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From Adam Kocoloski <>
Subject Re: CouchDB brand identity and design of
Date Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:39:45 GMT
Same here - didn't hate it, but it needs a refresh.  Would welcome any assistance.


On Apr 13, 2010, at 7:32 AM, Robert Newson wrote:

> I second the call to see a mockup. I don't dislike the page as much as
> the OP but clearly it could be refreshed.
> B.
> On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 12:24 PM, Paul Davis
> <> wrote:
>> I always quite liked it.
>> Anyway, this is open sauce as they say. The quickest way to changing
>> something like that is to check out the site sources and mock up
>> something you think is better. Then submit it to JIRA and we'll ask
>> the community for consensus.
>> HTH,
>> Paul Davis
>> On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 7:17 AM, Gregory Tappero <> wrote:
>>> I dare to say that i agree, it is repelling at first sight.
>>> On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM, James Fisher <>
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I've recently fallen head-over-heels in love with CouchDB.  However, this
>>>> (my first) email will probably be at best, constructively critical, and at
>>>> worst, offensive, but:
>>>> Does the CouchDB project have any agreed visual brand identity, or is it
>>>> being worked on?  I speak mainly of the pages at
>>>>  I'm the kind of person that judges a book
>>>> by its cover, and it took
>>>> consIiderable effort for me to stop my eyes being repelled from that page.
>>>> Compare it, for example, with the simple design at
>>>> where many newbies (like me) to document-oriented DBs will be making an
>>>> active comparison.
>>>> CouchDB's slogan is "relax", but that web design gets me all agitated.
>>>> There's no room to breathe: logotype squished into a corner, small font,
>>>> subheadings imprisoned in dark green cells.  No ample footer telling me I've
>>>> reached the end of the page and where I should go next; just a niggardly
>>>> copyright notice.  Rather than relaxing, the guy on the sofa looks like he's
>>>> trying to squirm as far away from the page as possible.
>>>> The sofa logo I'm not particularly opposed to, but: entirely saturated
>>>> primary red?  That's the universal visual symbol for "PANIC!".  I have this
>>>> passage from The Vagina Monologues indelibly imprinted on my memory:
>>>> ---
>>>> Then he began to undress me.
>>>> "What are you doing, Bob?" I said.
>>>> "I need to see you," he replied.
>>>> "No need," I said. "Just dive in."
>>>> "I need to see what you look like," he said.
>>>> "But you've seen a red leather couch before," I said.
>>>> ---
>>>> ... blech.
>>>> And: who could ever relax on such an angular sofa?
>>>> The index page just doesn't sell it.  A needless <h1> "The CouchDB
>>>> tells me what I already know from looking at the logotype.  The messy design
>>>> schema, which could be a quirky feature (though its appearance on the first
>>>> page is questionable), instead sits awkwardly on top of other headers and
>>>> squashing text out of the way, with an inappropriate yellow background that
>>>> together with the green suggests vomit (oh dear, on my nice new sofa).
>>>> There's no big bold text telling me that I should use CouchDB.
>>>> The first paragraph:  "Apache CouchDB is a document-oriented database that
>>>> can be queried and indexed in a MapReduce fashion using JavaScript. CouchDB
>>>> also offers incremental replication with bi-directional conflict detection
>>>> and resolution."  This jumps into jargon way too soon -- as a prospective
>>>> user, the first thing I want to hear is something simple, comforting, and
>>>> whetting my appetite: "CouchDB is a new kind of database; it will change
>>>> way you work; come with me, and I will take you on a tour of its secrets."
>>>> Next, the colour scheme.  Red and dark-half-saturated green (I'm not even
>>>> sure whether that colour has a name)?  Under no system of colour theory is
>>>> that an appropriate combination.  I suspect it hasn't consciously been
>>>> decided upon as a palette -- the red appears nowhere else.
>>>> What's with the needless breadcrumb trail across my entire 2000px-wide
>>>> screen?  It might be appropriate for a massive site where getting lost is
>>>> easier than finding anything, but not here where every page is easily listed
>>>> down the left.
>>>> And the diagonal pinstripe background -- that's so 2003.  Nothing else on
>>>> the site implies that 45 degree angle.  Get rid of it.
>>>> Futon displays a different scheme: red with shades of grey.  The slogan,
>>>> "relax," sits in a different place to the same slogan in the logotype on
>>>> website.  The text sits under, rather than aside, the sofa logo.  The
>>>> "contract the sidebar" arrow inexplicably points up rather than to the
>>>> right.
>>>> I'm getting into nitty-gritty now, but I hope I've made a point: CouchDB
>>>> surely losing users by pushing them away with bad design.  The main slogan,
>>>> "relax," I really, really like, but it unfortunately doesn't come across
>>>> anywhere.  It should.  The whole visual design specification should use this
>>>> one word as its starting point.
>>>> I don't just want to criticize.  Perhaps I can help -- I have no experience
>>>> with Erlang, and I'd be much better suited to PR in this case.  AFAICT the
>>>> site is hand-written static HTML/CSS, so a redesign is not a massive
>>>> undertaking.
>>>> Opinions?
>>>> James Fisher
>>> --
>>> Greg Tappero
>>> CTO co founder Edoboard
>>> +33 0645764425

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