Ruby-Lang Redesign Feedback

At about 4 this afternoon we are going to commence discussion of the Ruby-Lang redesign on the vit-discuss mailing-list:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

This won't be a nit-picking session, but we are looking for feedback about the content of the new Web site. If you want to participate, subscribe to the list above.

Please DO NOT respond to this e-mail message with suggestions for the new Web site. We would like to monitor feedback in one location (the vit-discuss mailing list).

If you haven't seen the new design already, you might enjoy browsing through it here:

http://new.ruby-lang.org/

···

--
John Long
for the Ruby Visual Identity Team

John W. Long wrote:

At about 4 this afternoon we are going to commence discussion of the
Ruby-Lang redesign on the vit-discuss mailing-list:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

4...in what timezone? 0400 GMT?

Phrogz wrote:

John W. Long wrote:

At about 4 this afternoon we are going to commence discussion of the
Ruby-Lang redesign on the vit-discuss mailing-list:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

4...in what timezone? 0400 GMT?

Good question. Eastern.

···

--
John Long
http://wiseheartdesign.com
http://radiantcms.org

2006-08-24 20:00:00 UTC

···

On 8/24/06, Phrogz <gavin@refinery.com> wrote:

John W. Long wrote:
> At about 4 this afternoon we are going to commence discussion of the
> Ruby-Lang redesign on the vit-discuss mailing-list:
>
> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

4...in what timezone? 0400 GMT?

Hello, I hope this feedback is of at least some value:

On http://redhanded.hobix.com/redesign2005/

The design metaphor of the new Ruby website should be `usability' (which the existing website could easily fulfill if it is subjected to some natural selection) and not `inexperienced decoration' -- Ruby is the most usable programming language available today so anything related to it should also shine with usability all the way through, in order to keep Ruby's identity consistent. Learn from the masters: http://www.nngroup.com

The layout has a lot of uncontrolled gradients, which is completely meaningless. It seems to have no other meaning rather than to `look pretty', however it fails in that too -- I've asked a few trained eyes and they feel the layout is structured like the workings of a confused architecture student struggling through his first year, and the gradient is bevelling out like a badly constructed 3D animation. As a rule of thumb, when inexperienced designers try to create advanced designs just to achieve that extra wow-factor, the result will always be disappointing.

Also, the big giant Ruby in the Ruby logo is way too much, isn't it? A logo is meant to be `the world in compressed form' and should be as minimal as possible and carry an intelligent twist which makes it both cool and unique. Look at the book `Tres Logos' for world class examples: http://www.die-gestalten.de/books/detail?id=be0db8100aeaffa2010b1ef5c969002e

I hope I didn't offend the author of the redesign. But if he's a good designer, he won't feel offended.

All the best,
Kyrre

Kyrre Nygård wrote:

Hello, I hope this feedback is of at least some value:

On http://redhanded.hobix.com/redesign2005/

Kyree, we have asked that discussion of the new redesign take place on the vit-discuss mailing list:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

Please post thoughts or comments there.

···

--
John Long
http://wiseheartdesign.com

We look forward to your site design submission and will definitely evaluate the possibility of switching to it when it shows up.

James Edward Gray II

···

On Aug 25, 2006, at 11:21 AM, Kyrre Nygård wrote:

Hello, I hope this feedback is of at least some value:

On http://redhanded.hobix.com/redesign2005/

The design metaphor of the new Ruby website should be `usability' (which the existing website could easily fulfill if it is subjected to some natural selection) and not `inexperienced decoration' -- Ruby is the most usable programming language available today so anything related to it should also shine with usability all the way through, in order to keep Ruby's identity consistent. Learn from the masters: http://www.nngroup.com

The layout has a lot of uncontrolled gradients, which is completely meaningless. It seems to have no other meaning rather than to `look pretty', however it fails in that too -- I've asked a few trained eyes and they feel the layout is structured like the workings of a confused architecture student struggling through his first year, and the gradient is bevelling out like a badly constructed 3D animation. As a rule of thumb, when inexperienced designers try to create advanced designs just to achieve that extra wow-factor, the result will always be disappointing.

