Forum:Main page redesign - Take 3

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Forums: Yew Grove > Main page redesign - Take 3
Archive
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This thread was archived on 30 October 2009 by Azliq7.

Proposal

In light of the stalled discussion in Forum:Main page design feedback due to the absence of ElfAnurin, I was requested by Enigma to design a "merged" Main Page out of the three candidates in that discussion.

However, I don't think a merged design can ever be accomplished as ElfAnurin promised. So, I decided to take into account some of the comments made by users in that discussion, and designed a fresh Main Page.

Have a look at the redesigned Main Page at User:Azliq7/Main Page.

I have designed this version based on the comments in the forum post. However, it is not a merged design as ElfAnurin promised. I don't think we can even merge the 3 designs. As Bonziiznob suggested, I decided to follow the Mechscape Wiki design.


Simplicity
Many users felt that the Main Page needs to be simpler, but I don't know if I could achieve that, or if it is even possible to simplify our Main Page. Any suggestions to simplify this Main Page are welcome.

Icons

  • Users complained that some icons didn't suit the section ("very cartoony and flat"), while other users wanted f2p icons.
  • Since Elf is not here, and I'm not that creative with images, I decided to abandon the icons as they only cluttered the Main Page.

Colours

  • Users complained that the design was dull and boring; so I decided to add some vibrant colours to the section headers.

Sections and their positions

  • Moved the "Featured article" and "Featured user" back to the left column
  • Split the "On this day" section and placed it below the "Featured image" section
  • Removed the "Weekly events" section
    • Unfortunately, that project seemed to have stalled. Unless there is activity, I don't see the need to include it in the Main Page.

Randomised "Featured article" and "Featured user" sections

Compatibility
I checked the compatibility for both skins (Monobook and Monaco) in a resolution width of 1024 pixels. I checked using a few browsers (Firefox 2.0/3.1/3.5.1, IE 6/7/8, Safari 4, Opera 9.64) and in a few platforms (Win2000, WinXP, Ubuntu 8.04), and this Main Page appears fine to me... If you notice any bugs, please let me know.

If you're testing a resolution width of 800 pixels, I can't do much since our current Main Page is also "broken". The lowest setting I would recommend is 1024 pixels.

Aesthetics
I've made some minor aesthetic improvements to the Main Page, so that it looks sleek and cleaner than our current Main Page. The colour choices are taken from [[w:c:mechscape|MechScape Wiki]], which was suggested by Bonziiznob.


I know that this design may not satisfy everyone, but this discussion has been going on for quite some time. I would say that this design is waaaay better than the current Main Page. Smile I'd like to finalise this design soon, so that we would have a new Main Page by Hallowe'en as we would have more users during the Hallowe'en event...   az talk   18:55, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Discussion

