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From Paul Davis <paul.joseph.da...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: CouchDB brand identity and design of couchdb.apache.org
Date Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:24:10 GMT
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 <coulix@gmail.com> 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 <jameshfisher@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> http://couchdb.apache.org/.  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 http://www.mongodb.org/ ,
>> 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 Project"
>> 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 the
>> 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 the
>> 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 is
>> 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
> http://www.edoboard.com
> +33 0645764425
>

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