Also, the big giant Ruby in the Ruby logo is way too much, isn't it? A logo is meant to be `the world in compressed form' and should be as minimal as possible and carry an intelligent twist which makes it both cool and unique. Look at the book `Tres Logos' for world class examples: http://www.die-gestalten.de/books/detail?id=be0db8100aeaffa2010b1ef5c969002e

The design metaphor of the new Ruby website should be `usability'
(which the existing website could easily fulfill if it is subjected
to some natural selection) and not `inexperienced decoration' -- Ruby
is the most usable programming language available today so anything
related to it should also shine with usability all the way through,
in order to keep Ruby's identity consistent. Learn from the masters:
http://www.nngroup.com

I've been reading their stuff for years, and you're right -- these
people know what they're talking about. On the other hand, do what they
say, not what they do. That website has always been an eyesore.
Usability need not be synonymous with "fugly". Also, despite the
expertise behind these people, they suffer from an apparent inability to
follow their own advice all the time: at first glance, I see a few
violations of their own principles right there on the first page.

As for the rest, you make some points, but to be accurate their wattage
needs to be reduced about 50%. Yes, the logo should be adjusted, but
the size of the ruby isn't an unmitigated disaster. Yes, the "pretty
factor" is a little more than necessary, but it's not overwhelmingly
bad.

Frankly, there are really only two things about the appearance of the
design to be really examined, as far as I can see:

  1. Is there anything about the design that's simply gratuitous? Go
  through every single design decision and, for each one, ask yourself
  whether it could be scaled back without losing anything.

  2. Why the heck doesn't it take advantage of the entire width of the
  user's browser? I seem to recall that the design had a fixed width,
  while the "old" design has a width that varies with browser window
  size. I could be wrong (and the new design is gone now so that I
  can't double-check), but if it's not a fixed width I think it probably
  at least has a bit too much of a trough on either side of the main
  content area.

That's not to say that text should be bleeding off the sides, of course.
Keep the width of the content area narrow enough in comparison to the
screen width to make it appear to be a cohesive package. Just don't
waste screen real estate as the browser gets resized.

I hope I didn't offend the author of the redesign. But if he's a good
designer, he won't feel offended.

. . . even when you said he was obviously some kind of inferior amateur
because a good designer would never have made such errors? I understand
your intent, but it could probably have been delivered a little more
diplomatically.

···

On Sat, Aug 26, 2006 at 01:21:44AM +0900, Kyrre Nygård wrote:

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"It's just incredible that a trillion-synapse computer could actually
spend Saturday afternoon watching a football game." - Marvin Minsky

:slight_smile:

···

At 1:51 AM +0900 8/26/06, James Edward Gray II wrote:

We look forward to your site design submission and will definitely
evaluate the possibility of switching to it when it shows up.

--
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm Rich Morin
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/resume rdm@cfcl.com
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/weblog +1 650-873-7841

Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development

Chad Perrin wrote:

Frankly, there are really only two things about the appearance of the
design to be really examined, as far as I can see:

As I asked before, please have this discussion over on vit-discuss:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

···

--
John Long
http://wiseheartdesign.com
http://radiantcms.org

John W. Long wrote:

Chad Perrin wrote:

Frankly, there are really only two things about the appearance of the
design to be really examined, as far as I can see:

As I asked before, please have this discussion over on vit-discuss:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

At dinner recently with a gang of Rubyists, someone mentioned that they've used this as an employment screen. Their company would post an announcement of a job opening on a mailing list, and clearly ask that people NOT post resumes back to the list, but instead contact the company directly.

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for employment.

···

--
James Britt

"I never dispute another person's delusions, just their facts."
   - Len Bullard

Considering my reply was to someone's overenthusiastic critique, and was
not specifically intended as a contribution to the new design, and
considering I'm not seeking employment, I think that veiled insult
misses the mark. Thanks for playing, though.

···

On Sat, Aug 26, 2006 at 07:08:24AM +0900, James Britt wrote:

John W. Long wrote:
>Chad Perrin wrote:
>
>>Frankly, there are really only two things about the appearance of the
>>design to be really examined, as far as I can see:
>
>
>As I asked before, please have this discussion over on vit-discuss:
>
>http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss
>

At dinner recently with a gang of Rubyists, someone mentioned that
they've used this as an employment screen. Their company would post an
announcement of a job opening on a mailing list, and clearly ask that
people NOT post resumes back to the list, but instead contact the
company directly.

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for
employment.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"It's just incredible that a trillion-synapse computer could actually
spend Saturday afternoon watching a football game." - Marvin Minsky

quoth the James Britt:

John W. Long wrote:
>
> As I asked before, please have this discussion over on vit-discuss:
>
> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

At dinner recently with a gang of Rubyists, someone mentioned that
they've used this as an employment screen. Their company would post an
announcement of a job opening on a mailing list, and clearly ask that
people NOT post resumes back to the list, but instead contact the
company directly.

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for
employment.

It is human-nature to post responses here. Place a semi-valuable object in
some public space with a note in big letters that says "DON'T touch this" and
see how long it takes to disappear.

