New website ?

Roel Schroeven rschroev_nospam_ml at
Thu Jan 19 00:33:19 CET 2006

JW schreef:
> On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 20:51:03 +0000, Roel Schroeven wrote:
>> I, Jim Wilson, schreef:
>>> I'm assured that in print ads the only "content" anyone reads is in
>>> picture captions, and you damn well better make sure your message is
>>> conveyed there. Any other "content" only wastes space. I see no reason
>>> to think that a web page should be designed using any other assumption.
>> I don't agree. I read websites in search for information (content), not to
>> find advertisements.
> Yes, and I read Playboy for the interviews ;)

I don't read Playboy, but if I would I think it would not be for the 
interviews. The pictures are what Playboy is about. Python is not about 
pictures. It's not about interviews either. Both can have a place on the 
site though, but it shouldn't be the first thing that draws the attention.

>> I agree that the information shouldn't be presented in an overly dense
>> way,
> Agreed.  The main page should be like a slick book cover.  It should grab
> you and leave you wanting more.  I think the beta page does that pretty
> well.
>> but it should be there prominently and easily accessible.
> All you should have to do is open the book. Or click a link.

True, but I think the old site does a much better job of making clear 
what links are available and what's available on those links than the 
new one does.

>> The site
>> should invite users to read the content, the contrary of many corporate
>> websites that seem to try to hide it, almost like the fineprint on a
>> contract.
> In another post, you mention which appears
> to be some sort of blog (the current bane of the internet).  I immediately
> noticed something when visiting Joel using Firefox.  **Scrollbars**.  The
> page wouldn't even fit on the screen!  I started to read it, but my face
> went numb before I needed to use the scrollbar.

Bad example -- my fault I guess. In case of Joel On Software, I was only 
talking about the picture as an eye catcher.
> OK for blogging -- not so cool for a book cover.

I guess you're right that scroll bars are to be avoided on the main page 
of a website, though I don't think it's such a big deal.

> Of course, I'm a minimalist.  I understand techy types want the details,
> but I don't doubt the details will be no more than two clicks away.

Probably, and I don't think they should be in plain sight all the time. 
But it should be clear, from the very first moment, where they are. I 
feel the new design doesn't do that. I know the links are there, but 
somehow they look somewhat intimidating to me -- on first thought the 
navigation menu looked like some administration menu, only to be used by 
site administrators or perhaps advanced users. I guess it's the color 
scheme or something, I don't know.

Also, while the details shouldn't necessarily be there, what should be 
there is a short clear description of what the site and/or the subject 
of the site is about. The new design has got it right in that aspect 
with the What is Python section in more or less the most prominent place 
on the page; I just mention it because many sites got it wrong IMO. Many 
corporate sites, but also many open source project sites: many of them 
show the News on their front page and have About as a link (and some 
don't even have an About link). I can understand that regulars are more 
interested in News than in About since they already know that, but in my 
view the frontpage should be aimed for first-time users; others can 
always bookmark the News page if that's what they're interested in.

If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood
on the shoulders of giants.  -- Isaac Newton

Roel Schroeven

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