New site design

James Frazer james.frazer at
Fri Jun 13 14:12:36 PDT 2008

The red mascot was a file I found in our directory of images (I wanted 
to use it to counter some of the blues I used).  I agree that it 
over-power's the download button somewhat.  However, it was much harder 
to find the download link on the old page.

I was away from home when I designed the site, and only had my macbook, 
so some of the colours and layout might be reflective of this.  Also it 
seems that safari and firefox have different ideas on how colours should 
look, which makes designing difficult.

The page is intentionally boring, hence the boring colours.  What would 
really look nice would be if a real graphic designer made a background 
that was unintrusive and complemented the blue. I'm not a graphic 
designer, and doing graphics work with the gimp on a macbook is kind of 
painful, so I chose boring and simple instead of trying to do something 
I knew I couldn't do.

I agree that the names of some of the links could be changed... the 
problem is that what they link to is not clear cut.  For example I 
wanted to have the link simply "documentation", but in truth it points 
to the wiki, and also the wiki is mentioned elsewhere... so to call it 
documentation would be more confusing -- especially if someone reads 
about the wiki and wants to know where that is... one could have two 
links -- one to the wiki general page, and one to the docs on the wiki, 
but that seems redundant and confusing as well.

Mail & Lists used to be three separate links:  Mail, News, & Archive, 
each leading to nearly the same information.... I wanted to combine 
these for this reason, and I could have called it "Mailing Lists and 
News Groups" but that's too long, and "Mail and News" would be confusing 
for anyone who didn't know what we were talking about.

If someone wants to move the menu to the top of the page that would be 
great.  My experience with CSS is that it's pure garbage, and I didn't 
want to mangle it anymore than I had to.

Jordan Gordeev wrote:
Justin C. Sherrill wrote:
James Frazer put together a nice site redesign based on some 
discussion we
had here before.  He sent me a copy of it all, and I'm only now catching
up enough to show it:

I'm happy with the layout and content; I'm looking for further 
for tweaks.  If there's no show-stopping objections, I'd like to move the site to this.

When I first load the page, the red dragonfly logo immediately catches 
my attention, while I have to make an effort to see the download button, 
which is dark and blue, like the rest of the page, and doesn't stand out.
The page is all in one colour  - dark blue, which isn't as nice as the 
old two-colour green+something theme. My opinion is the page lacks 
colour and the chosen shade of blue is too dark - it lacks life overall.
The menu on the left-hand side isn't separated visually so it looks like 
a strange floating right-justified text, and it is unclear whether it 
has a relation to the text on the right of it or not.
The links with texts 'Docs & Wiki' and 'Mail & Lists' have the potential 
to confuse visitors, as they make the meaning of the link more uncertain 
- is it docs or is it the wiki I'm going to if I click that link?
I'd rename 'Mail & Lists' to Mailing Lists, and possibly rename 'Docs & 
Wiki' to Documentation. By the way, man pages are really documentation 
to me.
As the menu is now much shorter I would consider the idea of moving it 
to the top of the page.
Seeing the initial design of the site would be nice for comparison 

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