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Help with krita.org needed!

User avatar boudewijn
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Help with krita.org needed!

Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:03 pm
As everybody can see, krita.org is in need for a refresh. The design is getting a bit old with the big blue header and the changing images on top (which mean that all facebook and g+ links choose one of those images...). The website is also getting disorganized.

So we need someone to help here!

The website is in Joomla currently, but anything that makes it possible to keep the content and the links working is fine with me.

What we need is:

* a new design...
* space in the header to run banners for campaigns, donations.
* a landing page that helps people understand what krita is and why they want it
* a news page that shows that we're really active with the rss feed of all the articles, social media and stuff
* and all the usual pages (store, faq, download, resources, press, community, developer info) in the places where uses expect

And personally, I'd like it if the website were not wider than 900px...
bshah
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:04 pm
Hello,

Please ask in KDE's Visual design group. They can come up with very cool website design.

Thanks
User avatar achibrucie
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:20 am
I can give you a quick design to get things rolling.

Image

Obviously it is flawed but it really depends on what feeling you want to give. This design is more of a fun design (with an ink splot behind download - yeah my drawing sucks) but if you want a serious one then go down that path.

Personally I like fun Krita. Or seriously fun. Photoshop or Manga Studio look serious because that is what they want to target. So why not fun? Be different yet offer the same things?

I think Krita's page should be colourful :3
User avatar boudewijn
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:44 pm
I'm all for fun and, to a degree, for colorful :-). We've got kritastudio.com for serious. But at the same time, krita.org must be easy to use, too. I rather like the colors of the 2.8 splash, nice, but not too overstated.
ghevan
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:32 am
achibrucie wrote:I can give you a quick design to get things rolling.

Image


Hi, let's keep this rolling. I saw your sketch, its a first, very very early approach to an idea, and in my experience not very helpful. I can imagine the sketch is related to the main screen top banner, am I right? It's hard to give feedback with something so rough. I can see the mascot on the right holding a brush with "development" letters engraved. This confuses me because I believe the most important goal for the site is: first promote the software, and second, collaboration (donations, artwork, etc). So I would rather put a "download" button there (with a small, what's new page like mozilla does with firefox), the button of course would have to offer the version for the OS the visitor is using, and an alternative for OSX.

Image carousel is good, it's just that anything moving will distract the viewers attention to that spot. While artwork is fine perhaps we could present it more statically, and leave the space for other relevant information, like "get involved", "tutorials", etc but not in a auto carousel mode (which is dated). See Mozilla site as an example http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/ all information they want to communicate is visible, and more detailed information shows only when the user wants to know more, by hovering, for example.

The design direction: I agree on having something more like http://www.blender.org/ redesign than http://www.inkscape.org/

Of course doing a web design would need a web-designer/developer and some time so, for a more immediate change I could suggest:
- Renew the artwork shown in the carousel
- or change for a banner showing fund raiser enthusiasm.
- Renew all template graphics and spacing (background, tweak colors, small margin padding adjust, etc).
- Make bigger "Digital painting, creative Freedom" text, probably devoting a 48 pixel height area to it
- Remove Download menu and change instead for a button at the top. (the button will be leading to the same place, but it's more noticeable) Or could be placed after a short introductory text about the software before/after the image carousel.
- It its placed as a button at the top the donate button would need to be relocated, i suggest add a footer template with a "you like it, donate!" text that shows at the bottom of every blog article. (people is more inclined to take action that way as it flows in a natural logic [X does this? then I help!])
- Get started could probably change name to "Learn Krita".
- A short feature list should appear at the main page. At the moment its hard to tell its a painting program from the website first impressions. This could be 2 column with the blogs on one side.

Website has to focus on "actions", what the visitor needs to accomplish. Is it downloading the software? does it knows the software in the first place? so we probably should present it first. Another tasks are, learning the basics, participating, donating. etc. The information is already there, it just needs order to make the tasks more clear so the message is more effective.

Those are just some of the things I could think about the web design for the page. In the end the final proposal, ideas and implementation rests in the web designer and the final decision on what to deploy in the project leader.