Support - Simply amazing. Andrew talk 20:04, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Snazzy. EDIT: Although, the text is too small. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 20:14, October 5, 2009 (UTC)/20:30, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Neutral - Great, but the letters are so tiny Frown Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 20:25, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Nice colours! This is a nice step up from the current main page. Good work. I wanted to offer some ideas that you can take or leave. I was thinking that a few more images might capture people's attention. Some easy additions might be to put up a random skill icon on each side of the title (fills up some blank space), and we may want to add an image to the featured article section (I know its concept art, but it looks nice). Lastly, I kinda liked having the GEMW ticker and the what happened on this day in the same section. It makes it look news-y. Again, I support this design whether or not you use my ideas, thanks for getting this going again. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 20:34, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I like it very much. I think the text size is fine. The grey of the disclaimer at the bottom looks a little out of place with the rest of the colours, but thats about all I can complain about. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 20:57, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Fantastic! The color gradients are especially nice, and I think the text is fine too. The only thing that's bothering me is that empty space underneath "Featured User," but maybe that's just me.  Tien  21:00, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Do you need help with creating the randomized featured user/featured articles/nomination sections? It is some heavy lifting to get everything put together to begin with, but once it is done is fairly easy and straight forward after that. It is also something I've done before, but I'd like to coordinate doing this so I don't trip over somebody else also trying to do the same thing. I could start as soon as tomorrow. If this is the working test page, it would be nice to get it working here first before it goes "live" on the main page. BTW, I love the proposed layout too! --Robert Horning 22:25, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Neutral - I agree with Oli, I find the text to be a bit too small, but I can live with it. Also, I'm a bit saddened that the 'skill icons' (example) have been removed. There's a bit of empty space next to "RuneScape Wiki the wiki devoted to RuneScape that anyone can edit", could we maybe put an alternating skill icon there? Or even better, maybe a .gif of all of the skill icons flashing on an off? For example, the left side would have 12 skill icons in one gif, flashing, and the other 12 skill icons on the right side? If that's too flashy, I wouldn't blame you, but it's just a thought. Otherwise, it's a very nice main page, and I applaud you for it Az Smile Quest point cape.pngLil Diriz 77 Talk Summoning-icon.png 22:54, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - You're sure this works with Safari, correct? ShinyUnown T | C | E 00:45, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I tested the design in Safari, and it appeared fine. But I might have missed some finer details.   az talk   21:28, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support - But Lil Driz is right, we should keep the skill icons to the right and left of "Welcome to the RuneScape Wiki" but not animated gifs, never that... — Enigma 01:47, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Its way better than the current main page, although I have a slight issue with the color choices. They seem random. I'd like it much better if they were more similar, for instance similar shades of blue or green or what have you. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 01:53, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Looks great, but like Tienjt, I dislike the space beneath the Featured user section. C.ChiamTalk 07:03, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

That is odd, I see it going to the bottom of the page, but under the poll its blank.--Degenret01 14:25, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
Must be the different resolutions. C.ChiamTalk 14:29, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Yes, yes...hostile to change I know, but after months of using the current main page I have become accustomed to originality. No offence to you Az, but I think visitors may be a bit put off by the range of colours used in your design, maybe if they were more official looking instead of looking like a rainbow, I may reconsider. Ruud (talk)(Suggest me naems) 11:55, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Looks awesome. Very nice job Azliq.

Bonziiznob Talk

13:04, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support I even like the rainbow colors though I thought I wouldn't. For the blank spaces next to the title that people want pictures in, maybe a skill icon on each side and we change them out once a month? Is that difficult to do? Anyhow, very nice work.=D--Degenret01 14:25, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

No, it's not difficult.   az talk   21:28, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Based on the feedback above it looks like people are asking for some tweaks:

  1. Increase the font size in the first section.
  2. Add a skill icon to each side of the main title (will be picked at random on the page load)
  3. Move the bottom cell (with the editing links and disclaimer) into the left column so it is always underneath the featured user.

User:Tollerach/Main Page shows the differences.

Neutral on 1, Support 2, Support 3 - Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 18:11, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Don't forget to update Template:Maincomplete halloween, Template:Maincomplete easter and Template:Maincomplete christmas! Up emoticon.gif Miasmic Blitz icon.png Hapi007 Talk! Sign! . 05:16, October 8, 2009 (UTC)

Support I like the initiative of changing the main page. It looks way better that it was before, just that avoiding pink would be better. Runescape's logo colors do not involve warm colors, other than that it's pretty amazing and maybe all RS Wiki articles should have a page redesign. 89mch 22:27, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

Support I really like the new page especially the banners. However, there are a couple of niggles:

  1. The 'Runescape news' font size is smaller than the the other section, which is making the section look out of place. Can this be corrected?
  2. A different banner colour for each section makes the page look a litte messy and cluttered. Can the colours be either standardised /or reduced in number and also matched as not all colours complement each other

Keep up the good work --Construction.png Storm Roller talk 21:05, October 16, 2009 (UTC)

Amendments

Positioning of the disclaimer section

The reason why some users see "white space" at the bottom of the left column is that the screen resolution is high, probably higher than 1280 pixels. For resolutions lower than 1280 pixels, and white space will appear in the right column. I designed it in such a way that it is kinda balanced in a range of resolutions that might be used to display the Main Page.

