[Vit-discuss] Re: [ANN] Redesign 2005 Blog

Douglas Livingstone rampant at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 18:43:47 EST 2005

On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 02:42:49 +0900, Anders Engström <aengstrom at gnejs.net> wrote:
> I like the design of both layouts. But IMO this poll should really be
> about selecting the "default" template for ruby-lang.org. I don't know
> how flexible the (X)HTML is - but shouldn't it be possible to ship a
> bunch of CSS's and let the user choose which one to use?

It isn't quite that simple. The XHTML has the content, the CSS has the
presentation, fine, but you'll notice that the layouts have different
content. That means that we still have to pick one of the two (or make
a mix or and things or remove things etc etc) you can't just say "use

Michel's "Clean" 1.0 gets my vote at the moment. The content has more
of a "this is what Ruby is" slant (love the code example right at the
top) than the "Ruby Red" one. There are two things I would change
right off:

1) The logo. None of the suggested logos seem to capture the elegance
of the Ruby language. The three squareish logos with the "Clean"
layout seem too industrial and unfriendly. The fourth read and white
one... what is it? It doesn't say anything to me. John's "Ruby Red"
logo is a nice picture of a ruby, but has the opposite problem to
Michel's one: it is far too complicated. But you know what? The first
thing I noticed about the blog page when I loaded it up: that Ruby
Lang 2005 logo. Perfect. It has the simplicity of Michel's squares,
but with a detail Ruby in the bottom right. It also uses the best font
of the logos on display. The letters stand upright unlike the ones in
Michel's demo, but they are uncluttered and strong unlike the one in
John's logo.

2) This one is simpler to say, but harder to impliment. I'd like a
news item added to the menu. I don't think there should be news on the
front page until there is regular and interesting news - something the
current site lacks, and I see no need to repeat mistakes. The news
page could be a combination of the "Latest News" and "From the Blogs"
section from John's demo. That should be on the site, but again it
isn't front page stuff. When a new release comes out, it should be
simple enough to put a "New Release!" sticker on the downloads box on
the right.

Both designs have an "info" box at the top. The difference between
them is that Michel's says something about Ruby, then has one link to
learn more. That's good, and is the sort of thing that can stay there
untill Ruby changes into something else. On the "Ruby Red" one, there
are far too many links to far too many different things. "Twenty
Minutes" "Tutorials" "Documentation" "From other languages"... where
are you going to start? The visual weight of the box is also too
strong - it looks like the most important part of the page, but only
has links to other things, it doesn't do anything by itself. That's a
problem with the current site too. Lots of links to other stuff, but
it doesn't actually say anything. Fair enough, you need the download
links there - but most people want to know what they are downloading
first. With "Clear", the at the top of the page is the text saying why
Ruby exists and what it is. Then once you've read that, just on the
right you are looking at the download links. Not satisfied you want
Ruby yet? Just click the "learn more" link.

Note that the "learn more" and the "download" links will always be
close together with this layout, meaning that there are less places to
look for what you want once you've read the intro. The little arrows
are great too. In "Ruby Red" there is no visual distinction between
the package managment systems and the Download Ruby links. That just
makes it harder to find either. The little arrows are bold, but don't
clutter. They are easier to understand than little pink dots too.

In Michel's, I like the language links at the top. Chinese should
probably be added there - I believe there is an active translation for
that already? What is the status there? The single text box is good
too - I'm not sure what would be in the dropdown box in "Ruby Red".
Perhaps there will have to be one in the final design because
documentation, general info and tutorials etc are all over the place,
but hopefully a solution can be found there.

The Ruby on Rails box just feels like clutter to me. Something which
has to be in the Resources section though. Possibly a reference to it
on the download page too, but this is Ruby-Lang, not Rails-Lang, and
the site should support that.

Why do none of the suggested logos have Ruby Lang written on them? It
seems like an obvious thing to have, unless someone can get ahold of a
ruby.something URL.

Nice work everyone, great to see progress :) Can't wait to have
another look in a couple of weeks!


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