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[OH-Dev] Project page UI changes?

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at
Tue Sep 27 03:39:20 UTC 2011

Hey all,

I was talking with Shannon (who recently joined the list -- hi!) a few 
weeks ago, getting her opinions on changes to the site that would make it 
more usable.

This email contains my summary of her suggestions. I'm sending it to the 
list so that others can chime in with their thoughts -- and also to see if 
someone wants to make these changes once we have consensus. (-:

They would just be template changes, I imagine, so no major backend 
knowledge would be necessary. And they would make a huge difference to 
helping people jump into open source projects.

So, here is what we are thinking!

The project page mostly exists to help people see how to join a project. 
It also, secondarily, helps people add information to it.

Given that most visitors to a project page are trying to find something to 
contribute to, let's make that the default view.

So that no one is confused by the term "project page", I'm referring to 
pages like .

"Summary" tab

So, let's make a tab called "Summary" and make that the default one on 
page load.

Inside that, you see information targeted at wannabe contributors. For 

* Basic info (description + icon + programming language) of the project (just like
   what appears in the top-right corner today
* The number of prospective mentors for the project
* If there are any volunteer opportunities indexed for the project, we say e.g.
   "18 bitesize volunteer opportunies, and 30 more" (which links to the volunteer opportunity finder)
* If maintainers have answered project Q&A, then we mention which questions have been answered,
   and we send the user to the "Get started now" tab to read those answers if the user clicks

Also: Inside that tab, you see a big green button labeled: "I want to 

When you click it, you see fireworks in the web page, and an overlay pops 
up and says:

"Hooray! Click here to be added to a list of people who want to help -- 
we'll share your email address with the project maintainers and hopefully 
they will get in touch with you. We'll also give you more details about 
how to get involved.

Click here to read details about how to get involved but not share your 
information with the project maintainers."

When you click to "be added to a list", you go through the usual login 
process. After you log in, it adds you to to the list of people who want 
to help. You are also sent to a tab labeled "Get started now".

If you click the second one, just to "read details", it switches you to 
the "Get started now" tab.

"Get started now" tab

In this tab, you see more details than the "Summary" tab. Also, if you 
have marked yourself as someone who wants to help the project, a small 
note at the top of the "Get started now" tab indicates that this is true.

This tab contains all the project page Q&A questions that have been 
answered. There is an "(edit)" link next to them, and that points the user 
to the "Add information" tab.

"Add information" tab

To let people edit the project page, we'd add a separate tab called "Add 

In that, there is a short paragraph that says, "Click here to add a 
buildhelper" and "Click here to learn what a buildhelper is".

Below that is the classic project page Q&A, with all the questions (even 
if no answer has been provided). We should make it clear that the Q&A 
should be answered by people with experience contributing to the project.

"People who want to help" tab

This tab works the same way as described in the mockup at

My feelings about this vision

The good:

* It simplifies the project page -- we can remove almost all of the boxes on the
   right-hand side of the page.

* It changes the behavior of "I want to help" so that when you click that button,
   you aren't immediately sent to the login screen. People often get put-off by
   being sent to the login screen.

The bad:

* The tab titles are probably too long

* ?


Shannon, did I accurately convey what we talked about?

All: What do you think?


-- Asheesh.

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