New Manjaro Site Critique


#1

First off, I am not here to complain. I am only voicing my opinion about the redesign to try and help improve the site for everyone. I appreciate what everyone involved with Majaro does.

Having said that, I feel like the functionality of the home page has taken a big step back. Granted, it looks better and more modern, but usability has plummeted in my opinion.

I once read that if a user cant find what they need on a site within 30 seconds, they simply leave the site. Not sure how true it is, but I know I dont dig around on a site for a long time if I cannot find what I need.

The biggest “issue” for me is that the navigational menu is hidden unless you scroll down on the page. When I first saw the site in its current form I figured I landed on a non-official page or something. Its a little off putting when all you see is a short blip of text and a button to download something…for some reason this set off a red flag for me. Its a bit like “Wait, they want me to click this download button…where is the rest of the site? Wheres the about page, community, etc.”

The next instinct is to scroll down, the about page and forum link etc must be at the bottom (footer) of the page, right? So now while I (or someone else) is scrolling their focus is at the bottom of the page, not at the top where the hidden menu now has appeared. I didnt notice the menu/scroll relationship for about a day or 2. That was after realizing that the footer didnt have what I was looking for either and so I went to the forums using a direct link/history entry.

I am guessing a fair deal of traffic on the site is to get to the forums, which went from taking 1 click to get to and in a very obvious way to needing to scroll down and 2 clicks and that presumes you know its under “Support” and that the menu is hidden and you have to scroll to see it.

Maybe more a matter of personal preference, but I find the font on the home page when you do scroll down a bit hard to read. Its thin, wirey and a bit small.

In a couple of places, the “column” width for text is a bit strange compared to the space available and in some cases used by other content on the site.

Ex:

It would seem to be to be a better approach to have text use more width and line up with other content vertically. I find the higher the resolution of the screen, how much more noticeable that empty space on the sides becomes. Using more of the horizontal space would allow more content to be visible without the need to scroll.

Examples of what it might look like:

In any case just some of my thoughts on the design. Maybe there are reasons for some of the choices in the design I am unaware of, my apologies if thats the case.


#2

there are already a few of these site feedback/critique threads.
https://forum.manjaro.org/t/homepage-fall-2018-review/60515


that said, i think over the past couple days the site improved drastically. changing the focus of the homepage made a huge difference imo. it no longer looks like a homepage for bladebook and the download/more info being right on top makes the site look awesome.
the only thing i would also add is a “download” in the top bar for those that are used to going straight to the topbar and choosing what they want. (yes, i know this is trivial. really not a big deal at all)


#3

Your observations are spot on but the team already addressed to some of those issues. :wink:


#4

All are subjective, personnal preference.
Ask 100 persons and you 'll get 101 opinions :rofl::rofl:

What you should know is the project is not to be compared with the previous one (Wordpress), as it is built with completely different tool.
Think of it as a new site.

I also believe your aesthetics are moved from other sites, so “better” is probably better expressed as “different”.

I suggest, if you want to discuss this more, to do it on one of the other topics, as there are already several opinions and answers from the devs there.

Cheers!


#5

one of my more favorite quotes
“opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one” :grin:


#6

Ugly words are not my preference…
You may use

Opinions are like ears, everyone has two of them!


#7

i have edited for your sensitivities :smirk:


#8

I dont entirely agree. Stating a font looks a certain way to me is 100% subjective and thus you are correct.

Saying that hiding the navigation menu unless you scroll down and then it taking 2 clicks to find the forum link is less efficient/easy/intuitive (chose whatever descriptive word you like) than having the forum link plainly visible and requiring a single click to get to it is a matter of fact. I do not see how this could be considered a subjective, matter of opinion.

Or, saying that by using more horizontal space for text would allow fitting more content on the page without needing to scroll…again not a subjective opinion, thats just simply the way it would work.

There are bound to be other threads on the general topic of the new site. In the threads linked (which I read prior to posting) it seems both OP’s are directing their message to a very specific aspect of the new site. My topic is much more broad, discussing the site design in various aspects. If I jumped into a topic discussing the download links or the download versions and started discussing the navigation bar, text/column widths or fonts I would be hijacking their thread.


#9

That’s fine with me. We can all have opinions :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

This is subjective by definition!

This is objective, but the actual usefulleness is subjective.

Just to be clear, I may agree with your subjective opinions, but what matters is the current designers’ subjective opinions and their actual goals and priorities they have decided to fullfill.

Edit: Web/GUI design is subjective!


#10

not to mention that every change they have made to it has been met with criticism (not all bad). its impossible to make 100% of people 100% happy at all times.


#11

because different people’s conceptual vision and understanding vary per person.
This statement is … objective! :rofl:


#12

wrong, my opinion is fact! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#13

This is actually 10 seconds that a user ( skim reads ) the titles to find important information, since there is only 3 lines of text, anyone that lands there can immediately make decision if they want to continue reading.

what is manjaro? - an OS, everything else is irrelevant.
what the team does? - they work with hardware manufactures.
what products manjaro sells? - laptops

If you are a returning user you are probably going to the download section ( there is space for improvement here ), or you already have a bookmark for the section that you are interested in.

this assumption is wrong, as humans read from left to right and extremely long chunks of text are hard to read, as you have to come back to the beginning of the block to read next line and can easily get lost, a better fit will be 2 small boxes side by side.

The website had a pre made theme that was not great, and bit by bit we change it until it gets more decent, everything has a reason, is not random, it is unfinished, and it works as an iteration process, feedback is always welcome, some things make sense changing some don’t.


#14

On the line width issue, SEO good practice is text line between 50 & 75 characters :wink:


#15

Subjective would mean that it was a matter of opinion. I fail to see how a hidden menu and 2 clicks being measurably less efficient (IE: more work, steps, effort, etc.) than a visible link that takes a single click to accomplish a goal is subjective.

At the very least, what practical benefit could hiding the navigational menu possibly serve?

And what if its a new user who asked a question on reddit or some such place and was told to “go check their wiki”. They land on the home page, read about what Manjaro is, what the team does and what they sell…but where is that wiki at? O its simple I scroll down so I can see the hidden menu at the top of the page, know that its under the heading “Support” and then click on it. Idk, maybe they figure that out in 10 seconds, but I think having the navigational menu hidden drastically impacts the ability for people to, well, navigate.

I know someones response will be “They could get to it directly from Google”…and that supports what I am trying to convey here. Users shouldn’t have to use 3rd party sites to find Manjaro resources, they should be able to easily find them on the Manjaro site itself.

In any case these are just my observations, and yes to a large degree subjective opinions that the devs can take or leave. I am only sharing because I care and hope that the opinions will help shape things for the better of everyone.


#16

Anyway the menu is back, it should be visible in the next server update.


#17

I just updated the page. Download link should be displayed always, also on first load.


#18

Hey guys, awesome to handle changes so swiftly. I see the navigation bar now without scrolling.

However, its “News | Packages | etc…” and then after scrolling “News | Download | Packages | etc…”. Not complaining, you guys may have perfectly valid reasons for doing so, just wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not.

Are the semi-transparent floating frames for the content with the background new on the home page (like as in the last 48 hours new)? Either way this looks really good and if it was not there prior seems to make it easier on my eyes to read the text. Very cool.

Thanks for everything you guys do and taking such an active and humble interest in your users and their opinions.


#19

It is visible the green button takes you to downloads, scrolling down moves it into the navbar, as I don’t see the need to have the same link into two places at the same time, if that’s what you want I can update it.


#20

It was updated in the last 24h