ODL site redesign

ODL front page

ODL front page


Suggestion for new design for Open Design Library. You can go test it in http://layers.aalto.fi/. (It is temporary site just for testing the design, don’t worry about making a mess). The design tries to give a modern, minimalistic look that emphasizes the user created content and, while doing as few as possible of its own stylistic statements, it doesn’t turn ugly if the user content doesn’t fit to its expectations.

The goal for the new design is to invite more interaction and stakeholder created content. For this the three main categories ‘Ideas’, ‘Designs’ and ‘Courses and workshops’ have simple names that don’t require understanding of Layers project and our internal jargon to participate. ‘Ideas’ is currently empty, but we will have there all of the general suggestions that can be implemented in many designs, statements like ‘it would be nice if…’ coming from stakeholders and more theoretical claims to base design work on.

Some more explanation of layout:


Design choices for site redesign

Design choices for site redesign

The source code for new theme is available and open for you to change:

Please give your opinions on this design: 1) to introduce yourself to commenting in general in ODL — in next year we want this to be the place where we discuss designs openly. 2) To suggest improvements. 3) To state your agreement if you think this is a direction where we should be going and if the suggested design goes towards it. These are also voices we need to hear.


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13 Responses to “ODL site redesign”

  1. jukka December 3, 2013 at 10:56 #

    Do please comment. :)

  2. kiarii.aalto December 3, 2013 at 12:01 #

    - the page labels ‘ideas’, ‘designs’ and ‘courses and workshops’ may appear as if they are titles to the 3 content columns below them

  3. kiarii.aalto December 3, 2013 at 12:04 #

    - tag cloud could be simplified by removing the underlines;

    • jukka December 3, 2013 at 13:04 #

      This will be tried out, also thinking about other ways to connect tag cloud tags and tags of thumbnails.

  4. kiarii.aalto December 3, 2013 at 12:08 #

    Links to sister site & LL can be presented in the footer so the odl takes precedence in its own webpage; the current location of LL + its logo may give it too much precedence on the odl’s page since it is the first element on the left (where most users may start scanning the page). It is also likely that it may be mistaken as the link to the odl’s homepage

    • jukka December 3, 2013 at 13:03 #

      Learning Layers has to be present near the title. We need a connection to Learning Layers to make clear that this is not general ‘Open Design Library’, since this is about designs and ideas with a very specific focus. Then again, having a title ‘Learning Layers Open Design Library’ would be too much.

  5. kiarii.aalto December 3, 2013 at 12:10 #

    If the About and How to participate are pages, perhaps it may be best to have them on the same level with other page labels otherwise their visibility recedes once users learn to see them as less or not as important as the pages..

  6. Gilbert December 7, 2013 at 00:10 #

    We need to distinguish between the different use scenarios for the ODL. Overall, the template above targets those who want to contribute to the ODL. Some of the red stickers address their concerns. The needs of the “showcasing to stakeholders” use case overlaps, but it isn’t the same. The categories and the tags shown in the tag cloud might differ as well.

    Some of the needs or goals have been defined in a GDoc, though WP7 hasn’t filled that out yet. This should probably be our next step, to try to state the needs and goals in concrete enough terms to understand and communicate their value and to make them actionable.

  7. Gilbert December 7, 2013 at 00:14 #

    I like in the layout that tags are directly related to images and titles, which enables faster browsing than if you had to open the element first. That’s a functionality which is useful for both use cases.

  8. Gilbert December 7, 2013 at 00:20 #

    From the perspective of “showcasing”, I see this template as a wireframe whose primary objective is to demo new functionality unobstructively. Similarly to the use cases, we need to distinguish between functionality that makes it easier to navigate and work with the site and the look and feel of the site.

  9. Gilbert December 7, 2013 at 00:35 #

    While for the showcasing use case, stakeholders are able to visit the ODL and have a look for themselves, the primary scenario is more likely that of a guided interaction where we use the ODL to provide us with the resources to have a much richer conversation with stakeholders. The use case implicit in the text above seems to rely much more on self-guided engagement and especially user contribution. That’s of course a much tougher task and we should think carefully about what the main obstacles are here so we can target the right ones.

    • jukka December 9, 2013 at 10:50 #

      That is close to the idea behind ‘courses and workshops’. They would be pages that would provide more local and temporary guidance of how to work with the content. These pages would be kind of hubs/entrypoints for stakeholder meetings. It however, places a large demand for these course/workshop pages. There maybe should be more ways to make them attractive.

      Thank you for the comments, I’ll return to the discussion after the review events. I need to learn more about what happens in stakeholder meetings.

      • Gilbert January 8, 2014 at 09:18 #

        There is a slight misunderstanding here. By stakeholder I mean anybody outside the project who has some interest in what we are doing or producing. What we need is a demo site that can be used effectively during meetings, talks, or even in a casual encounter. And it should allow these people to explore by themselves after we have done the demo. Which needs easy to follow explanations, along the lines of what is already there in terms of descriptions (though it might need some tweaking).

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