First thanks to all of us for the many requests that you wanted to help with the community platform. Sadly we can't use everybody, especially at the start, its important to concentrate on a very good and stable base, so that it stays solid from start on. So far the only help I needed was a other Perl people, greetings here to brabo, our master contributor ;), and a bit HTML, thanks here to crazedpsyc, who gave us a little base HTML so that people actually can "see" it.
Now, where we are near to start the portal official so that people can start translating duckduckgo, we are still a bit unhappy about the design, and want you, the community to help us here, to bring us to a decent design concept which would fit the quality of duckduckgo, but also fits for the future, with the things the community portal heads to.
What we are searching for here to be very specific is something to define a "visual experience" of the DuckDuckGo Community Platform. This includes for example defining color scheme, giving a design for the boxes (rounded? not rounded? colors? elements?), for the specific areas, for making the form fields, the dropdowns, the checkboxes, making it a compelling visual design. We also of course later will need probably a bit help for the HTML/CSS but for this theme, please contact us on email@example.com
or directly me on firstname.lastname@example.org
, its not part of this thread :-). So best is you make a screenshot of an empty browser screen and paint it in! :D
What is important here, is to thinking about the scope what the design has to achieve.
- There is no target group, we must think that most people of the world like it, DuckDuckGo itself must follow the same guideline, thats why you all like it so much :-).
- We must think about contribution, the design can't be an artwork which needs a specific competence to get advanced. We have so many people who will give additional features to the portal, via apps or direct contributions, that those people cant be blocked by complex layout specifications. It needs to be simple, it needs to be clean, and it needs to be prepared for a "full packed" future. I don't suggest switching the design ever _IF_ it feels perfect for the most people, a change of design is just too much impact for the complete project.
- It should be also a first direction for a mobile application, so that we don't need to rethink the complete design when we make mobile version.
So, after setting the scope, I now go more into the details what we have. So far actually have only 2 kind of pages, the homepage, and standard pages. The homepage is using boxes for teasing in the headline area and splits the content area into 2 columns. Standard pages have just a title text in the headline and contain one or several content boxes in the content area. Here the mockups:
You can actually already see this layout right now on http://view.dukgo.com/
and get a bit more feeling of what this layout looks like in real. You should also login/register there and then go to: https://view.dukgo.com/translate/test
for having an example of a standard page with "more widgets". Also I want to point out that the green line simulate a centering, those standard pages should have a fixed width for the content, so we can be a bit more safe with the design. In addition i want to head a bit to the feature, how the "mainscreen" of the user will be like, when we get to the deeper community features. This page is normally called "timeline", so here the mockup for this:
So the "layout" structure is fixed, I think its important that we dont drift away from the ways that have succeeded on the net, most modern pages have this layout concept, but what we now do out of it is of course very open. I want to see what the people through in here, i DONT want distribution via email, just drop your ideas in here, and we all talk about it, then we will try to concentrate the results into something people can vote about, or we directly find something that is so attractive that we dont want to vote something else :-). We dont know, we just know, we dont wanna wait to launch, and we would LOVE to get now a genius idea soon! :D
In my imagination I always think that of course there could be pages where we just don't have a headline, and only use the content area to stack content boxes. Also I think it would look awesome beauty if we use a nice background photograph on the headline to underline the area the user is in right now. Please checkout pages like:
A nice collection of many many different designs you can get here: http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/35-awesome-user-interface-design-tutorials/
If you don't have a genius idea, but a very very simple concept for boxes and the colors, thats also fine, its NOT about "bang", its about something people will use often over the day, it shouldn't be too much distracting.
Beside the overall design, we also could need help on the teaser boxes, if people like to make "catching teaser" for features of the community system, then please, contact me directly, best on IRC, Getty on irc.freenode.net #duckduckgo, or jabber or email email@example.com
Thanks and good night, this was 3 feet high and rising :-)