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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sat May 05, 2007 2:46 pm

Draft for a new IMSLP Main Page

The basic idea was that now all the community/contributing related information is organized in the Community Portal. Thus the Main Page can be used for advertising the important contributing possibilities, referring to the Portal for the details. This is done in the "Contributing" section. It is a bit more verbose than what I had hoped. If there are any skilled wordsmiths here, feel free to try and condense the text.

The rest of the page is mostly copied verbatim from the current Main Page. I have just aimed for a slightly cleaner layout, with a centered header and without in-page scrollbars. I have maintained the current color scheme. We can easily change it later if we want, as soon as the CSS has been moved to an external stylesheet (I'll work on it in the near future).

Your comments, suggestions, criticisms please...
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Postby imslp » Sat May 05, 2007 4:43 pm

Wow... that feels so much cleaner than the current main page :) It'd be nice if the two columns can be balanced though... but that has always been rather hard...
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sat May 05, 2007 5:24 pm

imslp wrote:It'd be nice if the two columns can be balanced though... but that has always been rather hard...


The only solution for a design like this would be some JavaScript trickery. (Basically, get the height of all the boxes, sum up per column, compute difference, increase height of the last box in the shorter column by the appropriate amount.) Background image tricks won't work for this kind of layout. Old-school table based layout requires the boxes to be aligned in pairs horizontally, creating lots of superfluous whitespace in the middle of the page (which is worse in my opinion).

If someone feels like implementing the JavaScript, feel free to do so... (I'm not that someone :D)
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Postby imslp » Sat May 05, 2007 6:06 pm

Ah... I didn't mean for it to be completely balanced... just reasonably similar in length :) But I suppose this can be done by lengthening/shortening the recent additions list, so I guess it is not that big a problem.

Good work in any case! May be a good idea to wait a few days for additional comments before moving it to the main page :) Also, don't forget to archive the current main page before replacing it!
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Postby Peter » Sat May 05, 2007 7:50 pm

Much much better. Very clean, better than the crammed page we now have. But it has a sort of an anemic look - not very warm. I suppose with some other colors this will get better.

Maybe a little more emphasizing on the "browse scores by..." so that visitors will easily find their way to the scores?
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sat May 05, 2007 10:21 pm

Peter wrote:But it has a sort of an anemic look - not very warm. I suppose with some other colors this will get better.

I think I see what you mean. I have posted a design variant with slightly tighter spacing and a light background colour added. It's still essentially the same colour scheme (the new background colour has the same hue). Obviously we could also try using warmer colours, although they can be a little more difficult to handle (and I'm an amateur designer, at best).

Peter wrote:Maybe a little more emphasizing on the "browse scores by..." so that visitors will easily find their way to the scores?

In the new variant, I have split the head banner by taking part of it out of the box. Do you find it clearer like that?
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sat May 05, 2007 10:35 pm

imslp wrote:Ah... I didn't mean for it to be completely balanced... just reasonably similar in length :)


I see... for someone who has dabbled a little in web design, "balanced columns" links immediately to "faux columns" and the like. Well... you will have to write the News accordingly :)
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Postby imslp » Sun May 06, 2007 3:36 pm

Leonard Vertighel wrote:
imslp wrote:Ah... I didn't mean for it to be completely balanced... just reasonably similar in length :)


I see... for someone who has dabbled a little in web design, "balanced columns" links immediately to "faux columns" and the like. Well... you will have to write the News accordingly :)


I think it'll work out somehow ;)
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Tue May 08, 2007 8:37 pm

My second proposal didn't generate much enthusiasm, it seems (no comments at all)... well, in fact it's not very different from the first :D

Anyway, here is a completely different variant, which I expect to be more controversial (it's not professional quality, I admit). Speak your mind on:
"Filippino Lippi" design proof of concept (not ready for use - not tested with MSIE)
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Postby imslp » Tue May 08, 2007 9:12 pm

I think I've spoken my mind rather eloquently here. :D

P.S. By "thing" I meant the entire page ;)
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Postby emeraldimp » Tue May 08, 2007 9:29 pm

Wow, nice. My one concern is the difficulty of reading the "Welcome" paragraph, due to the image behind it... Maybe a touch lighter on the image? What is and where did you get that image, btw?
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Postby Peter » Wed May 09, 2007 11:17 am

jesus christ, beautiful!! applause !!

same as Feld: the welcome text not quite readable...
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Wed May 09, 2007 7:09 pm

Thanks for your comments. I'll reply here also to the comments in the talk page.

Making the background of the welcome text lighter is no big deal.

Squashed content on the right hand side: I agree that it turned out a "widescreen design"; while it is functionally OK at 1000px, it starts looking decent at 1200+ (part of the problem is that due to the Mediawiki interface, it's in fact a three column layout). Making the right hand column a bit wider should be possible however.

Welcome text doesn't feel balanced: This is harder (for an amateur designer with limited experience, at least). I've just been playing a bit more with the Gimp, but I have no sensible idea at all for now. If you have any suggestions, don't hold back...

The painting is Filippino Lippi's Allegory of Music. The reproduction is from Wikimedia Commons (public domain).
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Postby Leonard Vertighel » Sat May 19, 2007 3:02 pm

OK, I've made some minor changes, and I've filled in the missing content.

The background of the welcome text is lighter now, and I've slightly altered the position. I don't know if it is better than before, but at least it should look less squashed on narrow screens. The right column is also a bit wider now.

I have left the default link colours, except for the browsing and language links. We could change the other links too, but we'd have to be careful not to confuse the readers (new/visited links, "redlinks", external links; consistency throughout the site, etc....)

I have fixed most of the problems with IE. There is still a weird issue with IE6, causing the background of the top banner to switch randomly when scrolling it out of and back into the viewport. I have no idea what could be causing this (it also happens to the orange banner above the page, which is as straightforward as it could be: a simple 'div' with a solid background colour). A quick search on positioniseverything.net has not revealed anything useful, and to be honest I do not intend to invest any more time into this.

Apart from this, and if I've not forgotten anything, the page should be ready to launch if you want to.

[Edit] I have left out the edit links for the news and featured scores sections. I was thinking that we could put them at the top of the talk page instead.
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Postby Peter » Sat May 19, 2007 10:14 pm

Leonard Vertighel wrote:[Edit] I have left out the edit links for the news and featured scores sections. I was thinking that we could put them at the top of the talk page instead.

That doesn't seem a logical location to me... But can't think of better alternatives.

But to me this beauty seems ready for launch! Btw, you know what happened to the text on the homepage in the news and recent additions?
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