[Mageia-artwork] website design update & a few comments/tracks

Romain d'Alverny rdalverny at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 12:10:36 CEST 2011

(note this is a cross-posted topic, on mageia-artwork first, on
mageia-webteam second - btw, please remind today's meeting and note
that times have changed, thanks to DST! webteam is at 13:00 UTC,
artwork at 17:00 UTC, see http://mageia.org/en/calendar/ ).

Hi there,

I just pushed a few CSS updates on www.mageia.org, after a quick
review yesterday morning with a designer good friend (thanks Hélène!).

These changes are here to finally publish the logo and make the
website more colorful for beta1 release, using what we have. Note that
I too slightly updated the nav bar contents and that we should review
this for beta1.

Further than helping on theming the website, she suggested two slight
changes too:
 * having a consistent favicon with the logo as it is used; that would
have meant to have:
   - either the top banner with a logo on a blue background to match
the current favicon,
   - either the favicon changed to the logo colours (white background,
dark blue cauldron cut and light blue bubbles);
   - yes, that sounds obvious, and we discussed shortly about this
already to decide on the blue background favicon; so up to discussion
 * carefullly adjusting the kerning (letter-spacing) in the logo text,
between m, a and g - she retouched the logo as it is currently on the
website in this regard; it's rather subtile but the change is
noticeable. I'll try to post a side-by-side demonstration of this

I hope/expect this will lead to further discussions about the website
directions (see first notes there:
http://mageia.org/wiki/doku.php?id=web:website ).

Not to lose everyone into discussions, I suggest we just start with
one thing: the global nav and general direction for mageia.org layout.

Forgetting the current nav bar, here are some aims that would be good
to reach I believe:
 * same, consistent navigation bar _everywhere_ on mageia.org
(requires it to be light and easily embedded; requires too that all
mageia.org apps/sites share a minimum set of layout/design rules)
 * as little first entry points as necessary (see
http://mageia.org/wiki/doku.php?id=web:website#hubs_spaces but I'm not
quite satisfied with it)
 * mageia.org identity is clear and obvious
 * local site/app identity is clear and obvious
 * sub nav scheme is left to local site/app (but could follow a common
set of guidelines as well if possible)

Think of the following apps to take into account: www (as the main
entry point), forum, bugzilla, maintdb, identity, wiki, blog, planet,
etc. That's not an obvious thing to do, but it's worth it (users know
where there are) and we can find a design that makes it not too
complex to integrate.

Or maybe such a scheme should be avoided? (why? and how to maintain a
simple common guide through the whole sites then?)

I have two rough ideas in queue:

 a) leftaligned design, 100% width, horizontal nav bar, with only
simple titles/links to apps/locations (list is flexible) + a search
and user session handle on the right hand; the logo & local app/site
identity is right under this nav bar + its own actions/nav items; look
at Google (Apps) nav for an idea - they don't use it through all of
their websites/apps, but I think that's worth a try;

 b) left-aligned or centered design, fixed width (about 960px),
horizontal nav bar, with a fixed short set of items; global
identity/logo is the left-most item; with or without session/search
handles; look at Apple or Mozilla or Mandriva nav bars. Second-level
nav can be layed-out as the local app prefers, or by a global design
too, integrated into the nav bar.

I'll post mockups (or please do) within next week about this.

Thanks for your insights.


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