DaveNet: Tuesday, May 27, 1997; by Dave Winer.
Help Re-design the Scripting News PageI admit it -- I'm a programmer, a writer, and a minimalist when it comes to designing the templates for pages on my websites on www.scripting.com.
Our web site management software is used by very technical people, but we need to work with great visual designers so that our automated sites have great looks too.
In other words, brains are great, but sex appeal is important too!
Take a look at the home page on www.scripting.com. Get the HTML source of the page, play with it, see if you can make it more visually appealing, then post the resulting page on your website, and send me an email message pointing to your page. I'll link it into this page for all the Scripting News readers to look at.
When a winning design is clear, I'll change the template on the page to use the new view. The page will have link to the winning site at the bottom of the page, so we'll share the flow and goodwill the new design creates.
The home page is a very dynamic page. It changes several times a day, most days. Readers want to quickly see if anything new and interesting has been posted to the page. The key word here is "quickly".
I think we can use some more graphics, but they need to be small. It must be possible to read the items on the page *before* all the graphics load.
It may make sense to have a graphic-rich version of the home page and a plain text version. This would be easy to implement because the page is built with scripts, it's no extra work for the sysop (me!) to build two versions of the page.
Tour the rest of the pages on the server, use the Directory. Many of the sites use templates that are inspired by this template. You may get some ideas of the design constraints.
Spread the word!
Most of the people that look at Scripting News are programmers. Let's get the designers, the people who use Fusion and other design-oriented tools, to take a look at our content, experiment with ideas, and learn from each other.
Pointers to sites
See Scripting News Redesigns for a list of designs in response to this challenge.
Also see The Next Design Challenge for the next iteration.
Dave Winer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tue, May 27, 1997