[IAEP] [DESIGN] Ideas and questions on SL.o

Luke Faraone luke at faraone.cc
Sun Dec 27 01:33:41 EST 2009

Recently, I attended a presentation along with Walter, Bernie, and Dogi in
which students from Babson College discussed the deployability challenges
faced by Sugar and SugarLabs in the United States.

One of the things mentioned was the distributed nature of our project. We
have a extensive wiki, a variety of high-traffic mailing lists, and doezens
of blogs. For a teacher or administrator looking into the viability of
Sugar, it can be quite a daunting task to process and synthesize all these
disparate sources into a cohesive message.

They specifically mentioned the front page of our community,
www.SugarLabs.org, as an example of our failure to communicate. While the
design is visually appealing and graphically stunning, it suffers from being
*too* simplistic in my opinion. In terms of conveying actionable
information, it performs poorly. Most people come to an organization's front
page with specific goals in mind, and it should be our goal to make it as
easy as possible for people to accomplish those goals.

As Bernie commented during the meeting, "one of the first things as
developers we jump for is the link to the wiki". But this link dumps the
user to a large, disorganized mass of content in which one can easily get
lost. Wiki-gardening is definately a full-time job, probably for more than
one person, but as it is, what we have isn't working.

Therefore, my proposal is simple: redesign www.SugarLabs.org. As a strawman,
lets say we were to offer, on the main page, jumping off points to the rest
of our community.

This would include things like:

   - Download Sugar (Sends them off to the [[Try Sugar]] wikipage)
   - Explore teaching resources (needs authoring)
   - Solve a problem ([[Sugar help]])
   - Get involved

Of course, we'd need to have these all link to supporting pages, either on
the wiki or elsewhere, but deciding *how* to organize something is a large
part of actually producing *usable* content.

We can also find a place to put the current SL.o explanation text, but I
don't think it should be the sole, central focus of the page.

Comments, criticism, and alternative proposals welcome.

Luke Faraone
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