[ubuntu-web] Homepage

Matthew Nuzum matthew.nuzum at canonical.com
Thu Jul 3 21:55:39 BST 2008

On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 3:11 PM, François Tissandier
<francois.tissandier at gmail.com> wrote:

Instead of trimming I'm going to summarize what you said and put comments below:

> Double menu:

So there are three navigations:

 * top right - constant throughout the site
 * left - should be dependent on what part of the site you're in
 * breadcrumb - should reflect the path back to the homepage, with
each link from the right taking you to more and more general

You have correctly spotted two disparate problems:

 1. Sometimes its just plain broke, especially the breadcrumb
 2. It was not planned to have the top nav match the left nav but
because they do closely match it's confusing that the differ. It
appears to be an error in the places where they are inconsistent. The
original intent on the top nav was to be "popular destinations"

> Coherence

Here you've identified that the navigation changes when you go between
sites. (Nand also pointed this out) There is a major technical
challenge which I've outlined in my personal blog [1]. I have spent
many cycles working out a way to manage this and a good solution is
necessary for a long term fix to this problem. I welcome fresh

One thing to consider is that maybe sometimes the sites should differ.
There should be a visual connection linking the sites but not so tight
that people wonder, "hey, why did my navigation change?" Maybe the
fridge is one of these, maybe not.

> Visual indicators
> Globally, I think we could probably improve this by making the different
> "strengths" of Ubuntu more sexy: ubuntu itself, then the community: get
> help, take part, then the info for partners maybe.
> A simple and efficient solution to really make those axis shine is color
> codes.

Good ideas. I'm not opposed to pursuing this but I'm startled with how
suddenly we've come to this point. :-) (basically redesigning the
website if I catch your drift) Read through the rest of the email
though because attacking the problem from a different angle may work

> User specific content?
> i'm also wondering if the content should not be more "user targeted".
> Like "home user", "professional user", "partners".

> If I'm a home user, and looking at this page:
> http://www.ubuntu.com/products/softwarecatalogue
> Brrr, business oriented softwares there.

Yes, this is planned. I like the way RedHat does this on their
homepage. They have the top part of the website with their features
and then almost (but not quite) below the fold they have links to what
I call "portals" for user specific content. One such portal pertinent
to us is "education." There we would have a page that "sells" Ubuntu
(I'm not afraid to use that word) to people in the education sector.

> -Then the homepage.
> Usually i find people too focused on the homepage, but this one needs
> some love i think (three news in three months, is it a dead project?? :)

Good point. We need more news. There's plenty happening.


While I was reading your email, nand pinged me on IRC and started
discussing similar issues. (He suggested a unified navigation that can
link the sites such as fridge, forums, ubuntu.com, etc)

Identifying the navigation problems is not nearly as challenging as
coming up with solutions, so lets direct our attention there.

It may very well be that the Ubuntu website(s) has legitimately
outgrown the ability to have a single unified navigation. Instead of
trying to come up with a navigation that works with the existing
content we should turn our attention to the site map and figure out
what that should look like. Once done we can figure out the best way
to navigate the site based on the needs of the target users and how
they enter the website.

What do you think?

-- references --

[1] http://www.bearfruit.org/blog/2008/06/10/how-do-you-syndicate-navigation

Matthew Nuzum
newz2000 on freenode

More information about the Ubuntu-website mailing list