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Re: Website Designs

On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 14:29:47 +0200, Runa Agate Sandvik <runa@samfundet.no> said: 

> On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 12:10:35AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> Merely lists which web pages are in scope -- but nothing of the
>> audience. It also hand waves at the usual goodies: unified,
>> accessible, no javascript or flash, etc.  There is nothing concrete,
>> or anything of any real substance here, when it comes to real goals
>> or a target audience.

> You're free to edit the wiki page yourself if you want to. I would say
> that an accessible website is a concrete goal. What goals do you see
> for the website?

        I have no idea what goals people have in mid, which is why I
 asked. That makes me a poor candidate to edit the page and define the
 currently non-existing goals.

        Not only are there no clear definitions of goal, what are the
 use cases the new design is supposed to meet that the current one does
 not? Who are the stake holders? 

        If accessibility is a goal, how are you certain we are not
 meeting it? The web site has no javascript I can discern, it is
 localized in my language, it uses no flash, it is accessible y braille
 terminals.  Have we not already met the goals, then?

        If there are parts of the goals that are not met, can you point
 me to concrete shortcomings? And why can't just those shortcomings be
 answered, rather than a redesign from the ground up?

        Frankly, I do not think accesssibility is a goal. Lack of it is
 a bug, and bugs should be fixed.  It is no more of a goal than lack of
 bugs is a goal for a program -- a de3sirable feature, a critical
 characteristic, but not a goal.

        Does anyone have _any_ idea what the goals of the redesign are?

>> And who is the target audience?

> Who is the target audience now? :)

        I don't think anyone has a handle on this.  And not defining the
 target audience, and dismissing any effort to do so with hand waving
 about "the audience is who the audience is" is precisely the concern I
 raised about the planning going on into the effort.

>> New users?  Current users? Experts? Novices? Developers?  Derivative
>> distributions? Marketing people? Press?

> The website should be accessible for both new and old users. Does it
> need to be made more clear?

        Heck, yes. Since the needs of every element of the types of
 target audiences I mentioned above are very different indeed. Worse,
 this raises concerns that the whole effort is doomed to failure --
 which is what happens when the designer does not think that profiling
 the audience is a worthwhile endeavor.  If you have no idea who you are
 designing for, whether it be programs, or websites, the outcome is
 bound to be muddled.

        I have seen no use cases for the new sites that are suppose to
 be met by the new design that are not currently met (I have heard
 various people make value judgements about how "ugly" the pages are).
 Is a subjective "ugliness" the only reason for this effort?  No
 function is being considered at all?

It is impossible for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@acm.org> <http://www.golden-gryphon.com/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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