[Catalyst] Re: Catalyst site design drafts feedback thread

Simon Wilcox simonw at digitalcraftsmen.net
Thu Jun 12 09:40:05 BST 2008

Kieren Diment wrote:
> Subjectively speaking, I think that all the sites you mention above are 
> horribly ugly with the exception of the rubyonrails one which is quite 
> nice.   Mainly the other sites lose me in a technicolour yawn 
> (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=technicolor+yawn) of 
> blocky colour.

I rather liked the cakephp site. Strong bold colours give an impression 
that it's a fun product.

But I think that it depends on who you are appealing to. In the case of 
the PHP sites you're largely looking to attract designer/developers so 
it is important that you "speak" their visual language.

In the perl world you find that developers are far less concerned with 
design aesthetics. cf. masonhq.com, maypole.perl.org and all the perl 
community sites in general.

Is the purpose of the catalyst site to attract perl developers or to 
attract developers TO perl via the framework. The latter is exactly what 
the Rails site is trying to do for Ruby.

I would contend that catalyst is for perl people, it's not a route into 
perl for non-perl programmers. At least not yet.

> And as far as the comparison between http://www.browsing.co.uk/cat/ and  
> http://www.catalystframework.org/ goes ...

I don't think there's anything significantly wrong with the design of 
the current site. The IA & content needs work but the design is 
perfectly servicable.

The homepage needs a clear link to get the software, some lead-ins to 
beginner resources and a regularly updated news section. The problem 
with the current site isn't the design, it's the lack of relevant content.

IMO, the three fundamental questions that need to be asked and answered 
before you get anywhere near a visual design are:

1. Who is the audience ?
2. What information/resources do they need ?
3. How do we get them to that information as quickly and as simply as 
possible ?

Out of that flows the layout of the site and then you can get to the 
visual treatment.

But this is the thread for feedback on the designs, not the process so 
I'll shut up now.


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