A job announcement is a service to us, soliciting feedback is a service to
them (ie: site designers). While I can appreciate that the site designers
want the discussion centralized I think that if they want "feedback about the
content of the new Web site" they should make it easy for folks to do so. As
in, don't require them to join a totally separate mailing list, presumably
temporarily, just to give the feedback THEY are soliciting.

2 cents...

-d

···

--
darren kirby :: Part of the problem since 1976 :: http://badcomputer.org
"...the number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected..."
- Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, June 1972

I have hired every one of those people. And wouldn't you know it -- they make
delicious pork pies.

_why

···

On Sat, Aug 26, 2006 at 07:08:24AM +0900, James Britt wrote:

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for
employment.

Chad Perrin wrote:

Considering my reply was to someone's overenthusiastic critique, and was
not specifically intended as a contribution to the new design, and
considering I'm not seeking employment, I think that veiled insult
misses the mark.

Nothing veiled, no mark to miss; there was no insult intended. Different situations, as you described. It merely brought to mind how such requests have varying degrees of purpose.

Thanks for playing, though.

Thanks for bringing the cards.

···

--
James Britt

Heh. I don't think companies post (and often pay for) job ads as a public service.

-- Elliot Temple

···

On Aug 25, 2006, at 4:01 PM, darren kirby wrote:

quoth the James Britt:

John W. Long wrote:

As I asked before, please have this discussion over on vit-discuss:

http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/vit-discuss

At dinner recently with a gang of Rubyists, someone mentioned that
they've used this as an employment screen. Their company would post an
announcement of a job opening on a mailing list, and clearly ask that
people NOT post resumes back to the list, but instead contact the
company directly.

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for
employment.

It is human-nature to post responses here. Place a semi-valuable object in
some public space with a note in big letters that says "DON'T touch this" and
see how long it takes to disappear.

A job announcement is a service to us, soliciting feedback is a service to
them (ie: site designers).

darren kirby wrote:

It is human-nature to post responses here. Place a semi-valuable object in some public space with a note in big letters that says "DON'T touch this" and see how long it takes to disappear.

A job announcement is a service to us, soliciting feedback is a service to them (ie: site designers). While I can appreciate that the site designers want the discussion centralized I think that if they want "feedback about the content of the new Web site" they should make it easy for folks to do so. As in, don't require them to join a totally separate mailing list, presumably temporarily, just to give the feedback THEY are soliciting.

2 cents...

Agreed. In fact, I think despite their request, it's still permissible
to discuss the design here (with the caveat that the designers may not
see it).

Free speech, and all that.

But of course, if you are talking *to the designers*, you should discuss
in the place they requested.

On top of that, discussion is sometimes mixed with meta-discussion. :wink:

Hal

why the lucky stiff wrote:

···

On Sat, Aug 26, 2006 at 07:08:24AM +0900, James Britt wrote:

Those who could not follow this basic request were deemed unsuitable for employment.

I have hired every one of those people. And wouldn't you know it -- they make
delicious pork pies.

How delightfully ambiguous. Like the old headline
"Grandmother of Five Shoots Hole in One" or "Man
Dies -- Cooked for Queen".

Hal

Building this site has not been easy for us.

Please remember that many people have sacrificed an unbelievable amount of hours to get us this far. How long has it taken? Years? That's our free time we spent to get here. This site was far from free.

We have now set aside time in our schedules to allow you to walk the site and hit us with feedback. We're trying hard to respond to that and get this site launched.

If you want to give us feedback, we ask that you make it easy on *us* and do it where we are prepared to receive it. I'm filtering VIT Discuss messages so I'm sure I don't miss any requests, for example.

Obviously, you can discuss whatever you like here, but if you want to talk to us about the project, please make do that where it is easiest for us to monitor that.

Thank you.

James Edward Gray II

···

On Aug 25, 2006, at 6:01 PM, darren kirby wrote:

While I can appreciate that the site designers
want the discussion centralized I think that if they want "feedback about the
content of the new Web site" they should make it easy for folks to do so. As
in, don't require them to join a totally separate mailing list, presumably
temporarily, just to give the feedback THEY are soliciting.

quoth the Elliot Temple:

Heh. I don't think companies post (and often pay for) job ads as a
public service.

Of course not, and I realize that it helps an employer as much as a
job-seeker, my point is that a job posting quite different then asking for
(free) feedback on something...

-- Elliot Temple
http://www.curi.us/blog/

-d

···

--
darren kirby :: Part of the problem since 1976 :: http://badcomputer.org
"...the number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected..."
- Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, June 1972