The reason I wouldn't recommend moving the disclaimer section is that the current position gives the "this is the end of the page" feeling to the Main Page. If the section is moved to the left, users with resolutions lower than 1280 pixels will see more white space at the right column.

Colour of the disclaimer section
I've decided to change the colour so that it is less grey, and more white.

Font size of the Contents section
Increased to normal size.

Skill icons
Added to the left and right of the header.

  az talk   21:28, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Discussion

Support - Looks nice and neat.

Edit: Looking again at the main page redesign, I think there should be an exclamation point (!) at the end of the line saying "the wiki devoted to RuneScape that anyone can edit". I know it's only a minor change but I think it's little things like that that make something look good. ~ Fire Surge icon.png Sentry Telos Talk  05:30, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm... I don't think it would be appropriate to add an exclamation mark at the end. See Exclamation mark. Exclamation marks are used "after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume, and often marks the end of a sentence." This line is not a sentence. We are only making a general statement, stating that this wiki can be edited by anyone. There's no emotions or feelings involved. IDK, it would just be plain weird adding an exclamation mark at the end of that line.   az talk   13:40, October 7, 2009 (UTC)
True, true. OK Az, you win. Lol ~ Fire Surge icon.png Sentry Telos Talk  21:09, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I really like it! Great work for getting this up and running (only if we could get the skin discussion in order). I have no suggestions, yet. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 08:15, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - "On this day" should be above "Featured image". Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 17:08, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

That would push down the "Featured image" section. It would be preferable to have "Featured image" to be displayed more prominently as that was one of the concerns in the previous discussion.   az talk   20:11, October 7, 2009 (UTC)
But it looks strange. First the date, then an image, then what happened on the date. It just looks so not-logical. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 14:27, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

Still support - I although I support this as its far superior to our current main page, I still have a concerna bout the color of the sections. They seem random without any reason for why what color went where. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 18:16, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

The colours were picked randomly. If you'd insist on the reasoning behind the colour choices, I wouldn't know what to say. I don't think I could give you a reason why I picked this colour for this section, and that colour for that section. I don't think anyone could. It's just part of a creative process.   az talk   20:11, October 7, 2009 (UTC)
I agree that applying relentless logic to a creative project is a bad move, but I'd still like better to see a color scheme or a palette rather than just about every color there is. Like varying shades of blue something like that. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 00:50, October 8, 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, never is it a good idea to use colors at random. Lets go with a scheme that is easy on the eyes. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 05:28, October 8, 2009 (UTC)

Neutral, leaning towards support, still - I don't know if it's the colors that are bothering me, but it just seems like a bunch of fancy boxes. Our current main page has the boxes spaced out in great ways which make them fit together like a puzzle piece. This propose main page just seems to list boxes down the page, on both sides. Like, I like how our current page sticks Featured article and Featured image together, two halves which make up width of the other boxes. But this, it just seems like the same sized boxes LISTED. It just doesn't seem organized right. My two cents. Quest point cape.pngLil Diriz 77 Talk Summoning-icon.png 20:28, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

I also like the look of the featured article and image boxes being together. BUT, I believe the f. image is too small to see (and admire). The image should be big so that it can actually be seen properly. Although, putting it on the right column may push it below those huge annoying ads. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 07:11, October 8, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Much better, brighter, and more accommodating than our current page. Ryan PM 21:10, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

Neutral - Yes I'm going to stand out there but i like the fact that yes, the main page is kind of plain and needs remodel, but I like the current homepage somewhat. I'm use to the location of everything but im which ever way this goes. - Slayer helmet.png Hmanballer talk | edit count | sign | HS Fire cape.png 03:12, October 8, 2009 (UTC)

