[Vit-discuss] Ruby-Lang Redesign Feedback Requested

Gavin Kistner gavin.kistner at anark.com
Thu Aug 24 16:24:10 EDT 2006

> See something amiss or askew? Let us know. This isn't a time for 
> nit-picking, but if you see something misspelled or believe 
> something to be unclear, speak up!

I'm not sure what's considered 'nit-picking', but here are a few
comments. Feel free to disregard if they are inappropriate for the
current phase of design/development.

1) Without getting into the (near-religious) design battle of
user-scalable width versus designer-locked-down width, I would like to
suggest that the implementation of the main column should be based on
'em' width instead of 'px'. When done properly, the width will be the
same for the standard font size, but increasing font size will increase
the width of the column. This allows users who choose larger font sizes
(due to vision or resolution issues) to still read main-column text with
more than 3 words per line, while still preserving the designer's choice
of a specific words-per-line goal. :)

2) I like that the Firefox website has a huge "DOWNLOAD NOW" button. The
most common activity for the site is really, really easy to find. Ruby's
homepage should, of course, be about more than downloading Ruby.
However, I suspect that the Download action is more common that the
current design emphasizes. My suggestion is to (somehow) make that
action more prominent than its current (near-hidden) location. Perhaps
as simple as a 'download' icon following the "Download Ruby" words.

I love the general appearance, the layout, and the grouping of content.
I love that _why's Try Ruby is there; that's a really excellent
low-barrier way to sell the language.

3) The 'News' section, while great, is little more than a pared down
version of the home page. In fact, it offsers LESS content than the home
page as far as news is concerned! I suggest that the archive titles be
included, in 'digest' mode, at the bottom of the news page. If I want to
look for any News about the future of Ruby, I'd like to be able to
quickly skim titles, not see the full excerpts.

4) I'd like to see dates on articles like

5) In IE6 on Windows, going to a new page (like News) causes the
background to 'collapse' under content before drawing correctly, while
the page loads. (I'm trying to get a screenshot now.) I suspect that a
HTML implementation tweak (like a pre-sized 'spacer' div holding the
proper content wide) should solve this.

6) I like it when sites visually differentiate links that go off the
site versus those that stay on it. With the array of Ruby information
spread about (rubyforge, ruby-doc, try ruby) perhaps this isn't a good
idea...but if it hasn't been discussed or tried already, I would be
interesting in seeing how this might be done subtly.

I'm very excited for the new design! If nothing I suggest above occurs,
it will still be great work by you all. :)

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