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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:20 pm
I think any good design needs to start with an understanding what the goals we are trying to solve. Going right into mockups is dangerous, because people start getting attached to the visuals without thinking about how we want to communicate Krita as an organization. This is the biggest reason why wireframes exist in UI design. Based off of boudewijin's initial post, here is my revised list of things to improve:

* a new design that will communicate Krita as a professional, free, open source painting program
* responsiveness for multiple screen sizes
* a homepage that reflects Krita's goals better (news, about us, artwork)
* add an about us page with vision and purpose (does this exist currently?)
* re-organize the content to help people navigate the site
* add an area for campaigns and donations (the designer will worry about placement)
* re-think our usual pages and see if we can improve them (store, faq, download, resources, press, community, developer info)
* a news page that shows that we're really active
* fast load times


I think it is important to keep in mind that a large goal for any re-design is to make it easier for people to use the site! When someone comes to a website, they are wanting to do something. The design needs to make sure it is easy for people to perform the action they came to do. These are some of the main reasons I could think of why people visit the Krita website.

1. Learn about Krita
2. See if Krita is a high-quality application (can it make pretty pictures?)
3. Download Krita
4. Contribute to the project
5. Learn how to use
6. See news updates
7. Report bugs
8. Other?...


I personally would start with basic wireframes for the new design. I think nailing down the content organization, and user flow is a good first step.

A final note about the design process. There WILL be people the don't agree with the direction and final design. The decision makers have to use their best judgement to determine whether something helps the Krita cause, or doesn't.

I can assist with the design and coding aspect. I have been doing UI design/development for about 5 years.
User avatar vascobasque
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:18 am
Maybe i can help in one or another way with the website. I have been learning css and html in the last months. So i have at least some basic knowledge accumulated.

However i would like to know some things.

Preparation of existing Content?

I think it would be good to have the actual content in a format / language that makes a transfer easy and comfortable. Maybe joomla has an export function for the content or do we need to extract it by hand? I can offer my help if any preparation is needed here. E.g converting the articles to markdown. Maybe some reference data can be serialized for an easy access later (yaml/xml)?

Dynamic or Static?

Are dynamic pages needed? A store page sounds like that... user accounts and that stuff. I have no knowledge about that. I know there are several ways to realize that, but if it could be avoided it will be much easier and faster to build the page. Dynamic pages have been stated to be superior to static ones on the long term, but things are changing and static pages are attractive as they offer better performance - pagespeed has become a very important factor for websites due to the fact of a higher variety of devices and connection speed. Articles do not inevitably need dynamic pages - a store ore a cms - idk.. that´s beyond my horizon of knowledge, but i guess you will always need databases for that sort of things.

CMS or not?

What about the underlying structure - the backend? Is it needed to have an content management system? I guess writing an own cms is far to much work. So an existing cms must be chosen or the administration of the page is done more directly. There are several ways to do that - build local - deploy via ftp. Using a static website generator. I guess this decisions depend on how the site should be maintained later. A cms might offer advantages, but it is just another tool that needs manpower too and a page could get unmaintainable if the power of a cms is used light-minded..

So i like to help if i can. My knowledge is limited to the basics, but i am sure i could do some stuff. I can offer help for long-term maintenance too.. From my point of view it would be good to get an idea about the backbone before i can think about the design of the page. Just to know the general direction.


User avatar TheraHedwig
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:20 am
The Krita.org website is running on Joomla, and running with a CMS is much more beneficial than without, especcially in krita.org's case, which has to be updated at the least once a week. Using static, html only webpages is far more work than maintaining a cms in this case.

I myself have more experience with building webpages(many static, cms wise two for others, one for myself, which is perpetually under construction, I do have experience with responsive design), but I have been holding off from volunteering yet because I have to start moving in the coming weeks, and I at the least want to be able to install xampp and get dummy sites working on my device before volunteering.
Vasco, how about you try looking into getting joomla or wordpress or drupal working on your device through xampp(there's guides, google them), then you can play with the cms. Regardless of who will build the website, you will learn some invaluable knowledge :)

But I agree with scott we should think of the demands/wireframes first :)

There was also talk of moving the cms over to another, mostly because Joomla is turning out a little difficult to use. However, there's details like links breaking in that case, and I would like to look into assessing those risks first as well. I will post back once I got them. However with the wireframe/demands everyone's work is cut out for them.