Support - Looks great. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 12:02, October 11, 2009 (UTC)

Final version

I've implemented the proposed changes for the Main Page. Please keep this thread open in case someone feels like commenting... until the 2009 Hallowe'en event. Thanks. Smile   az talk   18:21, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Much better. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 18:48, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Comment, I think that the font could be maybe just two higher. Maybe it's just me, my computer, and my resolution but it seems small. Forum moderator crown.pngFerrelShadowSlayer.png 19:03, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Very nice. Also, using google search for "RuneScape", the wiki is now at #7. Strength-icon.png Hammer2092 Time |KOTA Bandos godsword.png 19:05, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - The blank space underneath the Featured User box is even bigger now. OMG! Perhaps we could put something in that area?  Tien  21:06, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Oh Noes - I could've sworn RSW was like, #4 on Google when searching "RuneScape". I know for sure it was in front of those few gold selling sites (which should be taken down -_-), why did we drop three ranks? I think before it was like:

  1. RuneScape.com
  2. RuneScape.com/title.ws
  3. RuneScape at wikipedia
  4. RuneScape Wiki

I may be wrong, give or take a rank, but it troubles me that we just dropped below the two gold farming websites... this sucks. Quest point cape.pngLil Diriz 77 Talk Summoning-icon.png 23:51, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

It looks great though, besides that =D Quest point cape.pngLil Diriz 77 Talk Summoning-icon.png 23:55, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I like it, but I agree that the font is a tad bit too small, particularly in the RuneScape News section. Bringing it back to the same font size of the other sections can help compensate for the extra space at the bottom that was created because of the right column ad box. Also I removed some CSS code from MediaWiki:Common.css that was for the old layout's styling, but we probably want to introduce new IDs/classes eventually in case a skin wants to retheme the main page. For example, the color of the footer box kind of sticks out on RuneScape-styled themes. --Quarenon  Talk 23:56, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Quarenon. Also the image for Within the Light needs some left padding - the text gets too close at the moment. King Runite1 09:10, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

Replies

  1. Google takes a while for its robots to update its rankings. Our ranking in Google probably hasn't changed yet. According to Forum:New Main Page and pagetitle, when "RuneScape" was used, we were in the 7th place. Currently, we are in 6th.
  2. I've fixed Template:Updates so the text no appears too close to the image.
  3. As with the font-size, I designed it in such a way that the overall design suits everyone with different browser resolutions. I agree that it might be "a tad bit too small" in larger screens, but it appears normal in small browsers.
    • If I increased the font-size, it appears too big in smaller resolutions, and pushes down all the sections below the "RuneScape news" section, creating white space below the right column instead.
  4. There is also a technical reason behind the reduction of the font-size. The solution I came up has two benefits:
    • One is to fool Google into thinking that the links in the section are less important compared to other links within the Main Page. Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the rankings in its search engine. One important thing is the number of important links. Too much = Google thinks we're spam, and ranks us low; Too little = Google thinks we are not generating enough hits, and also ranks us low...
    • Google also ranks us based on the keywords generated automatically by Wikia. To fool Wikia into generating good keywords (instead of keywords such as "Development Diary: Q&A", or "Update:Within the Light"), the less important links need to smaller and not be in bold. Since some of the links need to in bold, the only way was to reduce the size.
  5. I'm going to hide the poll results for now using the "collapsible" feature. At least, this should reduce the length of the right column.   az talk   11:03, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

This Uotm and Aotm templates need re-updating I believe. I'm afraid I cannot do it at the moment. --

Water Wave icon.png
Captain Sciz
TalkEditsHiscores File:Runecrafter hat.png|link=

22:25, October 16, 2009 (UTC)


Closed after two weeks of inactivity. Please use the talk page at Talk:RuneScape Wiki for further suggestions/comments. Thanks.   az talk   06:29, October 30, 2009 (UTC)