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  • #691
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Folks, we need to re do the home page. What should be on it? What is essential?

    Currently, it is blog style layout. Not working for anyone.

    #5393
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    I have no problem with current layout. When I first came here it was very easy to learn about FF.
    One rule from my network administrator experience:If it is not broken, don’t touch it.

    #5397
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    While the site “ain’t broken”, I think the word would spread a lot faster if first timers saw a clean design with the Assembled Multitude of Content (anything in this vast library) less than 4 clicks from the landing page, setup to teach the vocabulary needed to use search effectively.

    You would also benefit from improved flow analyses- where does the traffic go, and how does it get there when there are more than one route. Another way to look at it is comparing the landing pages of Google vs Yahoo.

    #5398
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: While the site “ain’t broken”, I think the word would spread a lot faster if first timers saw a clean design with the Assembled Multitude of Content (anything in this vast library) less than 4 clicks from the landing page, setup to teach the vocabulary needed to use search effectively.

    So, how does the new menu work, then? I’ve put everything on the top nav bar, instead of on the side. Also using drop down menus.

    Still developing this nav system. I’m not sure if I should get a button out there for “conventional fusion”. As is, conventional fusion is buried under: “how hard is it >> conventional challenges” and “Fusion Race >> contenders (a sub category here)”

    The “Learning Center” can have a glossary – oops, I guess we need a glossary. That means setting up a new weblog called “glossary”, since it has specific fields.

    Learning Center will direct people to finished materials (pdf’s, powerpoints, films, etc.) that they can print out or download for spreading the word. But the logic of our site needs to come out in the set up of the nav bar and in a more concise explanation of each section when you get to the page.

    I’m working on that now.

    #5403
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    If speed of access is important then 1 click access can only be offered by full list of topics on the main site, 2 clicks if its hidden.
    Alternatively a tag cloud might be better than categories, as I myself can never put 1 thing into a single category.
    To not to confuse first time visitor a few major topics could be offered at the top “What is Fusion, Fusion Technologies, Who We are(What we do), Impact (Speculation)”

    #5407
    AvatarTulse
    Participant

    Here is my two cents:

    In my opinion, the home page is WAY too busy. The main horizontal menu needs to be more hierarchical, as many of the current menu items could be grouped under a single menu item (“What is focus fusion?”, or “About focus fusion”). Having TWO right sidebars makes thing extremely cluttered, and I’d suggest merging them. The “far” right sidebar has a lot of stuff that seems unnecessary on the main page (I’d put the links under the “What is focus fusion?” menu item, dump the Intrade, Baby has a Name, and Focus Fusion is Not: sections (the latter could again go under the “What is focus fusion?” menu), and move the Apparel section to a menu item (perhaps collapse it with the Donate section and put both under a menu item like “Support”). The “near” right sidebar content should be put into a simplified single right sidebar.

    The left sidebar is currently almost completely unused, and probably isn’t actually needed (getting rid of it and merging the right sidebars would clean up the design considerably).

    The whole page does not seem designed for newcomers — the blog format suggests that it is far more for regular visitors. If you want something that is more focused on newbies, I’d suggest shrinking down the blog bit so that by default it only shows the latest posting, and put above it a static section containing the most central, most important bits for newcomers (perhaps extracted from the “What is focus fusion?” section).

    #5499
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    Good looking home page, Rezwan!

    #5501
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Love the new look! :wow:

    #5506
    AvatarJShell
    Member

    First, I wanted to say that I think the redesign looks great!! But if you’re still editing things, I would put a plug in for simplification. Focus Fusion is a really good idea. People who are coming to the site will want to explore it– right now I get the impression that I’m being told all the exciting things about focus fusion before I even have a chance to hunt around the site and find out what its about. I tend to like having a cleaner homepage, with more links and lots of information that I can explore when I begin to go into sub-categories. Then, if there’s lots of material to explore within the site it feels more like an adventure while I’m learning more about LPP and FFS.

