MozillaZine

(I Hope It's Not) Incompetence

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
Tzephtan
 
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Joined: August 20th, 2004, 5:04 pm

Post Posted August 21st, 2004, 3:42 pm

You know, there have been some very good points made, and some very strong opinions expressed. However, there may be a more effective way...

Andkon, you have some very strong opinions, and you have your own domain name.
Why not offer some space to people who want to whip up their own examples of how the website should look? Heck, you can whip up one or three versions yourself.

The most effective way to show people how something could be done better is to show them.

It's not like you'd have to create graphics or anything. Screenshots are easy, and the other stuff is adequate. The only question is layout. And if you feel that there needs to be a flash demo in there, it can be a simple "Insert Flash Demo here" rather than the actual thing. We're just looking for the concept, rather than a fully functional site, right?

Actions speak louder than words. Right now they are looking into changes. Why not show them how it could be done?
The most important thing is getting newbies to use Thunderbird and Firefox.
Otherwise they'll be using Outlook and Internet Explorer and clogging up our bandwidth with their virii.

andkon
 
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Joined: March 10th, 2003, 12:06 pm

Post Posted August 21st, 2004, 3:51 pm

Tzephtan wrote:You know, there have been some very good points made, and some very strong opinions expressed. However, there may be a more effective way...

Andkon, you have some very strong opinions, and you have your own domain name.
Why not offer some space to people who want to whip up their own examples of how the website should look? Heck, you can whip up one or three versions yourself.

The most effective way to show people how something could be done better is to show them.

It's not like you'd have to create graphics or anything. Screenshots are easy, and the other stuff is adequate. The only question is layout. And if you feel that there needs to be a flash demo in there, it can be a simple "Insert Flash Demo here" rather than the actual thing. We're just looking for the concept, rather than a fully functional site, right?

Actions speak louder than words. Right now they are looking into changes. Why not show them how it could be done?


1.) I *do* offer free space. Not only is the info available at the bottom of andkon.com but I have explicitly offered it in these very forums: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 344#731344

2.) I *have* shown them something better: http://www.andkon.com/stuf/mozillanewstrategy/design/ and have explained in painstaking 5000 words: http://www.andkon.com/stuf/mozillanewstrategy/

Perhaps in a few years (since according to Blake Ross the stylesheet change took "months" with multiple "companies") my ideas will be implemented. I wonder if IE 11.5 by that time will have all or just most of Firefox's features...

Tzephtan
 
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Joined: August 20th, 2004, 5:04 pm

Post Posted August 21st, 2004, 4:09 pm

I like your write up on Firefox better than the beta. More direct.
I also like how your moved their left side margin to the right (the eye flows left to right, so this is better). I also like how you made each section a distinct box.

Overall, theirs is better, of course, with a better title bar, nicer tabbed navigation (which haven't managed to be coloured to show which tab you are on, however), etc.

You might want to consider tossing the link to your suggested replacement when you discuss changing it. I have read your article suggesting changes, but hadn't run across your suggested replacement.

What I was suggesting is directly encouraging people to have an informal contest to see who can come up with the best kind of Mozilla.org website. Make it a collaborative effort where are couple people can whack away at their own version, glance at the other people's ideas, then upgrade theirs, etc, until a product worthy of the official website can be created.

I don't like everything on the beta website (especially the whole Donation setup). I don't like everything on yours. If you really think that you can create a better finished product, go for it. If you really want to see Mozilla's website change, also encourage others to make their versions as well. As well written as your posts and 5000 word article is, I have no doubt that an effective, professional website would make far more of an impression than anything else.
The most important thing is getting newbies to use Thunderbird and Firefox.
Otherwise they'll be using Outlook and Internet Explorer and clogging up our bandwidth with their virii.

andkon
 
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Joined: March 10th, 2003, 12:06 pm

Post Posted August 21st, 2004, 4:33 pm

Tzephtan wrote:What I was suggesting is directly encouraging people to have an informal contest to see who can come up with the best kind of Mozilla.org website. Make it a collaborative effort where are couple people can whack away at their own version, glance at the other people's ideas, then upgrade theirs, etc, until a product worthy of the official website can be created.


