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(I Hope It's Not) Incompetence

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
andkon
 
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Post Posted August 19th, 2004, 7:12 pm

DWright wrote:http://website-beta.mozilla.org


I seriously hope this is some leftover remnant of http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=3915 and not some yet another ill-conceived concoction that will fail to do anything remarkable.

If it's not, it's sad proof that no one in charge of the website understands that essentially what boils down to a stylesheet change doesn't matter. I believe it's clear now that mediocrity must end in order for Mozilla to even hope of succeeding. (Of course, no one even knows what this success is. Is it crashing IE to 10%? Is it influencing indirectly IE to be standard friendly? It's hard to win, if you can't see the finishline, or even the track.)

What's so freaking hard about getting all the crap off the frontpage and leaving only competent text about Firefox & Thunderbird, forum links, and demo links? I mean come on now, it doesn't take months to create such a simple site. (My mockup took about three days.)

Look now, it doesn't even HAVE to be a new design. Just take the current design in its entirety and have my right gray menu on the left of the new design. In the column under "The Latest From Mozilla", have a box for Firefox and one for Thunderbird, without idiotic text. Then have a few flash demo links and link to a simple, short forum page...

What's hard about creating a mozillazine page with only a pair or two of enduser-only forums?? What's hard about creating a flash demo for 5-10 (or at least the top 3) features, a flash demo that amounts to little more than animated GIFs??

Who's in charge of marketing and the website's anyways? Perhaps the answer to the question (--- I'm guessing "no one in particular") is the problem.

What ever happened to the blakeross.com marketing projects? The last one was on Aug 2, making week 5, almost a week overdue. I suspect that someone had a number 10 fetish and went ahead with the project without actually coming up with the total number of projects... Oh well.

andy2kuk
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 8:47 am

The headers show that the file was last modified Fri, 20 Aug 2004 15:24:27 GMT. So, it's highly likely that they are going to use this soon. It looks a lot better than before, but yes I completely agree that the layout and content is rubbish.

Foxtrot

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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 10:54 am

You will be pleased to know that the front page hasn't been changed. It is, in fact, the products page and the other subpages that have received the overhaul. Apart from that, the front page has just been converted into HTML/CSS instead of tables.

They will, I hope, soon start work on the front page, but you should look a bit more closely before you critisize.
"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

MXN

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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 1:35 pm

They will, in fact, be working on the layout of the front page. I think the new Products page is a sign of things to come.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 2:04 pm

andkon wrote:*Same shitty content. Award-winning, next-generation browser?? What's wrong with using Internet Explorer in the text somewhere?
*The same inconsistent navigation.

In fact, there's no substanstial change: a few color changes, swapped stylesheets. Wow.


Andkon. You're dense.

This is a <i>website redesign</i>, done by <i>website designers</i>. Our wordsmiths, marketing folks, etc. haven't taken a crack at overhauling the content yet. So if you're complaining that all that's happened is a brand new design, then you're effectively endorsing the work done. Thanks! :-)

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 2:05 pm

andy2kuk wrote:The headers show that the file was last modified Fri, 20 Aug 2004 15:24:27 GMT. So, it's highly likely that they are going to use this soon. It looks a lot better than before, but yes I completely agree that the layout and content is rubbish.


Yes, Mozilla.org needs more than cosmetic changes.

The problems are more than "Round box corners not appearing in Internet Explorer."

Foxtrot

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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 2:21 pm

andkon wrote:*Same shitty content. Award-winning, next-generation browser?? What's wrong with using Internet Explorer in the text somewhere?
*The same inconsistent navigation.

Now we're getting somewhere. :)
sgarrity wrote:We’re keeping most of the content as it is

Maybe it's not the visual identity team's (presuming they're the ones doing this) job to alter the content of the Mozilla.org website. One of the major points in my essay was also a content overhaul. I can't help but think, though, that someone else is responsible for the content.

Personally, I sincerely hope that they clean up the content on the main page. However, I have already suggested this in the official thread, and I can only hope they'll listen.

You've got to give them some credit, though. They have improved on navigation, they have improved on layout, and vastly enhanced the coding.
My conclusion: No, it's not incompetence.
"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

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 2:39 pm

Foxtrot wrote:
sgarrity wrote:We’re keeping most of the content as it is

Maybe it's not the visual identity team's (presuming they're the ones doing this) job to alter the content of the Mozilla.org website. One of the major points in my essay was also a content overhaul. I can't help but think, though, that someone else is responsible for the content.


It'd be nice to find out who these mystery content writers are. In the past, judging by CVS entries, it was left to whomever was strolling by and saw so mething that needed to be updated, see http://www.mozilla.org/webtools/bonsai/ ... =/cvsroot/

Sure the new design looks "nice," but is it? Withstanding my objections over the horrible content, visual clues through colors are nonpresent. That's my BS for no color scheme; everything below the blue header on http://website-beta.mozilla.org/ looks like a plain old Apache default theme, ie: http://www.andkon.com/info/

If you look at any professional advertising in a magazine (for example), the colors create a page where the eyes first focus on the most important part of the ad. That obviously won't happen with boring black and white. (This is perhaps the only professional gimmick that needs to be adopted; slogans like "browser reloaded" aren't needed.)

I also believe that the content needs to be figured out *before* a final design is created. Not doing so is the equivalent of painting a house before the walls are put in...

MXN

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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 3:24 pm

When they said that the beta front page isn't done yet, they mean that the colors, layout, amount of text, etc. will probably be addressed. I hope so, at least.

Blake
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 3:47 pm

andkon wrote:What's so freaking hard about getting all the crap off the frontpage and leaving only competent text about Firefox & Thunderbird, forum links, and demo links? I mean come on now, it doesn't take months to create such a simple site. (My mockup took about three days.)


