More Comments on Python Redesign

Richie Hindle richie at
Mon Sep 8 15:54:19 CEST 2003

> [...] I was merely reacting to some unfounded criticisms of the
> design I'd put forward. If I seem to have been a little over the top
> then I apologise profusely but as you can imagine the reaction to 8
> weeks of hard work that had been put in by quite a few people.
> Comments like the one you have made just make me realise how much
> time we've all wasted.

> Thanks for your work on this. I for one *do* like your design prototype. 
> And I'm unpleasantly surprised by the tone of the criticism as well.

Hear, hear.  Regardless of whether one thinks the new design is an
improvement (or even a worthwhile project to undertake), it should be
clear that an awful lot of work has gone into it.  People should take that
into account when choosing how to express their opinions.

For the record, I believe the Python website looks dated and could use
some improvement.  I have a few small problems with the proposed redesign,
but I do think that given the simple question "which is better", the new
one (with its typography issues resolved) is better.  Here are some
(hopefully constructive and dispassionate 8-) comments:

 o There is no "What is Python".  A homepage should explain what the
   company/organisation/product/project *is*, either there on the homepage
   or one unambiguous link away.

 o *All* of the non-navigation content is dedicated to case studies, "News
   and announcements" and "Features and articles".  This will need to be
   constantly updated, or you'll find that the same content sits there
   forever.  Be careful - don't commit yourself to updating a
   dynamic-looking site for ever more, when you could publish a more
   static-looking site that still fulfills all the requirements.  (I speak
   from experience here.)

 o It could be a fluke, but it looks like the page has been designed to
   fit onto an 800x600 screen.  These days, people know about scrollbars.
   (That is not a flippant remark - only a small number of years ago it
   wasn't true.)  Content should not be sacrificed for the sake of
   avoiding scrollbars (but the most important information should go near
   the top).  Flexibility should not be sacrificed for visual appeal.

 o The design as it stands makes it difficult to change.  What if everyone
   decides that there should be a link to the FAQ on the homepage - where
   would you put it?  The design is *so* tight and well-balanced that
   making edits will degrade its appearance.  Not sure how to address that
   one (but IMHO it's a consequence of not having enough space dedicated
   to static content, and striving for a perfect 4x3 800x600 rectangle).

 o I like the logo, and I like the visual look and feel.  Well done!  But
   I agree with others that the two-tone Py/thon is at best unnecessary
   and at worst confusing.

Richie Hindle
richie at

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