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Re^2: Why is PerlMonks.org still so ugly and outdated on presentation?

by studymonkperl (Novice)
on Oct 04, 2013 at 05:13 UTC ( #1056838=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Why is PerlMonks.org still so ugly and outdated on presentation?
in thread Why is PerlMonks.org still so ugly and outdated on presentation?

Totally new to this site. I registered a few days back. May be I'm in a better position to review to give some useful feedback on this. Or may be you might dismiss my suggestions as not so significant, for a user who just signed a couple of days back

Firstly, content and good aesthetics are not opposites of each other. Its not like if your site is good looking, it must have bad content. And if it has good content it must look bad.

Secondly good usability can be achieved by little trickery. In fact good usability is all about doing little trickery and maintaining simplicity. The total net information on a Perl monks page is simply too much. Lesser we display the better. None of this requires usage of shiny new technology.

Just some points from my end

1. Displaying relevant information is very important. And what is important with regards to that is to not display irrelevant information.

The entire right section can go. Voting booth, Left overs, Find Nodes, Information, Sections, Other Users, Chatter box and settings nodelets. Of all these the only ones I see relevant are 'Chatter box' and 'settings'. Which I'm pretty sure can have their own page. Settings definitely can go in the user profile page.

2. By looking at the whole site it can probably put into front page, questions, user profile & settings, your questions and comments. And that can go right next to the search box.

3. Search box can be improved, even better can be pointed to Google. The current search is basically an extended SQL command interface. And there is nothing really wrong with that. A lot of sites do it.

4. We don't need so many categories and sections. One main one for questions and another for meta questions will do.

The best site I use these days is Hacker News. The interface is so simple and very relevant to exact purpose. There is 0 clutter. It looks welcoming, intuitive, and very usable right from the very first visit.

The best part? They don't use any shiny new technology, no heavy page payload. And rarely change the site.

https://news.ycombinator.com/

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Re^3: Why is PerlMonks.org still so ugly and outdated on presentation?
by wjw (Priest) on Oct 04, 2013 at 06:28 UTC
    Welcome to the Monastery!

    It is good to hear first impressions I think. I took a look at the site you point out in your post and agree that it is minimalist, almost to an extreme. I like it.

    That being said, hang around a while longer and look at the plethora of things available on this site. There is a lot going on here in terms of content and context. Additionally, there is a pretty long history...amazingly long actually.

    Which is why I would encourage you to take a good long look around. Some of what you suggest certainly has merit, but there are long-standing reasons for them to be the way they are, most of those reasons I can only surmise due to the fact that I have been intermittently involved, and mostly as a consumer as compared to a contributor(If that ain't a run on sentence...)

    I think that part of the reason for there being what could be perceived as 'more info than needed' available at any given time is that the members here are encouraged to be involved in most everything. From posting to answering to suggesting to developing(eventually I guess) to, well whatever else is involved in keeping both the site and the community going.

    This site was transparent before being transparent was thought of as a good thing. We used to refer to it as 'open' as I recall.(we being folks of my age, measured more easily in decades as compared to years).

    The users here are the site. Perhaps it would be better to say that the site reflects the users as a community. Communities are messy things sometimes. Too much polish and the site becomes a slick whitewash instead of a reflection of what it really is.

    The other part of that is, at least in my experience, this site is not a service that is offered. In other words, this is not a client/server application. There isn't a 'they' who provide the service and a 'us' who use it.

    Now that I have said all that: Note that I am just some other monk who happens to hang out here. I don't speak for anyone else let alone the community or the site. So what I say above may be a gross mis-representation of what others perceive as reality. At the same time, others may feel free to verbally kick my stupid/ill-informed a$$ for having spoken out of what they perceive is my turn. That is community...and it is fun and informative as well as messy.

    To wind up this windy post:

    1. Give yourself a bit more of a chance to determine relevancy
    2. As you do so, think in terms of community as well as information dissemination
    3. Look closely and you might find that some of what you suggest is already there..
    4. Categorization and sub-categorization tend to happen when there is depth as well as volume, which means that sometime even the little things are held as valuable(a good thing for me because I tend NOT to do astounding things but I get to feel valued anyway)
      1. Mostly --- Welcome and enjoy!


        • ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
        • ..by my will, and by will alone.. I set my mind in motion

      You can absolutely grow to like a site. This is site has some very good content

      When I first went around the site, I though the collected wisdom on this site could be turned into a book. More like a recipe book for various solutions in Perl. Imagine how valuable that would be, given how many problems and how many amazing solutions have been offered

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