For example, thanks to a couple of volunteers last year Krita has a lot of Media presence, but it's a little scattered. There's the main website, a blogger, a twitter, this forum, steam, tumblr, google+, feedburner, the kde bugtracker, the kde wiki and I hardly even know how they interact. There's some 'if posted here, post there' functionality working, but we need to map out how exactly. On top of that I think it be nice if we could centralise some of that activity. For example, every week on the tumblr I set up about 10 pieces of artwork made with Krita to be reblogged by that account. Similarly, there's a lot of nice artwork showing up on G+ and the forums, let alone twitter. It be interesting if we could somehow use this activity to our advantage.
There's similar cases happening with tutorials and awnsered questions. Adding to that Krita 2.9 will likely have a good resource managing system(it's in git master already, if rather buggy), and I fully expect the amount of resource packs/brush sets to skyrocket. What kind of role can Krita.org take in regards to these?

Or we maintain a gallery of images that could somehow be updated by a lot of volunteers without these being able to access the other parts of the site. There's a lot of work involved with curating the gallery. Even putting aside quality, there's contacting people if they are okay with their work being displayed on the krita gallery.

Overall I think our primary goal is to make Krita.org a good information, news, and advertising page.
I think our secondary goal is to set it up so that new maintainers can be added more easily and the site needs little input from Boudewijn to remain active.(So that technically, Boudewijn only has to manage the big announcements, but the updating of resources, artwork, and download/building information can be handled by others).

It's a bit long, but I have been having many thoughts about the Krita.org website, and there's many little tidbits that , maybe not everyone is aware of. I want to put them up for consideration if we are to talk redesign.

Happy Easter everyone :)
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:33 am
Please note that due to the way KDE servers operate, deployment via FTP is completely unacceptable. If the site were to shift to using static based files, then upload would be conducted through SFTP, or be stored in a Git repository the server would autodeploy. This is for security reasons.

In terms of link redirection, all good CMSes should have the ability to handle page aliases. Failing that, redirects can be done at the web server level.
As for performance - we have numerous tools to optimise performance for dynamic pages, so don't worry too much about that.


System Settings and Device Actions KCM maintainer
Image
User avatar vascobasque
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:05 am
I see. So my questions are answered. It seems, that the things are more advanced than I have thought. Good to know. I guess, i am lacking the knowledge and overview, to be a real help with this, but anyway, if there is any footwork to be done - you know who you can call ;D

TheraHedwig wrote:Vasco, how about you try looking into getting joomla or wordpress or drupal working on your device through xampp(there's guides, google them), then you can play with the cms. Regardless of who will build the website, you will learn some invaluable knowledge :)


Thanks for the tip - I have installed it together with wordpress. That was easier than I would have suspected - definitely easier than installing jekyll (the tool i am currently using). I could imagine that playing with that will be one of my next steps to deepen my knowledge in building websites, but currently, my approach is much more puristic - maybe that's the learning process. 8)


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Road map for project

Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:31 pm
Is there any type of road map for this project getting done? It is good to have cut-offs so the endless conversation can shift to different topics and progress can be made. Something like the following:

April 11 - April 30 = Initial call for volunteers
May 1 - May 31 = Deciding on CMS and other technical improvements
June 1- June 30 = Brainstorming, wireframes, and mockup ideas
July 1 - July 31 = Final decision on design direction / begin front-end development
August 1 - September 31 = Development
October 1 = Launch

I just made up some dates. Volunteers can continue to join throughout the process of course - they just might not be able to participate in areas that have already been decided on. The dates can also shift depending on how many resources you have, the scope of the project, or how hard people are working. It is good to have a road map to add some structure to the whole process. Having this structure also helps people know how to channel their energy when it comes to discussion.
User avatar scottpetrovic
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add this to krita.org site

Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:16 pm
It might be a good idea to make a post about this and put it on krita.org. I had no idea this call for help existed until I went on IRC and talked to a couple of people. It might help recruit some more people if it is more visible.
User avatar scottpetrovic
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Wireframes for krita.org re-design

Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:53 pm
This post is a little long, so forgive me. I started thinking about the information on the existing Krita site and saw these different areas.

News
Features
Download
Gallery
Get Started
Join
Mailing List
Chat
Forum
Screenshots
Support Krita
Foundation
Press
FAQ
Anything buying oriented goes through PayPal with a donate button
social media outlets (deviant art,facebook, etc)
Log in for site maintainers


Notes
I thought the screenshots page might be better shown on other areas like the features page. Showing the interface also shows features, so I think the screenshots area can be rolled into the features area.

