[Haskell-cafe] Haskell.org re-design

Sebastiaan Visser sfvisser at cs.uu.nl
Mon Mar 29 16:51:25 EDT 2010

On Mar 28, 2010, at 10:44 PM, Christopher Done wrote:
> This is a post about re-designing the whole Haskell web site.
> We got a new logo but didn't really take it any further. For a while there's been talk about a new design for the Haskell web site, and there are loads of web pages about Haskell that don't follow a theme consistent with Haskell.org's, probably because it doesn't really have a proper theme.
> I'm not a designer so take my suggestion with a grain of salt, but something that showed pictures of the latest events and the feeds we currently have would be nice. The feeds let you know that the community is busy, and pictures tell you that we are human and friendly.
> Anyway, I came up with something to kick off a discussion:
> http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Image:Haskell-homepage-idea.png
> It answers the basic questions:
> 	• What's Haskell?
> 	• Where am I on the site? (Answered by a universally recognised tab menu)
> 	• What's it like?
> 	• How do I learn it?
> 	• Does it have an active community?
> 	• What's going on in the community? What are they making?
> 	• This language is weird. Are they human? -- Yes. The picture of a recent event can fade from one to another with jQuery.
> The colours aren't the most exciting, but someone who's a professional designer could do a proper design. But I like the idea of the site being like this; really busy but not scarily busy.
> Subsections of the site could use the header and footer and heading theme, but have a completely different primary-content layout. Probably sub-sections would need a left-nav. Keeping the design simple like this also makes it easy to theme the current Wiki to fit in with it seamlessly.
> Personally I don't have a problem with the existing site, functionally. It has all the stuff I want to look at. The only stuff that I had issue with as a newbie was finding The One Book I Should Read and The One Download I Should Get. The current site is starting to address this with a "Download Haskell" button. However, looking at it as a marketing site, it does look pretty lame and messy, and it gives you that impression of Haskell. So if people who own the site are going to redesign it, I thought I'd contribute a bit.
> Anyway, please contribute your ideas. (Again, I'm not a designer, so you don't need to pick at the aesthetics, a real designer can sort that out.)
> Cheers!

Nice work, definitely beats the current version!

A few remarks:
  - Please throw in a bit more color somehow. Like said before, this shade of gray is a bit depressive.
  - The "more" links are far to prominent. These links are not that important and form a very distractive part of the design. Maybe you can right-align them and make them less button-like.
  - I would recommend to use a bit more conservative font for the headers and the headlines. Why not stick with Helvetica, Gill Sans or Myriad Pro?
  - Don't use a bold font-face in running text.
  - Align the bottom of the tabs headers with the content frame?
  - Maybe you can make the right column less wide, making is more easy to focus on the main content?

These remarks might help to make the overall appearance a bit less heavy. Your design is quite lean and quiet, which is good, but some of the details make it a bit messy.


Sebastiaan Visser

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