beta.python.org content

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Fri Jan 27 11:09:48 CET 2006


On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 17:57:05 +0000
Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> wrote:
> How does
>    http://beta.python.org/about/beginners/
> look?

Better than it did. ;-)

No, it looks great. I think you're hitting approximately the
right tone here. That first paragraph may be a bit too curt
about "new to programming" folks (Actually, I think you were
mentally pausing on the link, which doesn't happen on
reading because of the contrast problem -- when I
consciously make this pause, it sounds better).

But ...

1) Contrast between text and links is too low (it's hard to
see the in-text links).

2) Partly because of #1, it would be nicer to have some of
these links in a nice bullet-list.  It would also break up
the paragraph text a bit, which would (ironically) increase
the chances of it being read.

You could probably go either way -- leave the color alone
and introduce some bullets, or increase the color contrast
so that the links stand out.

3) Remember that many people will be *scanning* this page,
not reading it.  What will they see as their eyes scan down
the page during the first 1/2 second?  Enough to make them
spend 10 seconds taking a more thorough look? Will that make
them spend the 3-5 minutes actually reading what you wrote?

Remember that a beginner is likely "shopping" for a
programming language, and wants to know:

1) What general class of language is Python?

2) What distinguishes it from other languages? (Obvious
comparables: C, Perl, Ruby, Java, Visual Basic. Less
obvious, but useful: Lisp, Haskell).

3) How long is it going to take me to learn it?

4) How much help can I get and what resources are available
to learn it?  (Python is an open-source native, which to
some people continues to mean "underdocumented and
undersupported", even if *we* know that's a myth (I now
believe the opposite, but I'm in the choir ;-) )).

5) Will I be able to do anything after learning it, that I
can't do now?

You're still sort of "advertising" on the beginners site,
but it needs to be more of a technical advertisement than
the "buzzword sell" on the front page. This is the page
someone reads who is imagining that *they* are going to have
to learn this language (not pay someone else to).

Cheers,
Terry

-- 
Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com




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