Re: Cosmetics, Graphics, Colours and Logo Lassi Kortela 17 Jul 2019 13:07 UTC

> Especially for reference sites, I'm generally a fan of spare UI designs
> with plenty of white space, but the most important thing to me is
> utility, and that includes speed.  A fast site that helps me find the
> right information quickly beats anything else.

Indeed, a spare white layout used to be the classic way to make a
good-looking site for people who are not designers.

I feel this classic rule has changed somewhat quite recently in the last
5-10 years. White sites now look odd and blank somehow. Maybe it's
because we now have so many well-designed sites. The design revolution
on the web is quite new. Maybe it's becoming the new default. It's a big
challenge to us, but also exciting, that we have find our niche in that
kind of environment.

Finding information quickly is definitely important. But it's worth
thinking about the broader picture. My dream would be to design the site
so that newbies "get" Scheme's history and current landscape as quickly
as possible, and learn to navigate it. So that it doesn't take six
months of intense work like it did for me. I'd like to take what I've
learned and communicate the gist of it in a month or two, using mostly
implicit means (the way related information is hyperlinked and presented
together) as people are busy and don't often want to be told long
stories explicitly. This will be a challenge (I for one don't have any
special skill set in information design) but we have time and even if we
fail, the site will be good.

Anyway, I would start by keeping a "did you know" perspective in mind.
E.g. a reference page that shows how to do something in on
implementation, could also link/show how to get started doing the same
thing on another implementation. And link to relevant passages in
standards. Those kind of implicit nudges to relevant things. So people
would gradually build a web in their minds of "all of Scheme" and
realize that it's a living thing.

The combined package index from packhack is a step in this direction. If
you go and search for a sockets library for Chicken, it also shows the
sockets library for Chez, etc. So you encounter pleasant surprises and
learn new things automatically as a side product of regular use.