
have access to upload the new website.  I believe this to be one of the
biggest improvements we have taken in quite some time and I will see that it
is done as properly as possible.

I hope this answers your questions.  Please let me know if you have other
questions or concerns.

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