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The final touch for GetGNULinux.org

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Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11

Hello.

I woke up at daybreak today because I was dreaming about GGL; it wasn't a nightmare, but an idea that popped up into my head, a final touch for GGL.

While it's not a big thing, it's a bit hard to do...

It would be great if we could make a picture that represents what privative software is all about; something that when people look at it, they worry about what's going on with their freedom because of the software they use. Such an image should:

  • Be crude (like those warnings about cigarettes: If you smoke this thing, you're going to die).
  • Be simple (not overloaded).
  • Need little or no explanation. People should get what we mean as soon as they look at the picture.

Once this image is ready, we should replace it by our homepage's upper image (altough this image will probably be bigger, at least vertically).

Take a look at DreamHost's homepage... That's what I mean.

What do you think?

Cheers.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
... Or we might focus on an

... Or we might focus on an image that represents what free software is all about...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Interesting idea, but

Interesting idea, but indeed hard to do, probably because both software and the idea of freedom are rather abstract, invisible.. so it always has to be a metaphor of some kind when we're trying to represent it, especially when an image should sway people to a certain specific way of thinking without delay.

It's something to think about throughout the day looking around for suitable motives.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Difficult idea

This is certainly a good idea, but it's extremely tricky to implement.

There are several (conflicting) goals in our homepage:

1. Re-assure the visitor that GNU/Linux is something welcoming and at their level of "comprehension"
2. Explain that GNU/Linux is an OS, and state the importance of freedom.
3. Give him/her a vision of the main structure of the website
4. Give him/her a feeling of the information he/she is going to find in the website
5. Impress the visitor

I put these by decreasing priority according to my opinion.

I certainly agree that our homepage isn't the best around, but I believe that we should rather fail to impress skeptical visitors, than scare beginners away. We could use a striking homepage like Dreamhost; however they have less information to convey than we do. I think they do their funny random-pic homepage thing to convey an image of we're-your-cool-friendly-neighbourhood-guys to cover up their highly aggressive expansive attitude (no blame, that's business).

In addition, as libervisco says, freedom is probably the hardest thing to illustrate with a single picture. The four little windows don't convey freedom a lot, but they suit our purpose extremely well as far as I can judge.

Now, something I don't like about our homepage is the repetition of content. We have two titles ("Get GNU/Linux" pic then "Switch to Linux" title) and two content lists (menu bar + three boxes below). It's hard to avoid though.
I came across the homepage of Joost the other day and thought this could be a good example to follow. They have the exact same structure, but a simpler, bigger graphic as well as many little differences.

I would rather not take risks in the first 5 seconds of contact we have we our readers, considering our priorities. A Joost-homepage-like layout is all I would do.

I put this in the to-do list, though I must say getting the translations up to the level of the English site is a much bigger priority than fine-tuning the homepage.

Cheers!

Olivier.
With apologies for the long absence.

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