[Webcom] Website Design Project

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Fri Jan 16 10:01:30 EST 2009

daniele.ocu ocu wrote:
> Dear Marketing committee,
> We have started working on the website redesign.
> Please share your ideas about the website TODAY on the bellow topics:
>     * *Content Design*
>     * *Layout Design*
>     * *Navigation Design*
>     * *Visual Design* 


As Jason mentioned, I hope you are accounting for the discussions in December.
I still have concerns about the breadth of the activity.

Are you collecting input to prepare a request for proposals from potential
contractors to do the actual work?   Do you have any wiki page with the
summarized objectives of this effort so far?  I think that would be
constructive.  Certainly there is still confusion in the community about this
effort, what the objectives are and how it is hoped the effort will be

I note that "Design" is included in each of the above statements.  Does this
imply that the project will be focused on the design (which I mostly
interpret as providing a roadmap for desired content, building styling, and
reworking the navigation) or is it also expected that significant meaty
content will be created (this is definitely beyond design)?

More than anything else, I wish the OSGeo web site had material more directly
supporting our slogan - "Your Open Source Compass".  I see this as a
series of white papers, and guides for different sorts of visitors.  Mostly
this should help provide guidance to people on which projects, and technologies
are appropriate for particular sorts of users/requirements/needs.

I would also like to see more pointers to various kinds of advocacy materials.
This could include stuff like:

1) Open Source and GFOSS in the news (ie. pointers to supportive and credible
    articles in the press about open source, primarily in the geospatial sphere)

2) A good "introduction to open source" sort of document giving visitors
    who are pretty new to open source a solid introduction.  This might actually
    be a pointer to a document on another site or someone elses document
    somewhat adapted to include some references to the geospatial sphere.

3) Case studies (as discussed in the past, and on which a somewhat modest
    start has been made in the wiki).  These are basically short "success
    stories" from real user organizations focused on examples with high
    "credibility".  A variety of case studies should be available supporting
    a variety of our projects, and not shying away from referencing projects
    which are not actually foundation projects.

Hmm, I thought I would have a few more items to justify the enumeration, but
I'm drawing a blank and running short on time so I'll leave it at that for

I will note that much of this content generation requires a quite a deep
understanding of the field.  In some cases it is also "politically sensitive"
(such as documents attempting to guide people to the right project for their
needs when there might in fact be several which could be applicable).

PS. I have taken the liberty of retitling the email since "Marketing Digest"
didn't communicate anything, and to cc: webcom where I'm sure there are
interested people.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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