xoops forums

Nick_James

Friend of XOOPS
Posted on: 2009/3/22 1:35
Nick_James
Nick_James (Show more)
Friend of XOOPS
Posts: 359
Since: 2006/10/14
#11

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Yes, a horizontal menu!!!

Modules. How are you going to handle them. It has always been very confusing as to what modules are good and what ones are needed and which ones are still active.

Documentation. Need good documents for the new versions.
Nicholas James
President - LaDads
www.ladads.info

Mamba

Moderator
Posted on: 2009/3/22 1:54
Mamba
Mamba (Show more)
Moderator
Posts: 10944
Since: 2004/4/23
#12

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Quote:
It has always been very confusing as to what modules are good and what ones are needed and which ones are still active.

The new Module Development Team will clean up the repository. Read more here...
Support XOOPS => DONATE
Use 2.5.10 | Docs | Modules | Bugs

Kissaki

Just popping in
Posted on: 2009/7/25 8:47
Kissaki
Kissaki (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 29
Since: 2005/7/16
#13

a long post about organisation and redesign

Well, personally, I think before we can decide on pages and subdomains we definitely have to decide management questions:
which sites do we need
which subsites do we want.

I currently don’t quite know where to put it and whether to put it here or not.
If we extend the topic from only redesign also to reorganization, I’m good to go.

Personaly, I wouldn't split themes and modules to different subdomains as proposed.
I'd put them together under a ‘customize’ area.
And I also wouldn’t seperate them on subdomains without the familiar menu from the main site.

First of all (as this does not seem to be too clear atm), do we use sourceforge?
Do we want to do (bug)tracking, wiki or vcs there?
We currently have all there, but if we're not going to use it, remove it!
Using its hosting would probably be a good idea. You do already and that's probably for those good reasons.
Using the trackers for bugs, feature requests, and patches are good and should probably be used for ease of integration.
All of the rest can, should and must be removed as not needed.
Will only spread redundancy, confusion and misinformation, like it does right now.

Second:
Do we use subdomains or suburls?
www.xoops.org, customize.xoops.org,
or just
xoops.org, xoops.org/customize/, xoops.org/faq etc

Development:
Do we use the/a wiki just for development process?
Then we should put it as the main access point for developers, for collaboration and information.
This would be dev.xoops.org!?
We will also have to add API there.

Customization:
How and where do we organize modules and themes?
Currently it’s a module for this site, that’s ok I think but could (or should after main site) redesign.
The themes could be integrated in this site in a similar matter.
Why do we currently have 2? Does the 'new' one still miss some of the 'old' one?
Other than that (I just visited the themes section the first time just now) I like the organization, selecting admin/current XOOPS then how many colums.
For a modules.xoops.org we could do a simple redirect.
Dunno if a rewrite webserver side would be ok? Relative urls will probably be fucked up.
Same for themes.

Support/FAQ/Forums:
I think a support section would be enough, we don't need a subsite or sth.
What do we need and want here?
Probably: FAQ, Forums (which we have anyway), Bug-Tracker, Feature-Request Tracker, maybe even a helpdesk thingy?
And some kind of documentation/usermanual. Do we put this in a wiki? Or just a subsite?

Main site:
Should be an access point to all the information.
It should be appealing to newcomers and intuitive (to navigate) for the others.

I think a main point, which I probably should have put at the beginning:
We use and will use XOOPS as a CMS for the (main) site, right?
And will probably integrate everything like it is done right now!?
We would have to keep in mind the technology as well then.
Currently XOOPS does not even allow simple pages, so we would have to make modules for all the sections.
The support site for example, with user docs/docs for users would need numerous subsites, so we would either need a module that can do this or use a wiki system.
Only providing the documentation for download is no option, in my opinion.

Back to dev:
Will module development stay in the repository?
Are those only official ones?
When will we accept new modules then?
If they're in the same branch (they are right now, right?) we have a problem versioning correctly in svn.
If we declare the revision version xy of xoops, that doesn't have anything to do with modules.
And we can't version/tag/easily branch modules.
In that matter: Did you think/discuss about switching to a distributed vcs (like git) yet?


