XHTML/CSS Redesign of mozilla.org Home Page
Thursday October 2nd, 2003
MozPhile writes: "In an effort to publicize a new CSS design for mozilla.org, a new mozdev project has been created. Based on the current design, this new one features valid XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2, with semantic HTML. First a fully standards-compliant browser, now a fully standards-compliant website to top it off!" Note that mozilla.org has not made any official statement regarding the design or whether they plan to use it.
#36 Hopefully the existing homepage will be ditched
Thursday October 2nd, 2003 4:30 PM
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I am under the impression that the shift in focus of the Mozilla project toward end users will lead to a restructured website sometime in the near future. Hopefully, this will also be accompanied by a redesign, not only of the front page, but of the entire site. The front page, at present, it a complete mess. It's cluttered, making it difficult to find useful information, it has an unhealthy mix of developer and end user specific content and it has *really* ugly code. If I had any say in the website design (you'll be glad to know that I don't), I would:
Subdomain all the developer stuff to dev.mozilla.org. Since developers want quick access to documentation, LXR, bugzilla, etc. it makes sense to provide an entire subdomain with exclusive developer only content. This could be linked in a single place from the front page - developers are probably competent enough to find a subdomained page, end users are not.
Resdeign the front page to be much simpler. It should be trivial to locate downloads, screenshots, product descriptions, etc. At the moment it's not. Moving developer links away will help a lot with this.
Create a HTML + CSS template for the site, and stick to it. Standards are necessary because of their practical value (lower bandwidth, easier to maintain and update, etc.) and because Internet Explorer is a better tag soup browser than Mozilla (it supports more tag-soup sites and always will because we'd need to break w3c compatibility to get IE compatibility). If mozilla.org themselves aren't prepared to use a standards complaint website because of some minor problems (it would display in a different way in NN4), why should anyone use Mozilla when it causes noticable compatibility problems on a huge number of websites? Moreover, the site should look *better* in mozilla than in other browsers. Which is not to say it should appear broken in IE, but that subtle use of some of the unique features of gecko would give a good first impression of the browser.
All subprojects should use the same template. At the moment, the website looks fragmented which reflects on people's perception of the project as a whole.
No links to bugzilla from any end user pages. At all. A surprising number of people are clueless enough to think having a 200,000 bug database reflects badly on the product. Other people just cause bugspam which leads to developer frustration. If there is any appreciable increase in the userbase, this problem will get worse. making bugzilla harder to find is a good first step. Simiarly, nightly builds wouldn't be mentioned on main pages.