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Re: website mockups, what is fedora?

I have no idea why but my mail client sent this when I was nowhere near
finished, so I'll try again.

On Fri, 2009-08-21 at 21:49 -0400, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-08-21 at 18:27 -0700, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> > That feeling is what the KDE SIG is feeling and for a similar reason.
> > They've put in a lot of hard work to make sure that KDE on Fedora rocks.
> >  It's up-to-date compared to other distros.  It's got people watching
> > for bugs and applying them to packages before the packages even get to
> > rawhide.  It's grown by quite a few new contributors over the past year.
> >  All in all, they're feeling successful and they know that they're
> > producing something that's great.
> If KDE SIG members feel that the exclusion of one link on one single web
> page is entirely representative of how the community, Board, and others
> perceive their status in Fedora - well, that is absolutely absurd, and
> they really need to take a step back and get a little perspective.
> One of the things I love about Fedora in KDE is that it is "Fedora KDE."
> It's not, "Kedora" or some other silly name, branded completely
> separately from the main project and left to fend for itself, not a
> 'true' Fedora.
> Is that not a symbol in itself of the Fedora Community's appreciation
> for the KDE SIG?
> For many (I feel completely objective & rational) reasons, KDE will not
> be the default desktop of Fedora anytime soon. If we put a KDE download
> link on the main 'Get Fedora' page, it will never be as prominent as the
> default download's link. There will always be confusion and explanation
> needed to instruct people on how to download KDE.
> This redesign I feel is a wonderful opportunity for spins like KDE to
> tailor their site to offer the download experience they want for their
> users. Rather than saying 'go to get.fedoraproject.org and click over
> there, and then click that' they can just say 'go to
> get.fedoraproject.org/kde.' Much simpler. They can provide a sidebar of
> resource links that point to any instructions they've written particular
> for KDE users and to upstream KDE docs if they want - that will not be
> possible any time in the forseeable future on the main "Get Fedora"
> page.

I am wondering if, when I update the old spins details design, if I use
KDE as the example maybe the advantages of this redesign will be more
readily apparent?
> Fedora KDE is NOT a distro. Fedora KDE is part of a larger distro, and
> that distro is called FEDORA. I'm not asking anyone to 'take one for the
> team.' I am asking that folks please consider this new base of users we
> are trying to attract. 
> > Now they see the website mockup.  Wow, it sure is beautiful!  Such an
> > improvement over what we had currently.  I'm sure glad Fedora KDE is
> > part of this.... Wait a minute.  Why isn't Fedora KDE part of this?!
> How is Fedora KDE not a part of this design? Fedora KDE will have a site
> all its own that users can be directed to. 
> > 
> > At this point, people are feeling angry.  They've put in a lot of work,
> > making a stellar product.  And what they think the mockup is showing is
> > that their work isn't going to be easily findable anymore.  There's a
> > big button that says download Fedora and little text that says "More
> > Download Options".  What the hell, they think, don't people appreciate
> > the work we've done?

There is more than just little text that says 'More Download Options.'
Please. Let's be fair. KDE is specifically mentioned in a much larger
download options section on the main download page.
> > 
> > Then they go and attempt to provide input about what they find wrong
> > with the new design but they find out that people aren't interested in
> > listening to them.  Sure they've done work for on segment of Fedora, but
> > they aren't on the Board and they aren't the designer who made the
> > mockups and the mockups *are* satisfying the explicitly stated
> > requirements from the Board so what's the problem?  Don't you think it
> > looks better?  Come on, take one for the team!  It doesn't matter that
> > you aren't featured on get-fedora, if someone manages to find
> > spins.fp.o, they'll still be able to find kde there!

This assumes that there is any compelling reason to download the KDE
spin for the users we're trying to target. What is it? I don't know what
it is. I think that the people who would be interested in downloading
Fedora KDE are people who know enough about Linux to know what a desktop
environment is and to know what a three-letter acronym that 99.9% of the
world has no clue what it means. These people should be smart enough to
understand that more options labeled with the subtext 'x86_64, KDE, XFC,
and more!' means more options and you click on more options to see the
full gamut.

What about a three-letter acronym in a sidebar on the Get Fedora page
right now is attracting new Fedora KDE users? 

If the problem is that more options doesn't visually represent the depth
of options that we offer, there are design solutions to that. If the
problem is that the more options link is not prominent enough, there are
design solutions to that. If more options is not prominent enough, let's
work on design solutions to address that problem.

> > At this point, they are getting tired of being angry.  Instead, they
> > feel undervalued, not respected, not appreciated, powerless to affect
> > change, unlistened to.  The word for those feelings is disenfranchised.
> >  They also feel that they can put all the time they want into making
> > their piece of the project really shine but it doesn't make a difference
> > in the end -- their needs aren't being met.  The work that they've put
> > into Fedora isn't going to be seen.  The effort that they've spent
> > making Fedora better isn't visible.  This is where they start feeling
> > demoralized. [Now continue reading to the next question]

I do not understand all this ado about a single link. Do the KDE spin
folks really feel that the entire representation of their position in
the Fedora Community lies within a single link on a webpage?
'Disenfranchisement' and 'demoralizing' are very, very heavy words to be
using here over a single link.
> > 
> > * What besides no link on get fedora to KDE is wrong with the page?
> >   * And implied by this: what's some constructive things we can do to
> > make those things better?
> > 
> > The answer to this question is problematic.  Because the simplistic
> > answer to the question, as you know from the feedback you've already
> > gotten, is that only the lack of a link to the KDE spin is what's wrong.