So, about the site design:
I'm no artist nor designer but a software developer. So hopefully ppl with put sth better then me here. :)

Let's see what the current site does wrong to see what we can do better:
The banner on the top right: useless. We have a logo on the top left.
Without that banner, the top will seem really empty.
As it is to wide, we can't put it in the left menu. We could redesign it/put the logo-image on top of the text.
Or we could do a top menu, as proposed. This would probably be good for sections anyway.
*Main Site/Home,
*support (a site links to/information about faq, forums and links to trackers and of course documentation),
*development (is a link to wiki)
*modules and themes or just "customize" or sth.

The things on the right are probably needed?!?
The "powered by" not though…
Is that tag cloud how ppl came to this site? Useless, at least in that place, then.
Better put the ads higher. Removing the above would already improve this.
(In my safari I can't see the search field, nor can I log in right now.)
There are 2 search fields. That's confusing.
The local support site drop-down should be put to the support section then (when added).
Back up:
Did someone decide and think about the order the devs for hire, giftshop and donation are in?
*importance
*usage
The devs for hire is empty right now, so remove the banner.
If this is to be used maybe a subpage and thus module would be better fit there as well.
Personaly, I would put donations above the giftshop.

Now on to the left side:
The very top "addthis", is that used a lot?
I would put it at the bottom, or at least below the user menu.
The top block should be kept as navigation menu. But:
Make it a 2 level menu.
1. Section (see top menu above)
2. subpage (maybe not for all sections)
Maybe the search field from the right would better fit below the left main menu. No, not maybe. It does. (at least as long as the search field on the right is that low.)
With the mentioned changes would only still have the first 2 and last block on the left. This would definitely clear things up.

So, this is how we could improve current site organisation, without changing too much on the layout (also with XOOPS as CMS in mind).

As we're probably going to use XOOPS I would do the changes I named.
A theme can be done afterwards, though the layout and organisation will have improved massively already.
The cleared up elements will have to be just like that in new themes as well anyway, right?

regards

/e:
holy cow, this became a long post.
But, please! read! :P

/e:
Oh, and I would be glad to help.
Until now I only hacked xoops, not even managed to do modules instead of include header and footer into my hacks.
But I plan on working myself into it as well.
Would also help organizing.

"Invalid submission. You could have exceeded session time. Please re-submit or make a backup of your post and login to resubmit if necessary."
And what the ????? is that (second time) -.-

Kissaki

Just popping in
Posted on: 2009/7/25 9:06
Kissaki
Kissaki (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 29
Since: 2005/7/16
#14

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Ok, part of that long text in a simple image:
Resized Image

Note: This is (as you can see) not a design but a layout!

Kissaki

Just popping in
Posted on: 2009/7/25 10:35
Kissaki
Kissaki (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 29
Since: 2005/7/16
#15

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Oh, I just noticed I had blocked the ads in the banner area on the top right… So there actually was sth different then the default XOOPS banners, sorry about that. :P
Well, that leaves extending menus to the bottom, in front of the page for the top, or just the sections.
Or leave it out entirely…

trabis

Core Developer
Posted on: 2009/7/25 11:46
trabis
trabis (Show more)
Core Developer
Posts: 2268
Since: 2006/9/1 1
#16

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Maybe we could use a navbar menu like this:
http://dev.xoops.org/

This would help to remove lot of the left side menus and make navigation more clear.

My opinion:
-Share button to left column bottom
-Search block at top left
-Local support sites to right top or under navbar menu(if adopted)
-Advertisements are not well positioned. Are we getting clicks on them? I think one small 5-links-block on top left(very first block) and visible only for anonymous would give us more clicks that all this banners together. I say this for own experience. It could be replaced by the author avatar after login or some more useful block.
- tags cloud could go on every page (maybe not on first page) has a center bottom block.

sailjapan

Moderator
Posted on: 2009/7/25 21:57
sailjapan
sailjapan (Show more)
Moderator
Posts: 1672
Since: 2005/11/16
#17

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

@rotzcotz

Did you see this thread?

A lot of very good points brought up in your post.
I also wonder why there's perceived need for subdomains.
I agree with you that themes and modules are both things that we add-on to a site and should be found together.
Documentation needs to be available on line too, as you say, not just via download.

