[Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell.org re-design

Sean Leather leather at cs.uu.nl
Mon Mar 29 11:16:33 EDT 2010

On Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 16:24, Simon Marlow wrote:

> On 29/03/2010 13:20, Christopher Done wrote:
>> On 29 March 2010 11:19, Simon Marlow  wrote:
>>> Is the footer necessary?  I dislike sites that have too many ways to
>>> navigate, and the footer looks superfluous.  The footer will probably be
>>> off
>>> the bottom of the window in any case, which reduces its usefulness as a
>>> navigation tool.
>> Footer navigations are a way to provide a bit of a sitemap without
>> cluttering the top nav, good for SEO, and to provide the user with an
>> overview of the hierarchical structure of the site on every page.
> IMHO, these aren't compelling reasons.  Note that already on your page
> there is an inconsistency between the tabs at the top and the headings at
> the bottom: I don't know where to look to find the content I want. Put the
> navigation in one place.
> A sitemap: sitemaps are for robots.  If you're worried about cluttering up
> the page, use drop-down menus.
> SEO: we shouldn't compromise the usability or appearance of the site for
> SEO.  If we do it right, SEO takes care of itself - and it's not like we
> care that much about SEO here, we're not competing with other sites to sell
> you Haskell.

I like something like this footer (though I don't think this is a great one:
page-specific wiki actions doesn't belong, and I don't get the "Reports"
column). It clearly doesn't serve as main navigation. For me, it's the
"where do I go next" collection of links for when I've read the page. I
think it can improve usability, not hurt it.

As for SEO, I don't think the concern should be "do we show up high in the
ranks?" but rather "does a query in a search engine take you to the most
appropriate page?" I've long been frustrated by Google not being able to
find good answers to my Haskell-related questions. If there's anything we
can do to improve this issue by changing the page layout and structure of
haskell.org, then I'm all for it. This in itself is a matter of usability.

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