ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

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ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Rachael » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:28 pm

Thanks to the creativity of Tormentor667, and the ingenuity and work ethic of Xaser, the soon-to-be front page for ZDoom.org is now ready for preview!

Xaser has kindly given me permission to link to his site where the live preview is currently at: http://dzoom.angryscience.net/

Some things to note: Sometimes the "static" pages may be in the process of being edited on the wiki. If that happens the pages like Downloads and About might appear to be a bit messed up. Please try again in a few minutes before reporting an issue on those pages if this occurs!

Otherwise - I'd like to hold this to the mettle of constructive community criticism. If you have any ideas on how to make it better - this is the time to voice them!

Also it's been suggested we should get a new forum style to match this. I'm going to link my Github repository here, for this purpose: https://github.com/raa-eruanna/zdoom-styles - please feel free to fork and pull request! You should test your style on phpBB 3.0.14 before submitting it. Thank you!
Last edited by Rachael on Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Yes, I make edits to my own posts! >_> <_<
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Re: ZDoom Front Page Redesign

Postby Manuel-K » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:02 pm

Very nice, I really like the “similar ports” box on the about page.

It might be a problem with my screen (I'm currently using my laptop), but the dark red links on the dark grey background are hard to read.

And another thing… I assumed that that links to GZDoom and QZDoom would be included on the downloads page.
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Re: ZDoom Front Page Redesign

Postby Rachael » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:03 pm

They will be.
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Re: ZDoom Front Page Redesign

Postby Blue Shadow » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:48 pm

Manuel-K wrote:the dark red links on the dark grey background are hard to read.

I agree.
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Re: ZDoom Front Page Redesign

Postby juizzysquirt » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:51 pm

Scrolling (excluding from sidebar) doesn't work either with mouse scroll or Page Up/Down keys when using latest Opera. Firefox works though.
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Re: ZDoom Front Page Redesign

Postby jpalomo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:29 pm

This actually looks surprisingly good on my phone.
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Voros » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:13 am

It looks pretty cool. And it's mobile friendly (as in actually mobile friendly). The current page's left banner/menu takes up the screen too much and zooming always makes it worse.

Looking forward to this change.
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Jimmy » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:49 am

Hmm, why's /idgames at the top? That archive is outmoded now, with Doomworld having a Downloads page instead.
https://www.doomworld.com/files/

On to the design itself... I gotta say, I am really not partial to it myself, but that might just be a bias induced by this admittedly satirical use of the template: http://adventurega.me/bootstrap/

I was also told to get this kind of design for my own website by a counselor at my local business station, and the idea of revamping it after all the piddling around I'd done in Wordpress and its CSS was revulsing.

I hence kind of have a natural aversion to this kind of design template - "parallaxed" elements like the big planet, the giant icons that signify there's scary text to read nearby, and everything being in one long "stream" of information, rather than segmented nicely in separate pages, are, just in my opinion, kind of tacky and condescending to a viewer in a way - it just feels like it's a school of design that appeals to the lowest possible attention span, like the viewer needs to be spoonfed moving elements and big colorful images in order to pay any sort of attention to the site's actual content. Honestly I was perfectly fine with a totally textual front page (not that I'm denying the present front page needs something of an overhauling, as it is pretty static and bland, all things considered), and this wouldn't have been my first choice in an alternative.

I assumed the images would simply be integrated into a gallery of thumbnails, or something of the sort. Kinda like what we have on http://adventuresofsquare.com. This is an example of website design (it's NOT mine, it's the collective work of MTrop and Xaser) that I really admire in its elegant simplicity. There's nothing overly fancy, and while the information is presented in a constant "stream", it also has dedicated pages, and to me this just seems the cleaner way to do it. (Of course I see the merits in having all the relevant content on one page, I mean, it's just easier that way.)

All that said, this ZDoom.org front page seems around 1.3MB in download size, and Square's website's is somewhere around 2.2MB. So maybe I should shut up, heh.

I also haven't had many complaints to voice about Doomworld's new design - this one just sorta irks me in ways I probably cannot fully describe to designers. Feel free to disregard my non-constructive moaning, heh.
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Xaser » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:53 am

The /idgames link hasn't been updated since the surprise drop, though that's pretty simple. Frankly I don't really want to lose the moniker of "/idgames" -- I do kinda wonder if Ling can/will rename the "Downloads" section to something a bit more descriptive, but at the end of the day, it's just changing a link. 'tis easy.

Also, check out the other pages -- there's actually other content there (a la Square); the navbar isn't just a scroll shortcut. The "Start" page is indeed intended to be a newcomer attention-getter, though, so all the tropes are played straight, for better or worse. :P

Regarding screenshot images, the carousel is pulling from a few static representative shots; the user-submitted shots will be used in the next version of the site -- we're planning on adding some cool (but tasteful) content to spice things up, but the main focus has been getting all the basics solidified.

As a final thing to clarify, for credit n' whatnot, Square's site is 100% MTrop, all-the-way (I just do the hosting), and Torm's the true brains behind the new website design (I suppose I'm the brawn, then). My real-world web-dev projects are mostly behind corporate doors, for anyone asking "wait, Xaser does websites?".

