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Re: website mockups, what is fedora?

On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 03:31:13PM -0400, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> > 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.

Certainly -- for now, we are trying to repair the specific problem of
people being confused and turned away by our download site at present,
and one of the primary goals is be a more inclusive community to
potential contributors and participants.  And those participants are
more than people who want to work on spins.  They're people who might
file bugs, or help with translations, or commit free creative works to
the commons, or a myriad of other things.  We cannot specifically
target each of those groups effectively with a single page, so the
proper design is to be as inclusive as possible and direct those
groups to a single default that will help them get started.

Mo, myself, and many other people know first-hand the problems created
by our current pages because we've seen people who want to get
involved, and can't figure out how to download our platform because
it's too confusing and they don't want to do "the wrong thing."

> > > 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.

One of the requirements the Board generated was to provide a clear
route to the Spins hub from the get-fedora page (for people who want
more choices), and to the get-fedora page from the Spins hub (for
people who can't decide).  If a banner solves that issue in a way the
Board generally approves, I see no problem.

> > > 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?

I'm a little discouraged here because "getting antsy" sounds
uncomfortably close to "being complacent."  When I had the opportunity
to work with Mo on some of the design, we looked directly at
successful projects like Mozilla, which does an exceptional job of
attracting contributors with a clear, easy to follow website design
that is very attractive to a wide audience.  We also looked at a
number of general-purpose sites where the design upheld the goal of
the vendor, and used these to checkpoint our work.  I'm not interested
in following other distros in upgrading our website design, I'm
interested in following successful designers, as long as the design
supports the message, and that message is "You too can become a

> > 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. 

Mo is precisely right here, market share has never been the point.
(It's arguable we have that too, given the turnover that I've seen
anecdotally.)  But let's be clear, ignoring the rest of the world is a
stupid, short-sighted option.  Instead, we should be making ourselves
as effective as possible at spreading our message of Freedom Friends
Features First(*).  The way we do that effectively, historically, as
Fedora, is to promote the idea that You Have Something to Contribute.
We want to see you contribute free stuff, using free tools.  So we
will get you to that point as expediently as you want.

(*) BTW, let's avoid I.F.V., it's old and Marketing doesn't use it
anymore.  If you see it somewhere in Fedora, let me or Marketing know
so we can help people replace it with up to date material.

> > 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.

Sometimes we can't keep everyone happy, but we try our best to do the
right thing for Fedora overall.  In summary, the redesign does this:

* Current spins state:  Ugly listing page
* Future spins state:  Beautiful, organized hub, with customizable content and
domain names

* Current get-fedora state:  Ugly page with lots of options
* Future get-fedora state:  Beautiful page with fewer options and route
to spins hub

* Current front page:  God-awful
* Future front page:  Beautiful page with easy d/l and routes to
community, spins hub, events, et al.

On balance I think the designs succeed admirably in killing off
complacency and making someone's experience on the site feel more
efficient and comfortable.  We want them to process that experience
and understand that the Fedora Project is going to give them a
comfortable way to contribute, just as we give them a comfortable way
to get started with our tools.  In short, the new designs suck less.
Maybe they suck in different ways, but it's certainly less overall.

> 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. 

And as a matter of fact, we are now going to provide that, with a
well-matching design and customizability, and even subdomains as
desired, where there has heretofore been nothing.

> 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. 

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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