The point isn't about whacking together a few different layouts. This isn't about colors or tints primarily. The point is creating an entire system that serves the enduser. As such, there needs to be a framework worked out BEFORE any "whacking together".

I don't see these marketing efforts above "summer boys at a lemonade stand." The whole notion of creating a new design without NEW content is very script kiddie indeed. It's like a bunch 15-year-olds telling their friends that they've just made a COOL NEW SUPER KILLER design for the site, without of course adding any content. (I was like that once, so I should know.)

The whole appraoch of "gee lets do some new colors, hell, maybe we got it right this time" (as you suggest and what Mozilla is doing right now) is wrong because it forces content later written to fit INSIDE the design, rather than the content mandating its own design.

As I've said before, it's like painting a house before the walls are put in. Or buying a trailer before you have anywhere to place it...

Tzephtan wrote:As well written as your posts and 5000 word article is, I have no doubt that an effective, professional website would make far more of an impression than anything else.


The Shea design (the sand and purple colored one) was made by a professional webdesigner and hence it's a "professional" website. The website was neither thought out function wise nor is it really effective at getting endusers to convert.

While Mozilla.org has been getting more hits, everyone should realize that the IE only crowd at Mozilla.org isn't even at 15%: http://www.mozilla.org/webalizer/usage_ ... #TOPAGENTS

I do not have time to make a complete site and I don't believe I need to convert every single one of my ideas into reality all by myself just to make a point. My essay very distinctly gives not only a visual starting point as to how the frontpage out to function but also the structure of the site that would spring from it.

If Mozilla.org wants other "companies" to spend "months" tinkering with their website and come up with a header plus a black-and-white default Apache server scheme then great. And that's without changing a single word.

Foxtrot

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Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 5:34 am

The thing is, getting something right takes time. Especially when the project is as big as Mozilla.org.

They've converted the entire framework into HTML/CSS design. That takes time. They've planned a new layout for each site. That takes time. They've made a new layout for each site. That takes time. They are finishing up. That takes time.

I think it's great that they're finally doing something. Now, with the site being written for CSS, anyone can effectively make their own suggestion more easily, by manipulating CSS and content.

Plus, according to Blake there's a lot we have yet to see. Who knows? Maybe they already have those Flash demos, but haven't published them yet.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams

fantrl
 
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Joined: April 9th, 2004, 7:39 am

Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 6:46 am

I still like the classic Mozilla.org ;) http://web.archive.org/web/200301232218 ... zilla.org/

I loved how I could never find download links, and I have to search... and search. When they made the new front page (not the new layout we see now, Andkon has it on his front page), I was so excited that I could see were to download at one glance. Heh.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 8:35 am

Foxtrot wrote:They've converted the entire framework into HTML/CSS design. That takes time. They've planned a new layout for each site. That takes time. They've made a new layout for each site. That takes time. They are finishing up. That takes time.


There is ABSOLUTELY no need for a new layout for the entire mozilla.org as outlined in my essay, the only pages a user friendly mozilla site need are:

frontpage
product firefox page that goes from the learn more link at the frontpage and has the top 5 or 10 reasons
ditto for the TB page (clone of FF, different text + colors)
free support page linked from the frontpage (like MZ but much less forums, only enduser forums)
customize page (links to extensions, themes, plugins) which could also be used as the default start/homepage for FF.
banners page
about page with bios and foundation info

These all need to have the same scheme, the developer and nerd documentation don't need to change because there's not much time to do all that. That's less than 10 independent pages, which can be made in about the timespan of a week.

There's no need to make userfriendly the pages endusers will never see, like the developer stuff.


Foxtrot wrote:Plus, according to Blake there's a lot we have yet to see. Who knows? Maybe they already have those Flash demos, but haven't published them yet.


Yes, I've written ten novels so far, but I don't think I'm going to publish them either in print or on Andkon.com.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 8:37 am

fantrl wrote:I still like the classic Mozilla.org ;) http://web.archive.org/web/200301232218 ... zilla.org/

I loved how I could never find download links, and I have to search... and search. When they made the new front page (not the new layout we see now, Andkon has it on his front page), I was so excited that I could see were to download at one glance. Heh.


