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Re: website mockups, what is fedora?

On Fri, 2009-08-21 at 11:24 -0700, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> If we decide that these are our goals, that allows us to start raising
> questions based upon the goals -- for instance, if "growing the
> community that we can recruit" from is a goal, maybe we want to be
> promoting less popular spins on get-fedora so that we can increase the
> developers of those spins.

I don't follow the logic here. The goal is to increase overall community
participation. It is not specifically targeting participation in spins.
> > With these goals in mind, it appears that rather than only catering to
> > the current community base we have (which is inarguably extremely
> > important), we need to also consider the users and community members we
> > do not have in the design as we are basically trying to sell our
> > software and our community to them (whom you do not seem to be
> > considering.) So considering the 'newbie' case is more important with
> > the goals stated above than it ever has been for our website before.
> > 
> The use of "newbies" is difficult in this paragraph.  The design goals
> expressed by the Board are definitely not for "newbies" in the sense of
> esr's Aunt Tilly.  It's for "People who are somewhat computer savvy, but
> may be new to Fedora and/or Linux and FOSS in general".  So these are
> people who have some technical background but may not have experience
> with FOSS.

I was assuming that folks knew that was what I meant by newbies since we
discussed this at length earlier, I apologize for the vagueness. But
you've explained exactly what was meant here.
> Also, I still don't see much of a sales pitch for the community in these
> mockups.  We need things like:

The goal as I stated it and have understood it is: 

"2) To grow community involvement in Fedora by growing the base of users
from which we can recruit community members. "

Note that the goal is not stated "Recruit more community members." Just
"grow the base." We have design work & updates for join.fpo scheduled
for F13 - and I would imagine then is when we'll work on adding hooks to
getting folks to join the project all over the site and related
properties as well as fixing up join.fpo.
> * credits the Fedora community/KDE SIG/Fedora Design Team created this

Credits who for what?

> * More first person pronouns "We made this to you"

I don't follow.

> * Support: Troubleshooting?  Fedora community IRC/mailing list/forum link.

There is a "help and support" link under resources in the right column

And there is a very prominent "I need help" box here:


That would point to:


Are these not sufficient?

> * Fedora Classroom!  Can we pull off a "Fedora's downloading, learn to
> use it by joining a Fedora classroom session on IRC." [schedule of
> classes] [Read transcripts for past classes] on page3.png?

We are not ready for this. We haven't even gotten the basics figured
> > Who do you know who dabbles in Linux or has always wanted to try it out?
> > Think of that person. Imagine they are on the phone with you, and are
> > asking you how they can get a copy of Fedora:
> >
> Heh, bad analogy.  If I'm on the phone with someone it's actually pretty
> simple to figure out what would be a good fit and have them download the
> right thing.  You expect to hold a conversation with someone on the
> phone so you have the luxury of asking a lot of questions and talking
> about a lot of details.  The web page has to address a much more
> difficult problem -- leading someone to a decent decision without losing
> their attention in the meantime.

Even over the phone it's difficult to figure out the exact download they
need then read a long url over the phone or navigate page-by-page over
the phone "click here.... okay now click there"

But you are absolutely right, the phone is cake compared to doing the
same thing on a webpage.
> > I understand to you, adding KDE is 'just one more choice', but I hope
> > the above illustrates it all is 'just one more' that adds up to just one
> > big confusing mess than sends new users running screaming from our
> > website to other distros (or giving up on Linux altogether!) 
> I buy into the too much choice argument but the current mockup doesn't
> make clear that the user has any choice at all.  If that's intentional,
> there's no room for compromise here.  If that's not intentional, then it
> needs to be worked on as a priority as without that, none of the people
> who are not on the get-fedora page will have anyreason to make the spins
> page better.

The choice on the page right now is, "Download Fedora" or "Download a
different Fedora." That is intentional. Does that make sense or is this
problematic to you?

With that intention in mind, I totally admit maybe the "download a
different Fedora" choice isn't prominent enough. I'm thinking adding a
colorful/graphical banner to the sidebar to drive traffic to spins.fpo
might be a good solution.
> > Since Linux does not have the market share I think we'd all like to see
> > in an ideal world, btw, I don't think following what other distros are
> > doing is (1) innovative (2) going to get us to where we want to be.
> > Especially if those distros don't share our goals as a distro, and
> > especially if the success of those distros' designs are unknown or not
> > shared. If the goal is to increase free & open source software adoption
> > and if the goal is to do that by spreading Fedora far & wide, wouldn't
> > we be better off trying to be innovative of our own accord and maybe
> > looking to the big players (OS X, Windows) to see what they do?
> > 
> There's a few tangents in here:
> 1) Linux's market share is growing so getting antsy about changing how
> we do things isn't necessarily what we want to do.