For the getting involved, it might be simpler to to just have one Contribute page that has a lot of these different communication options. This might be cleaner than having separate areas for mailing lists, forums, and IRC. Most people that start helping with open source software aren't that familiar with mailing lists and IRC, so it would be better to just talk about those in the contribute section and provide appropriate links.

I thought it might be a good idea to separate out monetary donations from products and merchandise. I think we can show more pictures and sell the products differently than the monetary donation aspect. Donations are more about all of the hard work by volunteers to make this project possible.

The Press page is really an about us page with a little press related material. It would probably be better to rename Press to About and slightly modify the content.

Rename "Get Started" to "Learn". Get started is a little ambiguous (get started downloading?, get started developing?, get started learning?).

The gallery page is nice, but I don't know if it needs a page to itself. When the gallery page exists as a page by itself, they are usually only looked at once. People "have seen it" when they view it initially and probably won't return. I think it would strengthen Krita's identity better if we put the gallery on the homepage and would update the artwork occassionally.

For the homepage, I thought having a main section that would talk about the main news stories like new releases and interviews. A longer history of news could be near the bottom.

As to why I chose the three areas on the bottom for the homepage (reference wireframe PDF below). I think that the main areas that the Krita foundation needs to communicate to people are what Krita is, contribute and help with the organization (Get Involved), and showcase what great artwork people are doing (gallery).

For the fund raising campaigns, I think that could be shown in the main spot on the homepage, or one of the smaller square sections below (I would vote for swapping out the get involved or gallery - never the "what is krita").

The wireframes reflect my thoughts. The content will need a little updating, but I didn't go into all of the pages. Of course, this is just my perspective. All feedback is welcome (as long as it isn't too mean :) ).

http://www.scottpetrovic.com/uploads/kr ... frames.pdf
User avatar boudewijn
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Re: Help with krita.org needed!

Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:10 am
Sorry for being absent since my original post. The thing is... I really reached the end of my scalability a week or two ago. What I can do is share the keys to krita.org with people and look at work being done approvingly, but I lack the ability currently to get organized.

therathehedwig: the last bit of automatic posting is the krita.org->twitter channel. The rest is all done manually. We looked at hootsuite last summer to automate all the posting, and that might still be an option, though it has its disadvantages, too. The big problem is that the social media world is as fragmented as the linux desktop world, if not more!

I agree with the two main goals you outline.

vascobasque: I wouldn't mind migrating to wordpress, but let's try to take the easiest route to keep both existing links working and get the new layout and design up and running. Which route is easiest is up to you all!

scottpetrovic: I'm all for making a good roadmap :-). If you want to take the lead on that, that's awesome. The wireframes look very good to me! Some quick remarks:

"I thought it might be a good idea to separate out monetary donations from products and merchandise." Yes, indeed.

"The Press page..." I added this after a session on getting press coverage for a project at akademy. The press apparently looks for a "press" page to find the info it needs quickly. That's why there are packs of screenshots and logo/mascot to download. It's not very well used, though. But we need to keep a visible link called "Press" though perhaps not at the top-level. I used http://kde.org/presspage/ as an example.

Gallery page: yes, I do agree.
User avatar scottpetrovic
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Different areas that could use help

Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:51 pm
There are a lot of ways to help out with the Krita.org site design changes. If we can have people contributing in any of the following areas, it would make this whole project easier and more fun!

- graphic designers (page layouts, optimizing images, resizing)
- front-end designers ( HTML, CSS)
- artists (submit your own work so we can fill this site up with pretty pictures)
- content writers (review existing content on Krita.org, writing new content)
- front-end developers (jQuery, javascript)
- art collectors (find cool art made with Krita and ask for permission to use it on krita.org)
- back-end developers ( PHP, possibly with Joomla, Wordpress, or other PHP CMS)
- marketing (postioning, branding, content)

We will collect a list of people that are interested in helping out on this forum thread. Once we are ready to start moving forward with this project, it might be better to move this discussion to a mailing list to keep all of the different areas and discussion in one space.

If you are interested in helping out, leave a reply with how you would like to contribute. Even if you don't fit any of the above skills, we could still use proofreaders and QA testers to make sure the website is in tip top shape.

 
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