Just to be clear, my current frontpage was done by me under a false name: http://mozillacss.mozdev.org/html401/

I didn't do the design per se, but simply converted it from tables to CSS, which is arguably harder than creating a new design altogether.

Tzephtan
 
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Joined: August 20th, 2004, 5:04 pm

Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 9:05 am

Ok, if you did the http://mozillacss.mozdev.org/html401/ website then I have to give you kudos. While the new beta looks more "styling", the content in this website is much more compelling and contains less words that mean nothing to newbies.

The bar on the left is quick download links, for speed and an understandable overview.
The right contains information that actually makes people curious and interested in checking it out.
* Firefox is: "a lean, mean, browsing machine." I love that.
* Mozilla should be referred to as the "Mozilla Suite" or something. I know that's what it is, but the visitors don't.


Now, I still think that the website-beta has really pretty stuff, but it's kinda clogged down with stuff that doesn't matter or distracts.
* Donations should be a tab on top. On every page, but nonintrusive. The donation link in the http://mozillacss.mozdev.org/html401/ page is nonintrusive enough, but if you want to emphasize it, a tab is enough, yes?
* If you want a side bar, make it a different colour to distinguish it.
* The order of products should really be: Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, Sunbird, Bugzilla. Then list the betas. If someone is interested in betas, they are the type of people who put more effort into looking for things. They'll look to the bottom of the list. Newbies... get too confused.
* The title (eg, "Firefox 0.9.1") should be to the right of the logo, not below it (same as http://mozillacss.mozdev.org/html401/)

Ok, I'm starting to ramble. I really am impressed by that other site Ankon. Where did the "to the point" descriptions fall away?
The most important thing is getting newbies to use Thunderbird and Firefox.
Otherwise they'll be using Outlook and Internet Explorer and clogging up our bandwidth with their virii.

andkon
 
Posts: 1641
Joined: March 10th, 2003, 12:06 pm

Post Posted August 22nd, 2004, 10:44 am

Tzephtan wrote: etc http://mozillacss.mozdev.org/html401/ etc


I did not do the site, it was the first redesign after the original Mozilla.org that they had for years.

The redesign came a few months after AOLTW dropped Mozilla, and the redesign was, at least to me, the first sign of willingness to be open to endusers. It was done by Ben Goodger, a Firefox developer. The only thing I did was to convert the tabled design into CSS, since it was extremely ironic how the most standards adhering browser had a website made with tables. Mozilla.org never ended up using my design

The content of the website IS bad as there's too much useless information. It tries to be a portal for the Foundation, the Mozilla Suite, then Firebird, Thunderbird, Camino, Bugzilla, and some Developer + Tester stuff. Clearly, one of these is hard enough to tackle, yet alone all of them together. BTW, browsing machine is bad because too few people actually know what a browser is.

Each redesign after this, was just as useless as the last, including the new one.

Today, I use the mozillacss.mozdev.org design on andkon.com due to the fact that the design fits *my* content well, though I'm probably gonna a new design before 2005.

Tesla

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Location: Washington State

Post Posted August 28th, 2004, 7:33 pm


andkon
 
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Post Posted August 30th, 2004, 5:56 pm

A week ago:
Foxtrot wrote:Plus, according to Blake there's a lot we have yet to see. Who knows? Maybe they already have those Flash demos, but haven't published them yet.


http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=5224

It's unfortunate that once again I am right.

No flash demos. No nothing :(

There's a cold looking frontpage, that's all. An ineffective CSS swap that "took months with multiple companies."

Notice how the Firefox colored box on the frontpage links to yet another huge box... What's the need for that? If someone clicks on the huge box, why do they need yet another uninformative one shoved in their face...

From, "award winning" to "safer, faster, better web browser"... Fantastic. Since safety, speed, and "betterness" are the main concerns... Right.

I've spent far too much time on this so far to abandon it just now. If "multiple companies" in the timespan of "months" could not create a site that isn't total crap, then perhaps a full-time college student without his own computer can. Stay tuned, the fun shall come...

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