It's growing slowly. We're one of the more popular distros. Why would we
follow a less popular distro's lead?
> 2) OS X comes preinstalled on proprietary hardware.  Is that what we
> want to do?  Windows comes preinstalled on computers or in boxes at the
> store.  Is that the model we want to adopt?  In both of these cases, the
> "download now!" page is pretty difficult to find :-)

Yes but my point wasn't their download pages or lack thereof. My point
was there is no:

OS X For Your Mom
OS X For My Dog
OS X Super Mega Awesome Ultimate 3000

There is *one* OS X. If I use OS X, and my friend in Toledo uses OS X, I
can have a conversation about it with them and we can understand what
the other is talking about. If I use Fedora with GNOME, and my friend in
Toledo uses Fedora with KDE, and we talk about it, we're going to end up
getting pretty confused. 
> 3) I think the goal of increasing market share is already taken by other
> distros.  Ubuntu, SusE, RHEL, for instance.  The commercial distros.  If
> we're going to be innovative, I'd rather we did it by concentrating on
> the things we do well or want to do well (Infinity Freedom Voice,
> Freedom Friends Features First, Upstream upstream upstream, Leading but
> not bleeding, We know how to build a community, put your hand-wavey
> slogan here).  Market share for the sake of market share is not
> something I want Fedora to strive for.

It's not for the sake of market share. It's for the sake of growing our
potential contributor base. And I see it as a two-phased approach - fix
the downloads so people can get the darn thing, then fix our contributor
entryway so it's easy to sign up and help and do something meaningful.

Even the Scientologists don't try to recruit you from the get-go by
talking about their philosophies and ideals (which I'm sure are quite
important to them.) They offer you FREE MUSEUM TICKETS. Then they use
that as a platform to try to sell you on joining. 

> >> But let's not get muddled in details.
> >>
> >> Let me be brutally honest:  withholding choice and options here and/or 
> >> diminishing kde's visibility *will* disenfranchise a lot of people. 
> >> We'll lose out PR-wise big time, especially in light of opensuse's 
> >> recent work that is largely perceived as doing right by the community.
> > 
> > There is a clear trade-off here - either you "do wrong" by the
> > community, or you "do wrong" by users who want to try your distro but
> > run away screaming because you've confused and scared them. It seems
> > easier to reject the latter folks because they're not here yet, but
> > we'll fail if we don't continue to grow. 
> > 
> If you disenfranchise the current community, you'll shrink.  This recent
> blog post is relevant.  If you're as compulsively click happy as I am,
> you've already read it::
>   http://www.codesimplicity.com/archives/137
> the secret to growth is to retain your current users because if you can
> do that, new ones will start coming by because they want to try
> something new.

It's a balance between current folks and newbies. You need to keep both
happy, as I pointed out earlier. I still do not think catering to only
current users is the way to grow. The phrase "preaching to the choir"
comes to mind.

> > If the current in-progress designs would disenfranchise current
> > community members, let's work on a way to address that *without* scaring
> > away new prospects a well.
> I think this is the heart of the matter.  I definitely agree with it.
> However, I think we're looking at the ramifications of this differently.
>  There's two possibilities for why there's disagreement:
> * Which is valued more, getting new members or keeping old members?  I
> think that decreasing the morale of contributors is a more pressing
> concern than gaining more users.  Gaining more users is important so
> that we can gain more contributors but its the old adage about it not
> making sense to lose what you have in order to get something of
> uncertain worth.

Keeping old members for certain, but I really do not understand why this
design would cause us to lose community members. I really don't. And
when I ask people why, the only feedback I get is that "there is no KDE
link." Okay. That doesn't tell me that the design is going to drive away
people from the entire pool of Fedora users and contributors. That tells
me we might have an issue with a subset of that, the Fedora KDE
community. So already the problem is smaller than you've put it. Then I
ask these folks, "is there anything else about the mockups you don't
like?" And some people tell me they don't like the panda. And that's
about it.

So you are going to tell me that:

- no explicit KDE link, KDE is treated equally as all other spins
- a panda bear

Are going to be the downfall of the entire Fedora Community?

If folks have specific reasons other than the lack of a KDE link on the
main download page for being 'disenfranchised' by this design, I would
love to hear them.

> * The level of problem that exists either with disenfranchising current
> members with the new design or driving away potential new contributors
> with the old design.  My perception is that we're gaining new users
> despite the problems with the old design and that the new design is seen
> as a huge demoralizing issue for the current contributors.  Your
> perception is probably that we're losing a lot of potential new users
> due to poor design and the current contributors will "get over it" once
> the new design is deployed. 

I do not understand what there is to "get over." "Get over" that the
website looks clean & professional rather than the limited & static rush
job with almost no time spent on it that it is?

I can vouch for the current site being a rush job and a mess being the
case, since what is there I helped create. Does everyone here know what
the goal to accomplish was with the design of the current pages? I'll
tell you:

Goal: When the fedoraproject.org wiki goes down because of bandwidth
overload from a release, be able to show some very low-bandwidth, static
content for Fedora so users don't get a big fat error message when they
go to fedoraproject.org.

The current site certainly fulfills that goal. I do believe it's not a
particularly lofty goal and we should strive for more.

Remember when fedoraproject.org was one big blue bar with links
elsewhere, mostly at redhat.com? Remember when fedoraproject.org *was*
the wiki, which was Moinmoin at the time?

I am not trying to push for change that people who put time and effort
into Fedora to "just get over"... Wow. If I was designing things to just
be gotten over - well I wouldn't be doing it, I'll put it that way.

