The new layout does look a lot better, but before deleting the old layout, can we make sure we're not losing any useful links? For example, currently the "Special:Allpages" link is only in the old layout. -- dooglus 12:27, 26 December 2007 (EST)
- We can add al that links in the left bar if you think its ok.
The 0.61.08 download image needs to say "Synfig Animation Studio" instead of "Synfig"
- pabs 04:27, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
I saw there's a way to remove the toolbox for un-connected people, maybe we could do that, as the links in the toolbox are only usefull to connected persons.
And then, add the "Sidebar" back to the left side, with much more links in it (like, the ones from the bottom of the main page, that I even removed on the Main_Page.fr), that would be great.
And have a "Topbar" page or just some fixed link for the topbar, with only "Home / About / Download / Gallery / Screenshots / Tutorials / Forums " in a smaller font, and a lighter color (not-visited pages are #2A4D66 on #030336 and they're hardly visible at 1st sight).
- Rore 02:49, 7 April 2008 (EDT)
Upper image overlaps search bar and user menu on 1024x768 screen resolution. Tested with opera. --AkhIL 22:45, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
There's a thick black nothing between the left hand boxes and the main central page content. -- dooglus 15:31, 11 April 2008 (EDT)
I'd like to see more links in the left hand boxes - at least "all pages" should be there, and things like "people", "bugs", "press", etc from the top would be better at the side. There are too many links across the top. We should just have the most useful ones there. -- dooglus 15:31, 11 April 2008 (EDT)
 shows some remaining problems:
- the border of the top image is different widths on the two sides
- the text links and search box on the right are hidden by the image
- the image text isn't readable
- the image text mis-spells "beatiful"
Ok, let's begin a breakout of all that mess what we have now.
It's a shame, what synfig.org have website navigation, which confuses not only newbies, but also a community regulars. So, what could we do about that?
The main problem is the side bar, which contain too much elements scattered around almost without any logic.
- Rore : It seems you completely forgot the existence of the top bar. It has every element you talk about (Home, About, Download, Screenshot (can be changed by Gallery), Documentation, etc.) But as I say a few months ago, the links are too dark to be clearly visible.
It take a long time to look through all elements and to decide which one you really need. Who is read all elements at the side bar from top to bottom? No one? I guess so. So it should contain minimal count of menu elements and be as intuitive as possible.
Imagine what you are a person, who visits synfig.org for the first time. He may not ever know what Synfig is all about, so the first thing what you need is the About link.
- NOTE: Why not to place Screenshots into About page? Or maybe just place a link to screenshots to about page? It's all related...
- Some screenshots in the about page is definitely a good idea. The About link is the 2nd one on top, just after the home - but when links are not visited, their color is too dark to be clearly seen. Rore 17:14, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Next, if he read about Synfig is and got interested, the next thing what potential user wants to know is what Synfig capable to do. Here comes the Gallery link.
- ANOTHER NOTE: Gallery page should be restructured and redesigned. First of all it should be splited int two sections - "Pictures" and "Videos".
- Pictures should be arranged into the table. Each picture should have caption, thumbnail, author credits, and link to the source (if possible).
- Videos also should be arranged into a single table, but one video per row. It should contain thumbnail, caption, author, short description, link to the source (if possible). Also it would be nice to have not only link to youtube version, but to downloadable oggTheora file.
- Pxegeek Whilst I support the use of OggTheora, I'm probably one of the few Windows users that can play them. Is MPG/MPG2 sufficiently industry standard to be allowed? I agree that avoiding WMP or QT is preferable.
- Zelgadis : MPG/MP2 is proprietary formats. I am not against using them, but it's better to give preference to open formats. With appropriate instructions how to play them.
- All thumbnails should be aligned by size.
- Why we have so few items at the gallery? Why "Cut the circle" is not there? The first thing we should encourage people is to publish their works on the Gallery page!
OK, inspired by all beautiful art, user wants to try ut the Synfig package. That's right, he goes to Download section.
- NOTE AGAIN: We don't need the 'Contents' at the top of Download page. It takes one third of the whole space! Why is each distribution arranged as heading? Make it a list of items! Why is License and Documentation here?
- Pxegeek I think you answered your own question - we have contents list because each distro has its own heading. Personally, I'd like to see a separate download page for Linux, Windows & Mac, where we can talk about all the features that are specific to that OS/ binary compilation (e.g. no dv support under windows).
- Rore : I agree with pixelgeek, about having different pages for the 3 main OS, it will make things clearer for people. However, you can still remove the big Table Of Content at the top by adding __NO TOC__ to the page (without the space - but it's interpreted if I don't add it).
After downloading and installing Synfig, user suddenly realizes what he is not able to learn it by himself and he needs... Documentation!
After playing with synfig a little more user is makes something what he needs to show up or stucking with a problem which solution he couldn't find in documentation. Then he needs to Contact with community. And the Forums (cause many people I know don't even aware about IRC).
After all if user is also a coder and willing to implement all new features that he is missing, or just wants to contribute to code, then he will search for Development section.
What's last? Of course Get involved!
About, Gallery, Download, Documentation, Development, Forums, Contact, Development, Get involved - is the top level of the navigation hierarchy. Those pages should guide to the less general pages. I.e. About could guide to Screenshots and Press, Documenation could suggest Manual,Tutorials and Reference. And so on. Of course this could be not strict hierarchy - i.e. Forums could also appear as a link at the Community page. Maybe it could be nice to have some News on the Home page.
Genete I think that the main problem is that the side bar (and the top bar) are static. Most of the cool web pages changes its sidebar according to the context they are navigating on the moment. For instance if you're at home page you don't need a "home" link. I would like some sort of expandable side navigation bar that would show the main needed links according on what you're looking for in that moment. if this kind of navigation can be done I suggest something more impacting like:
- What is Synfig?: and its sub links: About, History, Screenshots, Features, Documentation.
- What Synfig can do?: Gallery Films, Video, Still, Contests.
- I want Synfig!: Download, Build. And a sub section per distro.
- Need Help!: Documentation, Forum (include direct links for each section), Contact.
- Want to Help?: Development, etc.
- (separated section) Toolbox: with all those special links.
The sub menus hierarchy should be expanded a level more when needed. For example for the Documentation entry. And definitively remove the top bar. Ah! and make the left bar translatable!.
- Zelgadis : I thought about the dynamic sidebar, but is MediaWiki could provide this feature without installing additional extensions? Better to ask pabs3...
That's what we placing at the left sidebar at the navigation section. Oh, dooglus asked for the "All pages" link. All that wiki stuff (All pages, Recent changes, Random Page, etc) I suggest to place at the left sidebar too, but in separate section.
About top of each page. I suggest to remove all that navigation links from top and place there a wiki edit butons - Article, Discussion, Edit, History. Cause with current design it's hard to scroll to the bottom of each page to get access to them. It'll be more friendly to place them on top.
- Pxegeek - And they don't wrap well on narrow screens - reducing the button count there would be a Good Thing.
- Genete Yeah duplicate navigation bars is not a good idea.
Here I exposed my plan of improving the wiki. It could be considered as a roadmap for website development. Suggestions, opinions, oppositions? C'mon, People, don't stay aside! We have a lot of content - now it's time to make it look attractive and respectable!