Focus website redesign on typography
My two cents to the redesign debate
The debian website contains mainly documents. Either long texts of long lists of information. These texts are accessed most comfortably with a minimal amount of navigational clutter.
Single column text provides the best reading experience as you can easily adjust the size of your window and change the text size though your browser without unexpected results.
Complex visual design makes the website more difficult to maintain. Every css float or unnecessary nesting of elements can end up creating annoying limitations for future content.
The website really needs breadcrumbs, which is difficult as they only make sense if the website is clearly structured.
The front page does not need the current vertical navbar if the main sections of the website are given a well structured front page.
The experienced user should not be the main focus of the front page as they are capable of skipping directly to the part of the website they are interested in.
These make the debian website seem lighter that the current whilst making it (hopefully) a bit more elegant. This approach is probably not popular with everyone as the redesign might be expected to produce a richer rather than cleaner design.
The debian logo has been made tiny to leave visual space for heavier graphics in the content area of the website.
Note that the front page mockup could use richer graphics instead of the debian vase and the pinkish getting started button. The layout is intended to show an attitude to the structure of the homepage and is currently using only existing graphical elements.
Again, these mockups have been created to hint at what can be achieved with a brutally simple layout structure (much like the current) coupled with considered typography and whitespace (the space between the elements of the design). More bling can easily be added in the form of images that are allowed to be images rather that messily integrated in navigational elements or layout structure.
critique is welcomed
ps. My first debian install was etch and I wanted to install it while it was in testing. I could not find the download on the debian website. I finally found a link from some other website.