Thanks all for the feedback thus far! I'll try and take a look at that scroll issue -- NeuralStunner reported something similar on his phone (an older stock Android browser) and if we're lucky it's the same root issue; Opera is way easier to test. :P
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Rachael » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:30 pm

Jimmy wrote:On to the design itself... I gotta say, I am really not partial to it myself, but that might just be a bias induced by this admittedly satirical use of the template: http://adventurega.me/bootstrap/

I agree fully, and it's not bias due to any satire - the satire hits home for me, really... but a lot of people apparently like it and I'm currently in the business of making choices for a lot of people, so my opinion of it doesn't really count. >_<

I'm really not a huge fan of copy-catting 75% of the other websites out there just to look "cool".

If it were up to me, I'd swap out the color theme and images from this template and be done with it: https://qzdoom.drdteam.org/
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Caligari87 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:32 pm

THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL /IDGAMES MIRROR! This is a community service provided by Linguica and Doomworld; it is not affiliated with Gamers.org, any of the /idgames mirrors, or anyone else.

Doomworld is only an unoffocial frontend for the real /idgames, always has been and always will. Just because Doomworld has decided to go full retard on said frontend doesn't mean we have to follow them.

8-)
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Xaser » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:27 pm

Though I've mentioned it in another thread, it's relevant here too: DW's classic /idgames mirror is back up until the new one's fit for consumption, so we're good on that front.

Back to ZDoulm, I've pushed an update to the site that fixes a few minor things. Links are easier to read, a few Torm-suggested style-tweaks have been added, and I'm hoping I've zapped the scrolling issue on Opera [and NS's phone ;] -- it's now on "Works For Me(tm)" stage, so we'll see how that goes. :P

re:overall design stuff, ZDoom's a port full of eye-popping features, so the modern flourish kinda fits in that regard. Or at least it's liable to appeal to the target audience a bit more than most. :P

[/2.5c]
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby joshg253 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:26 am

Looks great in Firefox/KDE4/CentOS, even with f.lux running. :)
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby Akira_98 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:21 am

On one hand, I don't really care for the design. I'm just echoing the original complaints really, but it feels like the mobile version of a site. Lots of unused space and feels like I'm looking at it through a magnifying glass. Zooming out to 80% helps a bit, at the cost of accentuating the completely unused borders. I'm kind of surprised it's happening using the first example layout, and not something that's been tweaked to be more monitor-friendly.

On the other hand, my opinion on that isn't all that relevant since I never use the front page anyways. I've been using DRD Team's dev builds for a very long time and just go to the forum for everything else. As long as the forum actually uses the available screen space, I'm happy.

As for the site itself, I thought of a few things:

Right now, there are no links to GZDoom or QZDoom. I thought zdoom.org was going to link to, or even host, GZDoom and QZDoom, but admittedly I haven't been keeping up with the site issues. It links to DRD Team dev builds, which is probably the most useful for most users here. With GZDoom apparently focusing more on regular releases, I figure it's important that those releases also be plainly visible on zdoom.org, assuming having all three ports represented is still on the table.

The downloads section, like the current site, has links to Fluidsynth. It's relevant (being a ZDoom-related download), and this is more a problem with ZDoom itself than the site, but I found the installation of Fluidsynth to be kind of finicky. Then, once working, it's still pretty finicky. In fact, I'm not even sure the 64-bit version works at all, I recall screwing around with it a few months ago and writing it off completely. At the same time, there's no link to TiMidity, which the wiki states is more reliable.

If these features are going to continue in their current form, I think they should both be listed, but potentially as part of a shorter explanation of what they actually are. Maybe something like "Want to improve the MIDI music? ZDoom supports Fluidsynth and TiMidity. Head on over to x page to see which you prefer and how to set them up!", then have a page which compares and explains both. Truthfully, I think these features should be a bit more fleshed out (rather, user-friendly and idiot-proof) if they're going to be advertised on the downloads page, but this would at least make it a bit clearer and more accessible to new users.

As for the rest of the downloads page, if we're modernizing, a lot of it is just historical. There's editing references and an example WAD in there that are old enough to drive, WadAuthor configs, and a DOS-compatible editor for a port which won't run on anything older than XP. I wouldn't be at all opposed to those being somewhere on the site (maybe the wiki?), but right now it's just clutter. If it's going to reference editors, it should probably be a bit more modern. Though I think they would fit more on their own dedicated page. An "editing" or "modding" tab which can get people started, or a tab which links directly to the wiki (which would also need a "how to get started" page). Whatever happens, the site should definitely have some entry-level explanation for how to get started, since ZDoom and its derivatives are the modern de-facto feature-heavy ports. You're really missing half the equation if they're not there. Which probably means a new demonstration WAD is in order (demonstration PK3?), but that's not really a site problem.
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Re: ZDoom.org Front Page Redesign

Postby juizzysquirt » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:45 am

Xaser wrote:Back to ZDoulm, I've pushed an update to the site that fixes a few minor things. Links are easier to read, a few Torm-suggested style-tweaks have been added, and I'm hoping I've zapped the scrolling issue on Opera [and NS's phone ;] -- it's now on "Works For Me(tm)" stage, so we'll see how that goes. :P


Much better now, and scrolling seems to work fine in Opera. Nice job!
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