And I too hate those error messages when posting. Can't imagine how messed up the site's code must be to generate those...
Never let a man who does not believe something can be done, talk to a man that is doing it.

ghia

Community Support Member
Posted on: 2009/7/31 14:32
ghia
ghia (Show more)
Community Support Member
Posts: 4954
Since: 2008/7/3 1
#18

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Quote:
Invalid submission. You could have exceeded session time. Please re-submit or make a backup of your post and login to resubmit if necessary.
This message happens when the posting (of long posts) takes longer than the defined session time. It is extendable in the preferences.

I'm not fond of repartioning the available information into new modules or subdomains. This will scatter the available info even further and will loose all backlinks on the internet to exisiting items.
For development SourceForge remains crucial, source code, releases, downloads, and also the bug and feature tracking. Eventually could an overview of these tracks be incorporated into xoops.org by RSS.

For the Wiki and documentation, pick one and complete it. Starting with a new build/module sounds always attractive but you see the results.
If there is need to some features, not available in the existing modules, then it is better to extend the current modules instead of using a new module.

sailjapan

Moderator
Posted on: 2009/8/1 11:01
sailjapan
sailjapan (Show more)
Moderator
Posts: 1672
Since: 2005/11/16
#19

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Quote:
Starting with a new build/module sounds always attractive but you see the results. If there is need to some features, not available in the existing modules, then it is better to extend the current modules instead of using a new module.


This is a very good point. For example, the current FAQ uses smartfaq. At the end of last year we considered switching over to Article2 but, countless bugs aside, it was going to take an unbelievable amount of work to bring all the data over. If we could get ahold of an old copy of the db backup, maybe we could mine it for all those missing links that would be so nice to have. This would be easier to do if the new site used the same module.
Never let a man who does not believe something can be done, talk to a man that is doing it.

FriendlyFire

Just popping in
Posted on: 2009/8/20 20:43
FriendlyFire
FriendlyFire (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 6
Since: 2009/8/20
#20

Re: 2009 XOOPS Website Redesign

Just thought I'd chime in with a few comments of my own...

Having seen quite a few websites around, I think a very critical part is to "sell" your product up-front. It's always good to have a page with details on Xoops, but the front page really, really needs to highlight critical features. You must ask yourself "As a complete neophyte to this CMS, why would I choose XOOPS over another solution?". You need to define what makes XOOPS unique/better and capitalize on this. With the little time I've had to work on it, I can say it's very customizable and the code is surprisingly clear once you get a hang of it. You can also highlight that it's modern thanks to its OOP foundation, that it has a lot of very professional modules, etc. The point is that the front page must be there to sell XOOPS first and foremost.

But at the same time, I understand Xoops.org is also a community site. It's used for development, news, etc. Hence, I think a good way of catering to both the newbies and the more familiar audience, you need to have a very flexible design: one that changes when the user is logged in. I think it makes sense! Not logged users mainly want to learn about Xoops, they want to weight what are its benefits and advantages. Once you've made an account, it's most likely because you want to contribute to the community or because you have a problem with Xoops. Either way, you are looking to get involved in the community aspect, hence you no more need all the marketing speech and you can either completely deal away with it or move it to a less important area.

For instance, you could make something akin to ExpressionEngine's site for anonymous users (maybe put news down the page and such as that site feels a bit too business-y and not enough community-ran), and then remove the whole blue block when you log in. Don't need it, don't have it.

On another note, I noticed there might be something else you can do: SEO. I've seen some talks about it, but, without wanting to criticize at all (I think XOOPS is already a great project), you really have to do more about it. Just search for "CMS" on Google; Drupal comes nearly on top. I've yet to find XOOPS though... Which means you probably have great SEO for Xoops, but not so much for CMS. Unfortunately, you need to remember that people will look for CMS, Content Management System and other such keywords. People who'd search for XOOPS already know about it and want to use it, they don't need to be convinced. Plus, Google doesn't have too much trouble matching "xoops.org" with XOOPS in searches, so you don't need to optimize your site all that much. Heck, simple changes like adding "Xoops Content Management System CMS" to the title of all your pages might already help tremendously.

Those are the two main thoughts that crossed my mind right now. I really hope you keep on growing and make a killer site - looking at the designs, I think I shouldn't be worried about that