Hi all! Been away for a few days.
First of all, thanks for all the feedback and the support. Thoughtful feedback is always welcomed, no matter if it’s criticism or kudos.
Sorry for the voting not being too clear, this is about starting a new design but of course is not final. Surely it’s not the best possible design in the world (have you read the FAQ I posted?), I know it’s a bit shocking, but I needed to do something to be able to start this conversation from somewhere, so I went ahead with some ideas I believed in.
As a newcomer, I also wanted to show to some extent what my ideas were, and what I’m capable of, and that’s the output.
I’m trying to think better ways to open up the design process for FOSS projects. It’s not an easy task, even well designed things like Mozilla’s products are note very open on the design side. This is mostly due to the lack of open source culture among designers. Being a designer and developer, I come from both worlds and I know for sure that design knows very little of it.
I’d like to collect feedback, and start doing some visual options, and maybe we can vote on that.
I’m thinking on a weekly iterative workflow, something like:
- Upload the first design to Invisionapp where we can comment on every design and start discussions there over the weekdays.
- Collect that feedback and work on improvements/alternatives over the weekend.
- GOTO 1
As this can go on forever we’ll have to set the best tool to fast decision-making: deadlines. We should set a deadline for publishing a first version of the site. Maybe a couple of months would be good. Websites are not written on stone, we will of course keep improving that after publishing.
You can check out how it works here:
(Background looks buggy, don’t mind that).
Please let me add some comments on the various topics mentioned:
Header: Got it: black header. Seems like a sensitive topic!
No click to content: Noted, we’ll find a way to solve that.
Button colors: The blue and green buttons are (as far as I can tell) no part of Diaspora’s identity. Most of the current site is default Bootstrap, and this brings many problems: 1) it is not anybody’s identity, it’s Twitter’s idea of button colors invading your design. 2) that palette is outdated, and also, it has nothing to do with identity, is just a color map of the various actions: green = success, red = danger, etc. 3) Being the default theme for a framework, it’s really harmful for identity purposes, because it makes your site look just as any other Bootstrap site. What will experienced users recognize by looking at them? Bootstrap, not Diaspora. I can’t stress this enough.
Consistency I: Diaspora UI + Foundation site UI: We have to make both consistent, but not equal. The foundation site is not something you’ll see every day as Diaspora, I mean, it is a totally different use case. However, I’ve been doing some experiments with that, overriding CSS on diaspora (not changing actual code), so it’s really buggy and it’s just the stream but you can check it out here: http://uxpod.vispress.com/ , but as you might see, I’m for using a colder palette on Diaspora, and a warmer on Foundation. This is because the different use cases.
Consistency II: We have to develop an identity manual before continuing, that will serve as an umbrella for all the other decisions.
Identity: Can you please elaborate what elements you all consider as an essential part of Diaspora’s identity?
Corporate design: I would like more output on why this looks “corporate” or “appy”. There is no such thing as “corporate design” for me, I don’t make that distinction, unless you use recruiting cliché images with guys on black ties over a blue background. I can see the design as “trendy” or “modern”, and well, corporate sites are usually are trendy and modern. Why? Because they have the money to ditch away a 2-year-old design and have a whole design team working on the latest trends over tons of UX data. But I think a FOSS project shouldn’t be any less bold, daring or modern than any corporate site. If communicating that Diaspora is not a venture-backed startup is important, we won’t do it by conveying the idea through the design style, but by explicitly saying so. And I think even the current site does a good job on stating that.
@goob I proposed the “UI working group”, and as I said before, in order to make this work it would be nice to have some people as you, Stefan, Fla, Sean and any other interested in being engaged and providing constant feedback, maybe communicating by e-mail, having IRC meetings and such. And of course, commenting on the invision designs will be the most helpful.