KDE folks, please tell me HOW not having a link to the KDE spin on the
main download page is going to hurt you. Please. Tell me the problems it
will cause that I need to solve and I am sure they can be solved in
other and potentially better ways.

I cannot solve the problems it will cause you in my designs if I do not
know what they are. I have tried to tell you in many different ways why
the link has been removed - along with 20 other links - because we are
targeting a new class of users.

Tell me what you really want - what are the KDE spin's goals? 

- Do you want to grow users of Fedora KDE? What users are you looking to
attract? How do they differ from the target users of the Desktop spin?
How would you market to them? 

- Do you simply want KDE to be recognized as an important part of the
Fedora project? There are many, many, many potential ways of doing that,
that do not involve the 'Get Fedora' page at all. 

- Do you just want KDE to be easy to find for the experienced KDE users
that know what they're doing? There must be modifications we could do to
address this case.

I'm trying to reverse-engineer your intentions. But I have NO CLUE what
it is you're wanting. My blog has been flooded with complaints that
there is no KDE link, and I've even been subject to rather harsh and
unfair berating in IRC over this. Let's fix this by talking about your
goals and your concerns about the problems this change is going to cause
rather than demanding via multiple forms of communication that it should
be added back without rationale.

No matter how many times I repeat it I do not think it is going to
change - adding a KDE link to that page not only completely goes against
the requirement of having one main default download on the page, but it
really also goes against my professional opinion as a designer as what
is best for making a page that will attract the types of users that the
Board has told me they would like to make a try at.

So please tell me what problems removing that link is going to cause
you, and please tell me what your goals as a project are. I will do my
very best to come up with something that you can at least be amenable to
(and I am hoping you would rather be delighted with it), I have
absolutely nothing against you and anytime I've needed help with
something KDE, KDE SIG members have been extremely responsive and
helpful. So, please don't take this or make this personal. Help me and
you have a right to complain if you don't like the results. 

> > But that answer isn't the real story.  If I go to the doctor, I'll tell
> > him that I have a stomachache that won't go away.  It's up to the doctor
> > to figure out that I have the flu, cancer, or krone's disease.
> > Similarly, "There's no link to the KDE spin" is a report of the symptom.
> >  I think the cause is what was written in the first answer -- The KDE
> > SIG feels that their hard work is being undervalued and disregarded by
> > not having a link on the page.  They care deeply and passionately about
> > Fedora but it appears that the people who have power over Fedora don't
> > care about them and their work to make Fedora better.
> > 
> > The cure is to figure out how to redesign the page to show that their
> > work *is* valued.  I think this means showing how people can download
> > their product easily and intuitively if they want to.

If the goal is to 'show KDE as a prominent and valued member of the
Fedora community', again, there are far better ways of doing that than
cluttering up the main download page. For real. Fedora KDE is not just
an ISO file. Fedora KDE is a SIG, Fedora KDE is a community, Fedora KDE
is a group of really cool (well at least not when they're berating me in
IRC ;-) ) and smart people who put out one of the best versions of KDE
for a distro out there. So why do you sell all of Fedora KDE short by
considering it just to be an ISO file?

> > The implementation of this cure is the hard part where you each have to
> > "spin your wheels" making new proposals that the other side can
> > criticize.  Right now, I think you are so far apart that the criticism
> > is simply rejecting the other side's proposals.  (Proposal: "Direct link
> > to KDE spin but Default spin highlighted more prominently and given
> > first position?" Answer: "No!"

Please, please be fair to me. The answer has not just been no. The
answer has been, "We are trying to attract users who are new to Fedora
and new to open source, and we do not want to overwhelm them. I've been
given the requirement of having a single download link on the main page.
So I cannot do this because it conflicts with other goals of the
redesign project. Do you have any alternative suggestions?"

I have played that script many times with no answer to my question.
Please show me where I've told someone who gave me feedback "NO" without
providing any rationale as to why, and I'll try to make it right.

>   Counter Proposal: "One button to Default
> > Spin and tiny link to spins page"  Counter Answer: "No!") 

The current design does one better than this and has one button to the
default spin, and multiple links to the spins page with explanations of
what can be found there, including a specific callout to the KDE spin.

>  But if you
> > keep moving your proposals closer, there will be a point where you will
> > start building on each other's suggestions instead of rejecting them.
> > This is a hard process, made harder because you're the doctor in this
> > scenario.  You are the designer.  You have a grasp of the different UI
> > elements that are available.  So it's very likely to be your bag of
> > tricks that will be used to direct the people who want choice to the
> > spins page while letting the people who fear choice be comfortable
> > picking the default solution.

This process you describe is what we call 'backseat driving' or 'too
many cooks in the kitchen.' Generally, the more cooks in the kitchen,
the more mediocre the results.

I'm a lot more open than most designers. In fact I've been called
fanatically so. I find it curious I'm now being criticized for not being
open enough. Please recognize, though, that I am more than just a pixel
pusher, and don't insist on micromanaging me to the point I cannot even
accomplish the most basic of tasks without approval from 3 different
mailing lists.


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