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Choice, and where to have it

I think Fedora, with our foundation of Freedom, always includes the
element of choice.  Apropos of the website redesigns, one of the
biggest struggles I've seen with the requirements the Board and I laid
out is understanding where choice is of primary importance, and where
it's not.

One of the things the Board acknowledged early on in the redesign
process weeks ago was that choice is important to a significant part
of our community, including the KDE SIG.  The KDE design philosophy,
for instance, promotes choice and up-front flexibility, and people who
enjoy KDE value choice accordingly.  So, our goals and requirements
being what they were, we did want to ensure there was a better way to
present choice than our current website.

The spins.fp.o redesign (which was also announced on this list) was
intended to promote choice as a primary value.  The current spins.fp.o
is merely a torrent listing which is not only unattractive but offers
no ability for Spin owners to actually promote their communities and
their work.  The get-fedora-all page is not materially better, because
not only does it not show all choices, but it is actively confusing to
users who are trying to find their choices to begin with.

The new spins.fp.o design (latest mockup here [1]) does several things
to value choice.  First, it presents all options for spins, complete
with easy access to a Download Now button that users can select for
ease once they've found the spin of their choice.  It also allows
users to drill down into as many Spins as they like, with individual
pages backing each Spin.  These individual pages will feature
customizable content, and each Spin owner can show off their work, and
explain who/why/how to download it.

As Steven Parrish wisely alluded to earlier, there's a great chance
here for Spin owners to promote their work in a vastly improved way
compared to our current anemic pages.  For example, there can be a
kde.fedoraproject.org or lxde.fedoraproject.org.  These subdomains can
point directly to the individual Spin community page, share a unified
design with the look and feel of Fedora as seen on our other sites,
but include a variety of content provided by the Spin owner.  The Spin
owners then have the ability when showing off their work to someone to
say, "Hey, would you like a copy of this? Visit MMMM.fedoraproject.org
for a free copy."

The Spins site is a place where choice is a primary value, and we are
still looking for ways to improve the choice opportunities there.  At
the same time, with this offering in place, the Board wants to make
room for a get-fedora page that consciously does not set up choice as
a primary value.  That way we allow people who aren't in a position to
make informed choice to still get a working Fedora as quickly as

Because the get-fedora page is not intended to act as a funnel for all
needs, all Spin owners can feel comfortable promoting their Spin in
the context of their individual pages.  The get-fedora page is meant
to serve those people, for example, who are likely to be confused by
the array of options offered in Fedora, and simply need to get a start
on their engagement with free and open source software.  People who
value choice more highly will be able to navigate using the "other
options" block[2] to the spins site where they'll have a user
experience that matches their expectations.

Hopefully this explanation will give some perspective to the
requirements underlying the website redesign, and show how our future
site will be more attractive and functional for as many people as
possible, whatever they value most from Fedora.

* * *
[1] http://duffy.fedorapeople.org/temp/woot/spins-directory.6.png
[2] http://duffy.fedorapeople.org/temp/woot/getfpo-16.png

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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