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This spec contains proposals to improve users' understandings of the separate websites which exist under the ubuntu.com domain.
There are currently at least three websites under the ubuntu.com domain, the differences of which are unclear and confusing for those visiting and using them, in particular for people who have not yet acquired a detailed knowledge of the web based tools used by the Ubuntu community. The main websites involved are:
http://www.ubuntu.com - The commercial and community face of the project, which is closed access. (This site is now more clearly distinguishable from the other two sites, given that it has an updated theme).
https://wiki.ubuntu.com - The centre for development and team management, which anyone can edit.
When visiting each of these websites, it is frequently not clear that they have a separate function. One of the frequent consequences of this is that users add documentation to wiki.ubuntu.com, without being aware that there is a dedicated documentation website.
The main reasons that these websites are confusing are:
wiki.ubuntu.com does not have a descriptive url - the use of "wiki" in the url causes problems, because:
- Since help.ubuntu.com also runs the same wiki software, the use of the phrase "wiki" in the url causes confusion.
- It merely describes the software being used on the site, rather than the function of the site itself. As a result, it does not assist in determining what the site is about.
Inconsistent/confusing tabs - None of the websites have consistent tabs which make it clear that these websites with separate functions exist. Each of these websites is fundamental to the Ubuntu project, and should have a separate top level tab at the top of the website. When visiting each of the websites, the relevant tab should be highlighted. Related bug reports: 52118 and 58844.
Lack of distinguishing logo - while help.ubuntu.com has a distinguishing logo (the word "Documentation" appears below the logo), wiki.ubuntu.com does not.
Redirects - when the documentation was moved onto the separate wiki, redirects were added so that the user is automatically transferred from one website to another. This means that generally the user won't notice when they have moved website.
Add here examples of the confusion in action
CategoryDocumentation - a list of documentation pages erroneously created on this wiki as a result of the confusion described above.
These related specifications and bug reports also aim at improving the user experience on one or more of these websites.
Rename wiki.ubuntu.com - we will come up with a descriptive url, such as:
- dev.ubuntu.com - short and snappy, but does not reflect non-development activities which go on at the site.
- teams.ubuntu.com - not too long, not too short, just right and descriptive.
- community.ubuntu.com - perfect in terms of description, but too long to type.
- contribute.ubuntu.com - again, descriptive but long
live.ubuntu.com - easy to type, but doesn't really mean anything (note: this idea is copied from http://live.gnome.org)
Tabs - ensure that the following tabs exist at the top of each of the websites:
- Ubuntu - linked to www.ubuntu.com
- Contribute/Community - linked to wiki.ubuntu.com
- Documentation - linked to help.ubuntu.com
or perhaps "Help & Support", since either source of assistance might solve your problem, and "support" is a commonly-used word on similar sites
Logos - The word "Community" should be added under the logo on the development wiki to clarify the function of the site.
Redirects - Implement a more graceful way of showing the user that a document they are looking for is housed on the documentation wiki rather than the community wiki. This could be done by using a modified MoinMoin 404 page which provides a link to the documentation wiki, or even the new address for the document.
Directory - provide a directory of all established Teams with their badges, a brief description and links to team leaders. Make available both as a grouped list (grouped by function) and also provide a alphabetical listing. A brief description of how to join a team and a pointer to launchpad would also be helpful.
Initial Mock Up
In relation to renaming wiki.ubuntu.com - the one advantage of using the word "wiki" in the url is that it makes it clear to those people who (a) know what a wiki is, and (b) read urls. We need to find a way to make it obvious to people visiting both wiki.ubuntu.com and help.ubuntu.com that both websites are open to all to edit.
Comments and discussion
* Although another thing though, couldn't there be also some slight theme to differentiate between the three sites (or 1 main & 2 subs in it.)
* By theme I mean the background color of the page so the user can also distinguish visually as well.ShirishAgarwal