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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:25 pm

I think the Raspberry Pi project is mature enough to have a dedicated landing page. Showing somebody new to the project the homepage, with its ever-changing blog posts, no video, no pictures and is not a good way to begin.

A new user (with no understanding of the project) should be able to see at a glance what this project is all about. "An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25" is the most descriptive statement on the homepage, but sadly doesn't mean a thing to the majority of the world. A savvy primary school student might want his mum to buy him one, how can she understand the product as it stands!?

The media section is out of date, showing the initial prototype USB key sized device.

When I want people to know about this project, I'm always hesitant to send them here first. It's just not a good introduction. I usually show the Inglorious Basterds 1080p trailer and the Quake 3 video along with a paragraph of context ($35 computer, teaches kids how to program. can be used a media center etc)

The site has got to change. If you are only going to put two (out of date) photos up, you may as well NOT have a media section between News, Forum, About Us and Wiki. If we must keep the Media page, we need to move some information locked in the forum to the website itself. I'm talking about the links to mainstream media coverage. I wouldn't be suprised if the Raspberry Pi is covered in the New York Times soon! Flaunt your coverage, you are a real organisation which has new articles published on it everyday. Show it!

I believe this project is bleeding potential customers every day this is not fixed. All the mainstream media coverage, all the hard work can amount to much more if you efficiently explain your product to the audience.

But enough about the problem, heres is an outline of how I would like the landing page to be done:

Even though the boards are still alpha production boards, we at least ONE picture! Ideally it would also have arrows pointing to each of the IO interfaces, saying "3.5mm headphone jack (audio out)", "Two USB 2.0 ports", "10/100 Ethernet (Network)", "Composite Video (Standard definition video out)" and "HDMI (audio and 1080p video out)" will give at a glance details. Smaller version of these photos would be good.

A video would be nice, ideally less than 90 seconds. Showing the device, the 1080p video output and the 3D performance. The foundation is marketing this at 2 distinct audiences at least: the hacker community and the educational community (around the world), many in the hacker community would by and large know about the product but remember there WILL be some government representatives (or aides to a government representative) looking at your website too! You have there attention along with many other people, use it.

High graphical gaming performance may scare off parents who may be (rightly) concerned the device will be used by the child for gaming only. Then again that power IS in the device. I don't know the best way to solve this problem. It would be cool to show the device working as a general purpose computer in this hypothetical 90 second video. It gives the regular people (who may buy one for their kids) an idea of the advantages and limitations of the device.

Most 'normal' people won't look at a female composite RCA video jacks and instantly relate that to a television video connector, an line drawn animation showing that it connects to a old 4:3 standard definition tv or a widescreen HD tv would go miles. It explains it to non-English speaking people too. I think something similar to this homepage would be cool. We need to explain the problem, the solution, the price point.

With the time and funding restraints of the foundation, maybe a nice animated introduction is a step to far. Nevertheless, a short, somewhat cut/edited live-action 90 second video with somebody explaining the device, some annotated pictures and moving some information locked in the forum to the front page of the site will go a long way to increasing sales and excitement :D

Remember, your landing page is the free marketing tool in which virtually all prospective customers will go through at some point. Make it great! :D

Sorry about the kind of 'brain-dump'. These are the problems that are there and possible solutions. I'm a really big fan of this product and I want to see it succeed!

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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:38 pm

There's actually method in the way we're doing things on this site at the moment. The first release of 10k units is aimed at the open source hacking community, not at the general public. We'll be wheeling out a new look on this website with a lot of the features you mention when we ship - there is also an educational website in the works, as well as an online shop. At the moment, this site meets our needs - which are currently getting distros and other software engineers involved and writing for the Raspberry Pi. Until we actually have units to sell, we're keeping things low-key.

And I really have to question the wisdom of an animated intro page. I can't be the only person here who immediately hits the back button when I land on one of those things!
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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:55 pm

I also do not like animation as I am do not have much CPU power at this end, so find most animations slow things down way too much. So I also do a back button if the page does not load in a reasonable time. Much rather have links to the animation or YouTube video's, so I can decide when they run.

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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:03 pm

Thanks for explaining the rationale behind the design decisions (and the ULTRA quick reply :-)

As is, I see how 10,000 devices will be sold out quickly with the amount of interest this has generated (even with a limit per buyer), but it still would be nice to have the device understood with less friction (and legacy, ie the prototype thumb-drive sized board photos still high up on Google Images -_-")

Also about the intro page I meant an animated, non-autoplaying youtube video, I don't know anyone who actually likes resource heavy entirely animated websites :P

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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:16 pm

Yeah, I don't like those full screen flash animated website intros, bleugh.

Don't mind this kind of animation in a corner though.

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Re: Landing page redesign

Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:26 pm

From my experience, it's best to get the site how you want it as soon as possible, be it adverts, search engine or word of mouth there's a surprisingly large lag in uptake when you swap from one site to another. If R-Pi want the education community focusing after the initial release then it's typically best to begin marketing for that a month or so in advance. Certainly no harm in it and potentially a lot of good.

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Re: Landing page redesign

Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:33 am

An AnimGif would be fine, but not autoplaying videos or flash anims, there`s a site/forum that I visit regularly that has that and more, so I installed the NoScript add-on to disable most of it.

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Re: Landing page redesign

Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:41 am

I'm old and must be conservative by now, but I really really think that
1- content trumps design. I'd much rather people spent a few hours on adding stuff to the Wiki, posting mockups, schematics, list of packages and config files, tweak/update the FAQ... than add multimedia elements to the front page
2- Minimalist is good. The back button must work at all times, there must be a red herring showing where we are in the sitemap, no flash, little javascript.
I actually quite like the site as it is, though it good do with a bit more to lure teachers and kids from their first landing, and a little less self-promotion/news. The main thing missing for that is content, though.

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Re: Landing page redesign

Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:59 am

please no flash intro, and PLEASE, no cheesy 90-second corporate sales pitch vid! D:
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: Landing page redesign

Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:51 am

I'm with obarthelemy with regard page design and so on; the less distraction the better. Eyecandy and "busy" design is ok for showing off the mutant skills of webpage bitdiddlers, but does not help the visitor to locate needed information or navigate the site quickly and easily. As for animated graphics, didn't they die with Netscape 4.7?

At present, we're using a site thats part blog and part forum, which is adequate to present general information about the progress of the Raspberry Pi project and the comments of potential users. Once the production batch is released, I expect that the Foundation will evolve the site to include howtos, technical information and access to software downloads. I would also expect this forum to be expanded, or repurposed, to include a technical solving area for new and experienced users. And as we know, there is going to be a separate e-commerce site specifically for selling the Pi, accessories and other merchandise.

Onwards and upwards! There's only 30 days to the beginning of December.....


Actually, Liz and Eben doing a cheesy 90 second corporate sales pitch could be quite fun..... :o
I'm just a bouncer, splatterers do it with more force.....

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Re: Landing page redesign

Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:18 pm

While everyone here is being nice and respectful, I'm gonna go ahead and close this thread. They've got enough on their plates without feeling guilty that they don't have time to work on the front page ;)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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