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From Miles Fidelman <mfidel...@meetinghouse.net>
Subject Re: website & jira
Date Tue, 17 Apr 2012 14:27:40 GMT
Noah Slater wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM, Benoit Chesneau<bchesneau@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> To be honest I don't care about the color, I don't care about the font
>> used. I don't care to have a pretty website or not. I'm not sure I
>> like that one. It's trendy for sure. Not my problem here either.
>>
> No offence intended, but that you don't care about these things is what
> worries me about you wanting to make changes. Our previous website looked
> very dated, and the focus of the redesign was to breath some life in to it.
> And that very much does include the colour, and the typeface, and all the
> other visual elements. So whomever takes over the site should care very
> much about these things.
With all due respect and appreciation for your efforts.... marketing is 
one thing, utility is another.  While there's value to marketing, (IMHO) 
utility counts more.  We're not talking about a magazine ad, we're 
talking about a web site that people have taken some effort to find and 
go to - they're (we're) looking for information - if the information 
isn't there, it doesn't matter how pretty the site is.

For evaluators (and I do a lot of software evaluation), the questions are:
- what is this thing
- what are the details (functionality, architecture, implementation)
- is the project "alive" (not in terms of a pretty site, but in terms of 
an active community of users and developers) - which implies things that 
change (blog, news, events, mailing lists with lots of activity, bug 
tracker that shows things getting fixed, ....)
- who's using it
- details of what's involved in using it (demo, install instructions, 
documentation, some slideshows)
- a sense of the community (blog, archives, forums, links to related sites)

For new users, what counts are documentation, tutorials, FAQs, an active 
and friendly support community.

For experienced users, updates, detailed documentation, code libraries 
(when users are developing stuff), support for odd problems, ...

For contributors it becomes a matter of technical documentation, 
community, easy-to-access CVS and bugtraq, lists and community....

Sure, all the better if the stuff looks pretty, but more important that 
things are there and EASY TO FIND (I emphasize this last point as it 
seems to be the primary criticism people are raising.  Most of the other 
things exist, somewhere - it's finding them that's difficult.)

Mind you, I'm more of a function over form kind of guy, and a sample of 
one, but when I lay the mongodb web site next to the couchdb web site 
(since people seem to compare the two pieces of software quite a bit), 
the mongo home page is uglier, but a lot easier to navigate.

One thing that disturbed me, was a comment that there's no link to the 
markmail archive because it's not "official."  That seems like a rather 
unproductive approach to building and supporting a user community - 
links to other resources should be encouraged, not discouraged - both as 
a way to make the main site useful, and as a sign that the community is 
"alive."

Miles Fidelman



-- 
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra



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