    Call me a simpleton, but I like how streamlined LPP’s homepage is– it looks really professional.

    I think anything you can do to “streamline” the home page would only make things easier.

    Perhaps you could have a few lines explaining FFS on the homepage, in the center white area? That could be a “teaser” to help any passerby know what FFS is about and why it could be a really transformative technology. Then, as they become more interested in Focus Fusion, they can follow the links to learn more.

    The grey bar at the top, for example, could be a lot more simpler if there were fewer headings across the top. Especially having it all fit on one horizontal line could make a huge aesthetic difference. What if you combined a lot of the “informational” links all under a heading titled something like “Learn about Focus Fusion”? Then you could have the following headings in the grey horizontal box:

    Home
    About FFS
    LPP Experiment
    Forums
    Gallery
    Events
    “Learn More about Focus Fusion”

    Then, under “Learn More about Focus Fusion”, you could include the following (with or without their own links)
    What is Focus Fusion?
    Aneutronic Fusion
    How Hard Is It?
    How Green Is It?
    Fusion Race
    Future Shock
    Plasma Network
    Learning Center
    Fun

    Also, it seems that there is some repitition with the information and links in the grey boxes and the information and links in the central white area– perhaps one link to the information from the home page would be enough?

    One other thing I noticed is the “popups” when I scroll my cursor over the pictures on the right– maybe its just me, but I found the larger pictures a little surprising/disconcerting, especially given where they’re located. Perhaps the pB11 animation could go in the central white box?

    Thanks for reading all this! I think FFS is doing some really interesting and awesome work already– most of my comments are just a matter of aesthetics.
    John

    #5507
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Hey JShell! Thanks for the feedback. By the way, when you get a chance, put in an avatar/picture/bio, if possible.

    I agree about the popups with the pictures. I was waiting for someone to say something. It started out as an experiment in a css class. Been bugging me for some time. No one complained. You have motivated me to drop the bells/whistles. Cleaner! Faster load time! Yay. That’s done.

    right now I get the impression that I’m being told all the exciting things about focus fusion before I even have a chance to hunt around the site and find out what its about

    I see you’re a man who likes mystery. But are you suggesting that the home page reveals what the site is about all in one go and leaves no mystery?! Thanks! That’s a good thing, I thought. It means we’ve clarified the whole message in one page. Elevator pitch. Links for details.

    How do other people feel? Do you want the first page to be a mostly blank teaser, or tell all, with the promise of greater detail further in?

    I’m basing my goal on the axiom that “a useful home page makes it instantly clear what the site is about”.

    Trust me, after people drill down into the next level from the homepage links, there will be further drilling down. There’s a lot more left.

    I’m keeping your note in mind, but working through the rest of the site before taking final action. I think there are quite a few more sub-categories to go from each one of the links currently on the home page. It’ll be a pretty content rich site, ultimately.

    Then, under “Learn More about Focus Fusion”, you could include the following (with or without their own links)

    Intriguing idea. I’m just having a logic problem with it, because “focus fusion” is technically a subcategory of aneutronic fusion, one of many contenders in the fusion race, and so forth. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the fusion umbrella is bigger than the focus fusion umbrella. For many people coming to this site, it might be helpful to get the context that way. Given that the focus fusion stuff is in the top fold of the page, they will get that first thing. Most people don’t scroll past the visible window. For those who do, they’ll get the logical picture.

    But I’m still shuffling things around. Not sure what the final layout will be.

    The plasma network thing is going to split off and become it’s own website for professionals.

    Also, it seems that there is some repitition with the information and links in the grey boxes and the information and links in the central white area– perhaps one link to the information from the home page would be enough?

    Would be, but the grey box is supposed to be consistent throughout the site, on article pages as well as home page. I suppose we could keep it off the homepage, but usually sites have the nav throughout site. I’m thinking of losing the dropdowns in the grey menu bar. Plus, the dropdown popups – I guess that’s from the “alt” tag in the a href thing. Or maybe that’s title tag, and I should just have alt. Is that w3 compliant? Let me test it.