Andkon, as it says at the top of the page, the front page hasn't been designed yet. When it's finished, it will be exactly what you're talking about, except it won't be hideously ugly like the site you designed.

andkon wrote:What ever happened to the blakeross.com marketing projects? The last one was on Aug 2, making week 5, almost a week overdue. I suspect that someone had a number 10 fetish and went ahead with the project without actually coming up with the total number of projects... Oh well.


Andkon, we have about 20 project ideas, and about 7 are currently being built behind the scenes. We waited a bit because we wanted to see more progress on week 4's campaign, and because we need time to get the tools for future projects finished. Good projects take time. Before going and telling everyone else off, I'd advise you to first get a clue yourself.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 4:38 pm

YES, I have been wrong in the past but if anyone listened to me Mozilla could have started to be enduser oriented as far back as 2002.

Or Mozilla could have prepared for independence half a year before being cut off the AOLTW payroll.

Or a new website could have been done nine months ago, and not done in a hurried manner weeks before the 1.0.

I suggest that the developers realize that while they are good at programming, they might not be so great at the effort needed to promote the products. Perhaps they should listen more to independent outsiders, like me.

andy2kuk
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 4:43 pm

This shouldn't be a battle. We are all going for the same thing - the team and community are developing great products, and we want as many people to know about and use them as possible. Surely you can see that a lot of points here are valid - the content is confusing and needs to be rethought. Please, look past personal feelings, because I'm sure that everyone wants a great webpage that will do justice to the great products.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 4:49 pm

andy2kuk wrote:This shouldn't be a battle. We are all going for the same thing - the team and community are developing great products, and we want as many people to know about and use them as possible. Surely you can see that a lot of points here are valid - the content is confusing and needs to be rethought. Please, look past personal feelings, because I'm sure that everyone wants a great webpage that will do justice to the great products.


I was simply trying to point out that while I haven't influenced anything, my ideas were present *before* similar ones were implemented (enduser orientation, independence, new design). I'm trying to show that perhaps if I was ahead of the game three times before, perhaps I'm ahead of it now, meaning my ideas are solid. The devil is in the details, of course, as everyone's scrambling to figure out *how* to attract endusers.

It pains me to see that "Round box corners not appearing in Internet Explorer" is a bigger concern than creating a website that serves the enduser through easy-to-understand text, non-confusing forums, and maybe even a flash tutorial. Perhaps if the new website was started last December instead of August 2004, then things could go this slow. Content needs to be created before the design.

Blake
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 6:18 pm

andkon wrote:YES, I have been wrong in the past but if anyone listened to me Mozilla could have started to be enduser oriented as far back as 2002.


Mozilla did start to become end-user oriented in 2002, when Dave Hyatt and I created mozilla/browser. However, you can't start being an end-user company until you have an end-user product. Now we have one, and we're doing what's necessary to reach end-users.

andkon wrote:Or Mozilla could have prepared for independence half a year before being cut off the AOLTW payroll.


No complaints there, I've parodied this too: http://blakeross.com/statement.html. But no use crying over spilt milk.

andkon wrote: Or a new website could have been done nine months ago, and not done in a hurried manner weeks before the 1.0.


Nothing about this website design was hurried, it's been in development for months and in collaboration with companies you don't even know about.

andkon wrote:I suggest that the developers realize that while they are good at programming, they might not be so great at the effort needed to promote the products. Perhaps they should listen more to independent outsiders, like me.


No thanks. I'm quite confident in my abilities to make Firefox succeed among real end users like my mom. I wish you'd relax and understand that there's mountains of work going on behind the scenes that will all come together at the launch of 1.0.

andkon
 
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Post Posted August 20th, 2004, 7:23 pm

Blake wrote:
andkon wrote:Or Mozilla could have prepared for independence half a year before being cut off the AOLTW payroll.


No complaints there, I've parodied this too: http://blakeross.com/statement.html. But no use crying over spilt milk.


Hehe.

Blake wrote:
andkon wrote: Or a new website could have been done nine months ago, and not done in a hurried manner weeks before the 1.0.


Nothing about this website design was hurried, it's been in development for months and in collaboration with companies you don't even know about.


Perhaps if the development wasn't so secretive (implied by "for months") to begin with, you'd get more outsider input. Your comment also seems anything but inclusive of any community input (implied by "and in collaboration with companies you don't even know about").

I still don't understand how a stylesheet change for at most half a dozen pages can take months with compan*ies*. I did my CSS design in three days and a 10 page essay in a day. All that without even having my own computer this summer. Either I'm a fast one, or someone pulled a fast one on Mozilla.org :)


Blake wrote:
andkon wrote:I suggest that the developers realize that while they are good at programming, they might not be so great at the effort needed to promote the products. Perhaps they should listen more to independent outsiders, like me.


No thanks. I'm quite confident in my abilities to make Firefox succeed among real end users like my mom. I wish you'd relax and understand that there's mountains of work going on behind the scenes that will all come together at the launch of 1.0.


Hopefully this grandiose falling in place will not be the tried and failed techniques of "reloaded," "award-winning, next-generation browser," and the infomercialesque and verbiose rambling at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/why/ :

"Firefox empowers you to accomplish things online faster and more efficiently than any other browser, period." Was this sentence copied from Bunmaster 3000 or the FatDestroyer Pills ;-) I actually did a sentence by sentence critique of the why page, but I deemed it too mean for general consumption.

Edit: It appears I'm not the only one with disdain for the new site. A concise summary of all that I've said: http://mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=5200#17

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