Wiki homepage redesign

Discussions about the wiki documentation of FreeCAD and its translation.
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yorik
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Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:28 pm

I'm playing a bit with ideas to redesign the wiki homepage.. the idea would be to merge the homepage and the table of contents into one, and get rid of the hubs (of course individual pages could still be categorized as for user, for poweruser, etc).

http://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/index.ph ... w_homepage

The idea is basically to expose the whole "big picture" to the user in a friendly way, with focus on easy-to-grab things like the different page tools, and make better use of "sideboxes". I came to the conclusion that separating things into subsections like the hub pages we currently use is actually an obstacle, it hides the info below unneeded levels of subpages...

And after all, gathering everything on a single page is not too much, I find it still easy to read...

What do you think?
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bejant
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby bejant » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:44 pm

My suggestion (from someone with poor vision) is to have 3 columns of icons under each WB, instead of the current 4 columns. This way the reader can zoom a bit more without having the icon descriptions wrap to another line, making them harder to read. Some icons now are more detailed than what we've had before, so I'd also suggest that the icons display larger so the reader can better see their details.

New or old layout, I've wondered why the wiki WB's aren't in alphabetical order as they are on the FreeCAD WB switcher?

I like that the reader can jump directly to a WB tool from the homepage and think overall that the new wiki homepage is a great improvement. Nice job!
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:51 pm

Good points bejant!

For the wb order in fact I wasn't following any particular order. Indeed it makes complete sense to have them in the right order...

Basically the 16px size of the icons was because I wanted to keep the "blocks" of commands as a compact block under each WB title. I find that more legible, easier to "separate" visually between each WB. When we use bigger icons, the icon become bigger than the text, which makes the line spacing bigger, and there is less difference between each WB section and what's inside the section, and the whole page becomes less easy to browse...

But let's wait for more opinions.

Anyway, the 3 columns layout might be better indeed. Some of the 4 columns are pretty compressed...
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bernd
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby bernd » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:49 pm

Wow, great job Yorik. I really like this one much better than the current system with many pages. It took me some time at my FreeCAD newbie time (in many parts of FreeCAD I'm still a newbie ;) ) to get into the current structure. With this one page there is no structure just one big page. I really like it.

Checked the page on the smart phone first and all the text besides the icons was wrapped, so 3 columns might be better indeed. But on my 27 inch monitor it does'nt really matters if 3 or 4 column. I would vote for 3 columns.

Regarding wb order. We allready had this discussion. I vote for:
first wb: part, second wb: draft. Followed by all others in alphabetical order.

BTW: Since my favorite wb is Arch, I don't mind puting all wbs in alphabetical order :lol:

Ahh and the learnings on the right side in darker gray with tutorials are great ! May be videos could be added as well. We do not have a category for video tutorials do we?

Bernd
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sliptonic
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby sliptonic » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:58 pm

I think it's a huge improvement over the old organization. Great work!

I wonder if listing all the tools for each workbench is too much detail for the front page. There's a lot of redundancy with what the users see when they click on the link for the workbench. ie http://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/index.ph ... rch_Module and it makes the page very long requiring the user to scroll a lot if what they need is far down.

I like your notion of giving the "the big picture" but I think it should be a high level description of what a bench is for. It should also have a larger version of the workbench icon to make it memorable. Save the details for when the user decides that is a tool they need to know more about.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby jmaustpc » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:35 am

bernd wrote:But on my 27 inch monitor it does'nt really matters if 3 or 4 column.
yes, well it also wouldn't matter if they were 30 wide on that monitor :)


Yorik about the tutorials
On the one hand I can see a great advantage having appropriate specific tutorials with their workbenches...

...but conversely I think what about tutorials that use more than one workbench? ....

...Also I would have thought a common use of tutorials would be to list them in an order from easy to complicated and have newbies start with one and work their way through them...once at a certain level is achieved you would start with a more specialised approach or at least skip ones that are not in the users area of interest. If we were to do something at all like that, then a tutorials index page would be a better format.

But of course we could do both. Also we could put a "other tutorials" link in the wb specific tutorial boxes to the tutorial index page.

Also the down side to one very large page is it can be quite a big download making the page a bit slow or loads with a bit of a lag.

But in general terms I do like your page. :)

Jim
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r-frank
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby r-frank » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:17 am

Hello.

My first impression was that this page looked like "information overkill".

But the more i'm thinking about it the more i like the look of the "new" design.

Jim has a point.
From my tutorial-experience i can say that you need some basic tutorials covering
for example single solid-modelling with part module or part design-workbench and
complex tutorials.

This weekend i will upload a german video tutorial explaining part movement in 3D.
When modelling the bird house i am jumping from part module to draft to part design
back and forth but since the workbenches do not seem to have a shortcut for themselves
that is necessary.

I also realised that something like the sketchup quick reference card for FreeCAD is badly needed.
But i also have to admit that this would mean a lot of work.

But yes, basically I like your new page ...
Thanks for all the time and work you put in it yorik ...

Roland
Deutsche FreeCAD Tutorials auf Youtube
My GrabCAD FreeCAD-Projects
FreeCAD lessons for beginners in english

Native german speaker - so apologies for my english, no offense intended :)
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bernd
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby bernd » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:13 am

r-frank wrote:... but since the workbenches do not seem to have a shortcut for themselves
that is necessary ...
Good point. I made a separate thread for that. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7588
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yorik
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby yorik » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks everybody for the feedback!

To resume more or less all that was said: Looks like everybody is happy with the general direction. Cool!

About the length of the page, I don't find it really too long now, it's still pretty manageable and comfortable IMHO. But it indeed shouldn't become much bigger than it is now. Of course the many icons make it a bit bigger download, but 1) they are small, I don't think if you put them all together you'll get such a big image and 2) the text appears before the images are loaded, so it's readable already... Doesn't seem a big problem to me.

About the 3 / 4 columns I'll experiment with a 3-column version, for us to see...

One thing is, as you might have noticed, not all WB icons are there under each WB. Maybe we could adopt a policy to only list the most important icons there, and leave the full list on each WB page. Maybe add a "see full list" link at the end of the icons list. This way we keep that page compact, and also don't do double usage with the WB pages.

Actually my idea is that, just by looking at these icons, a new user understands quickly what is the purpose of each workbench, and where to find the tool you need.

One other point everybody raises, is that there are not enough tutorials and badly organized. I agree totally! I have myself two on my todo list: one is redoing the draft tutorial (or better, writing another) and another is one showing how to work with the arch module with imported models from other applications.

I think it would be a good thing to have more written tutorials, even if very small (many articles Norm wrote here on the forum could become tutorials). They are very different from video tutorials. Both have their strong points obviously, but in the field of video tutorials, we begin to have many! One cool thing could also be to list and format these video tutorials in a cool way.

The problem is of course that doing a list of available videos manually would be a hard work to maintain... there are new videos appearing all the time!
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Re: Wiki homepage redesign

Postby bejant » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:35 pm

yorik wrote:Maybe we could adopt a policy to only list the most important icons there, and leave the full list on each WB page.
That could be quite the debate! Frequently seemingly obscure tools become important. And one of the most important tools for me is the Dependency Graph, but it has no icon (same for Validate Sketch and Reorient Sketch). And Map Sketch to Face can be like a spare tire for my auto: if it isn't used much it may not seem important, but when needed it suddenly becomes most important and I'm quite glad it's there...

Then again, some people don't have fast internet, and I don't know how much of a hindrance to them it would be if it takes the home page a long time to load...

But I still like the new homepage much better, I think it's a good move in the right direction!