Gitorious went through some rather big changes one month ago (11th. of May). Among them was the new relationship with Shortcut. And as a part of these new changes we are now going to do something with the graphical interface as well. We want Gitorious to look more like a complete product, with better focus on each page’s functionality. And, of course, we want it to look good.
This week Gitorious.org took it’s first step towards this new facelift. We started with the launching of a new front page. Here it is!
At the first glance it may look completely different from the old one. But it’s not really, the content is the same. Our mission was to keep the content, just rearranging and redesigning it. Let’s go through the things we did.
Here’s how the front page has been for the last month. To the right you see how the content was laid out, in content sections from A to E.
And here’s how the new section lay-out turned out.
Since it’s the front page we wanted the main top area to include both the Gitorious-logo and the pay-off. And we wanted it big. So section A and B got combined, and we put a register button and a log in-box right in your face. This kind of front page (with the big, black header) is very suitable for more pages in gitorious, like your logged in-front page, a project’s front page etc. But most of gitorious.org will have a smaller header, like before.
The old page was full of lists (section C and D) with different purposes. Section A’s list was the 25 latest changes done in any project in Gitorious. There is allways a user doing something, and watching that list can be quite interesting. And even more important, it’s a great way of shoving the level of activity we have.
We wanted to keep the list, but make it stick out from the rest. We also found out that only the last few activities was a interesting read, and mainly the time-stamp. So we made a ticker-bar, shoving only the 8 latest. And to make it even more alive it’s now dynamic, updating every time something happens.
In section D we had 6 lists:
- Active projects (last two weeks)
- Active projects (overall)
- Most active repository clones
- Active teams
- Active users
- Latest projects
It is cool to see who’s king of the hill, who is most active, and witch project, but these lists were killing each other. We wanted only three. The way we saw it, it’s all about users working on projects, so I was sure to have those two lists. (Cutting the three original project lists down to the last two weeks-one.)
To compliment them we went for teams instead of repositories. We hope that people would like to see themselves climbing on the lists on the front page. We want to appeal to their competitive instincts. And I think the teams-list is cut out for that (for those who appear on it). Teams like that, is also something we are very pleased having in Gitorious.
In the last section E, the footer, we haven’t done much at all. But there is a trend shift going on, in the world of footers (as you can see in this Smashing Magazine-article), so who knows what we’ll try there.
I hope you enjoy what we’re trying to do. If you have any comments or good ideas, please post them below.
John Eivind, interaction designer