NOBODY is proposing to redesign our website to the exclusion of our
current user and contributor base. Strawman has been beaten into a
straw-y pulp. Let's move on:

Why is the proposed design demoralizing?

>  It's hard to guage this effect because one
> is psychological and the other is a lack of something rather than the
> addition of something.  We could have a poll of contributors to
> determine how many of them dislike where the design is heading but that
> could be seen by some as a vote (rather than a poll to see how people
> are feeling) which could make people feel worse in the end.
> >>
> >> Is that a price the board is willing to pay?
> > 
> > I think the board has made a statement that they would like to see us
> > recruiting a wider user base rather than only catering to the people we
> > already have in our community. I think a fair way to keep both current
> > community members happy and to not scare away our potential users (and
> > hopefully potential new community members) is:
> > 
> > 1) By default, make the very first 'download' landing page dead simple
> > for the newbies. Make it one-click and hard to screw up and
> > easy-to-understand. 
> > 
> > 2) Have a very obvious 'If you know what you're doing, go over here'
> > link on the main download landing page that takes you to a screen
> > designed for the ideal 'already knows what their doing' user, giving
> > them a full set of choices.
> > 
> > For #1, this is (and it's absolutely a work-in-progress) the proposal on
> > the table:
> > 
> > http://duffy.fedorapeople.org/temp/woot/page2.png
> > 
> > It would be accompanied by a page listing out the desktop spin in other
> > architectures and with bittorrent links. this page (not mocked up as of
> > yet, I'll try to work on it today) would also have information about
> > obtaining physical media (free media program, directory of vendors)
> > 
> > For #2, this is the spins page design (again, absolutely a
> > work-in-progress) proposal:
> > 
> > http://duffy.fedorapeople.org/temp/woot/spins-directory.6.png
> >
> Actually, your number 2 says: "Have a very obvious 'If you know what
> you're doing, go over here' link on the main download landing page".  I
> think that's the main point of failure currently.  The current page2.png
> mockup does not drive people who want to learn about or try different
> options to the spins page.  Thought experiment:  Try starting with a
> design for page2.png that has only two links but is absolutely horrible:
> +-------------------------
> |   _What's a Spin?_
> | Fedora has many differen
> | you can find the Fedora
> | perfect for you!
> +-------------------------
> +=======================+
> |                       |
> |   All Fedora Spins!   |
> |                       |
> +=======================+
> (Download Fedora)
> Then make a few incrementals in between before arriving at what we have now:
> +==================+
> | Download Fedora! |
> +==================+
> (Other download options)
> Think about which ones you love and which ones you hate.  Write down
> what your reasons are.  Then show the people that hate the current
> mockups and get their rankings and rationale.

This is a good idea. I'll give it a shot.
> I think a balance can be struck between mass of download options and not
> enough information to proceed but it's going to require compromise on
> both sides.  You can present more information and in not precisely the
> best manner and not drive new users to go elsewhere.  And you can not
> present all the options and still get interested people to click
> further.  But it's hard to see where that compromise point might be when
> there's not a clear understanding that the page is open for input and
> what the impact is when viewing the changes.  Someone who says "Only
> putting all the spins on one page is fair"  might be willing to say
> "This two link page draws me to click through to the more information
> page satisfactorily" once they see a mockup that attempts to make that
> happen.

Well, the latter is how it is currently designed and people seem to
still take issue with that so I'm really at a loss. I definitely don't
want to be spinning my wheels making a bunch of mockups that really
aren't needed other than to try to convince people that I'm not sure
will ever be pleased that the direction we're going is a sane one.
> [snip spins page stuff]
> The spins mockup page is a bit beside the point right now.  Nobody is
> confident that anyone is going to view the spins page so how it looks is
> not something anyone's going to get excited about.  Think of it like this:
> """
> +==================+
> |                  |
> |  Install Windows |
> |     For free!    |
> |                  |
> +==================+
> (other download options)

I think the sad truth here that folks seem to not want to admit is that
most people do not want to download more spins. And most people that do
know exactly where to get their spin of choice. I think the hidden
agenda here is that certain spins want a platform for marketing and
growing their particular spin. That's fine. But get.fpo is not for
advertising spins. That is not the point of the page. 

The point of get.fpo is to give Fedora to people, most of whom will
never know or care what a spin is to be brutally honest. And once they
have the desktop spin, they can install ANYTHING they want or need. They
can even install KDE. 

If people really want to promote KDE or other spins, eg, rather than
co-opt the get.fpo page, a better plan might be to make it easier to
install and switch to after someone has already bought into Fedora.

And by the way, I'd be saying the same exact thing about the
desktop/gnome spin if the board had deemed KDE to be the default.

> Maybe we can put the Linux distributions on the other downloads page
> with two views -- one by popularity (the default) and the second in
> alphabetical order.  You can even tell people to go to
> fedora.microsoft.com to get it.  I think you can really promote Fedora
> by doing a good job of making the description on that second page rock!

Yeh I think I already wrote up that I was gonna have two tabs,
popularity/alphabetical on that mockup. It's a good idea.


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