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Date:      Mon, 9 Apr 2012 07:52:56 +0200
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        Tony <abletony84@gmail.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD's backwards webdesign / corporate identity
Message-ID:  <20120409075256.577df938.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <CADnJ0kHO+5dzNZdBCWjH=nmKK=WROUhm+z0vAsn62cdFB3zzrA@mail.gmail.com>
References:  <CADnJ0kHO+5dzNZdBCWjH=nmKK=WROUhm+z0vAsn62cdFB3zzrA@mail.gmail.com>

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On Sun, 8 Apr 2012 14:40:12 +0200, Tony wrote:
> Hello!
> 
> As much as I love FreeBSD, I'm a bit alarmed by its webdesign / corporate
> identity.

What's wrong with it? It's very accessible (especially for
blind users) and it presents the availabe information in a
structured way. Sure, it does not use many of today's "modern"
extensions to get simple things done, as it uses _simple_ things
to get them done (e. g. a href= for a link istead of "Flash"),
but that's not a problem in my opinion. The pages load fast,
they display well in all four major browsers (Firefox, Chrome,
Safari, Opera), and it even renders properly in browsers with
limited abilities (lynx, links, w3m, dillo).

Your next point: Corporate identity. I sadly fail to see where
FreeBSD can be seen as a corporation. It's rather a community,
having some core installations, but it's not a company that has
to maintain a specific "design" across all its products. However,
FreeBSD's projects are consistent regarding naming and logos.



> Since FreeBSD is the world's best OS, I believe it should have a
> design that reflects this.

In your opinion, what would you consider a good example to
imitiate, or at least to consider as a source of inspiration?
I don't say design couldn't be improved - but what are _your_
opinions in how it should be done? Can you be more specific?



> A design that is so neutral and stripped of any
> unnecessary details that the user's attention is directed straight on to
> the content as opposed to how the content looks. A design that you can look
> at over and over without getting annoyed.

Hmmm... I always thought exactly that is what the "landing page"
of the FreeBSD project already is. You're describing the status
quo.



> The current design is an uneven mix of various styles, and seems more
> forced than well thought out.

That may be due to the reason that those are different project
which are somewhat independent. The home page is a different
thing than the documentation (different maintainers, different
projects), and the wiki, as well as other sources, are "associated
projects" not governed by the the "core team" of the FreeBSD
project.



> First you have the shiny Satanic 3D-lookalike
> logo (yes, despite what y'all say, it's still Satanic) [...]

Despite you say the opposite, it's not. :-)



> [...] that might look cool
> the first few times one looks at it. Now though it's more like "what the
> hell *is* that thing anyway"?

It's a logo, nothing more, nothing less. There are many logos
in the corporate world that raise the question of "What _is_
this?!", and even in some cases, it cannot be answered because
it's _nothing_ (except a graphical exercise).

See the logo in that way, and see the mascot. Both of them are
not satanic. They have horns, the mascot has a tail. A bull
also has horns and a tail. Is it satanic therefore? Would you
refuse to eat a steak because it might be satanic as well?



> (ref: Tres
> Logos<http://www.amazon.com/Tres-Logos-Robert-Klanten/dp/3899552679/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332777820&sr=8-1>;
> )

This reference cannot be reviewed for free, so I sadly have to
discard it. If you could be more specific on the FreeBSD case,
please _be_ more specific.



> Then you have a surrounding layout trying to cater to that logo, but fails
> miserably as it was made by programmers as opposed to people with an actual
> education in design <http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/>.

No, the design caters the _content_. That is the purpose of
design aiming at the designated target audience.



> There is no natural
> flow <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminar_flow>; and the whole thing just
> comes off as corny <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=corny>; -
> and this makes us all look bad. I also hear
> PostgreSQL<http://www.postgresql.org/>is planning to sue FreeBSD for
> stealing its design.

Let's watch the result of the lawsuit then. :-)


> I propose a new, supersimple look for FreeBSD based on
> Helvetica<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkoX0pEwSCw>.

I don't think you can consider a font being the center of a
web design. What if that font isn't even installed? What if
a blind user accesses the page? Even though I like the
Helvetica font, I believe it's not enough, and even not
possible to "design around" a font.

Or am I misunderstanding your intention?



> No devil logo, [...]

There already is no devil logo.



> [...] no bells and whistles, [...]

Fully agreed, and already present.



> "Perfection is achieved, not when there's nothing left to add, but when
> there's nothing left to take away."

Very good.





-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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