[Catalyst] Catalyst site design drafts feedback thread

Jay K jayk at ion0.com
Mon Jun 16 18:39:21 BST 2008

Overall I have the same criticism for all of the designs.  None of
them really pass the first glance test.


(1) http://www.browsing.co.uk/cat

The contrast is overwhelming.  Everything has a similar level of
contrast and thus importance, and there is no real indication of where
the user should go.  My eyes just wander around this page searching
desperately for something to land on, and I always land on the
cupcake.  While I like cupcakes, I always wind up wanting to leave the
computer and forage for cupcakes in the cupboard.  Which is not what
we want people doing when they visit the site to learn about catalyst.

(2) http://agaton.scsys.co.uk/~matthewt/catsite/cat_mock_web_001.png

  A bit better, though I'm not fond of the color scheme. My eyes land
on the crop circle, which at least gives me an imprint of the cat
logo.  That said, the navigational links don't call attention to
themselves, so I wind up relying on web navigation habit - rolling
around the page with my eyes to find something that looks like a
list.    Also - there is too much text on the main page, which makes
me want to find another page that is friendlier and doesn't present me
with text overload right away.

(3) http://ion0.com/hx/cat/new-version-2-26.jpg

  I like the header and navigational links here - because the contrast
calls attention to them - but the dark area at the top of the content
box is a bit too deep imho and makes the page feel weird / top heavy
to me.  Without text content it's hard to judge this layout the same
way as the others.

(4) http://ion0.com/hx/cat/catalystSiteDesign3.jpg

  Of the two from Scott, I prefer 3.

(5) http://agaton.scsys.co.uk/~matthewt/catsite/catsite-Penfold.pdf

This design pops more, there is no trouble finding the nav links.  The
font and color scheme, though, make it somewhat hard to look at for an
extended period of time.  A slightly more subdued header color I think
would make me like this one more.  The text is bigger, that's good,
there is still too much of it for a landing page.  I like the layout
for a content page, though.

6) http://www.funkreich.de/catalystorg.png

Overall, my current favorite.  Definitely in terms of spacing.  I'm
not fond of the orange, and I don't know that the 'download' link
really makes sense.  (Maybe replace with a 'learn more?')

What I like about this design, though, is that it's absolutely clear
what  you are here for.  The nav links are separated from the rest of
the site design enough to make them prominent.  The fonts are good and
the text is not overwhelming.  My only real criticism aside from the
orange is that it'd be nice to have some clear 'getting started' /
'more about catalyst' type links in a prominent position.    The links
at the bottom are too hidden.  In my browsers default size, they are
just barely above the fold and I registered them in the same way as I
do the copyright notice on most sites... in other words not at all.
Definitely want to get the three main links - 'Get Started', 'Get
Help', 'Get Involved'  up into the white area and made more prominent.

So there's my two cents. Hope it helps,


On Jun 11, 2008, at 1:54 PM, Matt S Trout wrote:
> (1) http://www.browsing.co.uk/cat
> Mark Keating:
> (2) http://agaton.scsys.co.uk/~matthewt/catsite/cat_mock_web_001.png
> Scott Ladzinski:
> (3) http://ion0.com/hx/cat/new-version-2-26.jpg
> (4) http://ion0.com/hx/cat/catalystSiteDesign3.jpg
> Mike Whitaker:
> (5) http://agaton.scsys.co.uk/~matthewt/catsite/catsite-Penfold.pdf
> Gentlement, start your feedback engines.
> --
>      Matt S Trout       Need help with your Catalyst or DBIx::Class
> project?
>   Technical Director                    http://www.shadowcat.co.uk/catalyst/
> Shadowcat Systems Ltd.  Want a managed development or deployment
> platform?
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