    Thanks for your feedback, & enjoy the snow.

    #5509
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    I like the new double-wide window atop the image map. That almost screams “Start Here!”.

    No single logic diagram is going to work for all visitors. Some are going to be looking for a top-down overview stressing benefits vs. cost and risks. Others are going to be looking for sytems level info that they can use to do rough-planning on how to integrate it into their organization or a client’s. Others are going to want to see every last nut, bolt, and formula. So a mini-survey about what type of information about (Focus) Fusion they need today might help them and you.

    Dumping the mouseovers (I’m thinking they’re alt text) will make the pages less annoying while moving the mouse. Faster loading times are always good, too.

    One other thing I’d like to see is to have the “Notify me via email when someone posts on this thread” default to unchecked.

    Just my 2 bits.

    #5512
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: I like the new double-wide window atop the image map.

    What the heck is a double-wide window, and to what image map do you refer?

    Dumping the mouseovers (I’m thinking they’re alt text) will make the pages less annoying while moving the mouse.

    Hmmm. Not so sure about that one. alt text is for images, when they don’t appear, and used by the visually impaired. The stuff that pops up on links is “title” text, which I think is also necessary for visually impaired. Not sure, though. In any case, I want the site to be accessible to all. Must go over the rules for that…

    One other thing I’d like to see is to have the “Notify me via email when someone posts on this thread” default to unchecked.

    Do you mean in the forums? I looked around, don’t know where to find that. Will take more concerted search. In the meantime, if you want to go over your subscriptions and uncheck yourself from a few, here’s the place to go.

    #5513
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    No single logic diagram is going to work for all visitors. So a mini-survey about what type of information about (Focus) Fusion they need today might help them and you.

    So true. That means: On to mini survey design! 8-/

    This is the interesting part of the site. Logic. Which manifests as structure. And relates strongly to content. I’d like to have a live session to go over this. Get people together in a room, with some whiteboards and such. Get a sense of emergent logic and strategy for approaching fusion.

    Perhaps we can set something like this up at a college somewhere. Get students and other citizens.

    About that grey nav bar, maybe it can be split into two, top tier and bottom, different colors, the top being “content” as in, “things to read”, and the bottom, “action”, as in things to do and other features.

    Speaking of the nav bar – that code does not validate at all. All the drop down menu bits. Do we need the drop down menus?

    Back to Aeronaut and the popups on the drop downs. I guess there’s a way to put something in that can detect if a text only reader is viewing the site, and can substitute a different nav bar for such readers… Anybody know the rules on this?

    #5514
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Back to JShell and the yearning for a professional look – I put that down to design.

    I’m working on structure, and W3 compliance.

    Goal is to set up a kalashnikov of websites that won’t jam.

    If we clearly define structural bits, it will mean that we can get people to design a great site just by changing one css document.

    Design comes at the end.

    Like “Avatar”, where the actors spent years in spandex with dots on their faces in rooms with green screens and tape all over the place, getting the motion capture down. The final creatures and settings you see on the screen are from the next set of years where the designers fill in the color and fur and stuff. Insert bushes, cliffs, bugs and waterfalls. (I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m not sure what all they insert).

    I’m going for the csszengarden.com school of design. Use flash only for specific educational features – interactive movies embedded on the site and the like.

    #5515
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Rezwan wrote: About that grey nav bar, maybe it can be split into two, top tier and bottom, different colors, the top being “content” as in, “things to read”, and the bottom, “action”, as in things to do and other features.

    Or perhaps:
    Content: About FFS | What is focus Fusion | LPP Experiment | Aneutronic etc.
    Resources: Plasma network | Learning Center | Fun | Gallery | Forums | Events

    There will be a lot of cross reference, which may be seen as redundancy.

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