This is a scratch page for ideas and organization surrounding the revamp of www.ubuntustudio.org
The expected target audience might displayed the following attributes:
- desires tuned distro for audio applications (not coming to Ubuntu Studio primarily for video or graphics)
- usually on dedicated desktop or laptop (not a multi-user computer)
- ages between teenager and mid-thirties
- at least modicum of musical proficiency
- some familiarity with Linux (perhaps not necessarily Ubuntu)
To put a face to some of these people in our audience I wrote up profiles to help identify and flesh out someone who we are making the site for.
James : Independent Musician
James is an independent musician who plays a number of insturments. He started out as a guitarist, and has some experience recording analog.
Recently he's been getting into digital music after getting an electric keyboard. He's heard a number of people say that if he wants to get anywhere with digital music he's got to have a MAC, and with it Garage Band, howver he'd rather use the slightly older PC he has, and maybe make a small upgrade to it if he can get away with it.
Why he's the (main) target audience
Because James doesn't have much invested in terms of a MAC, or software dedicated to a Windows environment, he has the potential to really benefit from Ubuntu Studio. He has experience creating music, and mostly he wants to find something that just lets him do that. Because of this, the website that converts him to a Ubuntu Studio user should do two things really well.
Tell him what he can do with Ubuntu Studio, in language that is relevant and meaningful to him.
Because he has experience making music, he understands industry terms. He knows generally what he wants to do. For example he knows he wants to record audio. He knows he wants to mix various tracks that were recorded at different times. He knows that he wants to be able to create and burn demos to share with others.
Offer encouraging and easy to get support
Again he knows what he wants to do, but doesn't know how to do it. I can say from my own experience that the help for linux is out there, but not really in one place, nor does it 'sound' like it is coming from a universal and authoritative voice. I can certainly recognize that there is no single voice for all open-source. But I think this is a great opportunity for Ubuntu Studio to take on an 'authoritative' voice for professional grade digital media creation.
I would say that we do not need to rewrite the manual for every application included, but rather document the 'workflow' involved to get things done. This is where the documentation for the workflows, would fit best. It shows how to do something, bringing the various tools included in Ubuntu Studio together.
In James' case he doesn't (at least initially) need to know what a real-time kernel is, or why he should use it. If things get too technical too fast, he'll be turned off.
Possible Website Themes
There have been several website themes discussed including shiny, DIY, and stylized comic book-like.
Cory created a wiki page devoted to exemplifying the punk-DIY.
For more examples, see Cory's wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/Artwork/DIYConcept
Stylized Comic Book
An example of this might be from the game Borderlands.
For more examples:
2nd picture: http://jarvisslacks.com/2009/11/02/impressions-borderlands/
look at the robot: http://kotaku.com/5584344/borderlands-game+of+the+year-edition-hinted-by-gamestop
Audio Horizons v2
A few things have changed here. The blue I brought changed to match the official blue: #009bf9
Also I decreased the vertical height, optimizing it for a laptop screen ~600px. The home page now does not have news on the front page, but rather more highlights of what Ubuntu Studio has to offer. I should also say that I envision the tabs on the bottom of the page to be clickable, so that the main content slides through to different 'frames' of content. For example the default frame would include general information, the next tab would focus on specific programs, the third would include the some words about the communty - both ways to get help, and to give it back -- etc.. These tabs are by no means set in stone, but I wanted to layout the general funtionality, and plan for the content to be added.
As for the secondary level layout, this one didn't stray too far from the original, except for one main difference. Originally I envisioned there being quick access to all of the site on the left hand sidebar. However, I felt that there began to be many duplicate navigational links on the page, as well as too many links available. It was just becoming too overwhelming. So, I thought about having the major categories along the top, with specific links on the side. I feel this helps someone quickly sense where they are within the site. If I were looking at this example, I would say to myself "ok the Support button is highlighted, and the "Jack" item on the left is in organge, therefore, I must be looking at what this Jack sound thing is all about." Yep. Cheesy, but true!
This theme attempts to retain a sense of simplicity while providing the user with exactly what they need in as clear a manner as possible. It contains two main parts.
First, there is a landing page -
What we see here is the Ubuntu Studio name and branding front and center in a bold presentation. The next most immediately noticebale elements are:
- An extremely brief description of Ubuntu Studio
- A download link
- A link to documentation that will help the user learn how to use Ubuntu Studio
- A link to pages that explain how the user can contribute to the Ubuntu Studio project
These represent the most important aspects of the Ubuntu Studio project.
After this we have a short series of screenshots, mostly as eye candy and because it is the type of thing people just like to see. Optionally, these screenshots can be updated to a type of slide show that rotates images every few seconds.
The second part of the theme is a content page -
The major difference is that the logo has been consolidated and moved to the top, and it now includes a section for the title of the page. Outside of this, little else is added in order to retain the simple feel of the website. We have the directly related content below the logo. There are no additional sidebars.
It's important to stress that a goal of this theme is to not bombard the user with too much visual information. Everything the user could need is available, but it is neatly compartmentalized, allowing for a certain amount of breathing room and creating a relaxed but intriguing atmosphere.
As an alternative, here is a 'light' version of the landing page:
If used, the text would be adjusted to match the formatting of the 'dark' theme, or to include whatever content is ultimately decided to go on this page.
Rough Site Map
I've taken the prompts from below and arranged them into a sitemap. The first image is just a list, no organizing. The next one, v001 I've tried to reorganize the content as to what *seems* most important, namely the Feature Walkway and the Download. Again I've uploaded the .svg for the site map in case anyone wants to continue work on it.
- a separate news page should exist
- latest news should probably also show on home page
- news should include a RSS feed to push posts to blog aggregates and subscribers
- good place for latest artwork screenshots
- also include highlights like JACK and Ardour
- maybe this has a flyout or dropdown menu to show "Graphics", "Video", and "Audio"
- 'Graphics' - user created and submitted gallery or slide show (or gallery with slide show option)
- 'Video' - user created and submitted video gallery (like lots of little youtube video players you find in forums that you can click and go to the full size player)
- 'Audio' - user created and submitted audio listed in a jukebox (if possible) or however
- provide links to official direct download per architecture
- also include (and probably push) links to torrents
- probably should also be a great big green button on the home page (hard to miss)
- it's a FAQ page, what else can I say?
- Community and Support (and Wiki)
- i personally would roll 'Community and Support' and 'Wiki' into one category, and maybe even rename it to 'Community Wiki and Support Forums'
- provide links to help.ubuntu.com
- link to Ubuntu Studio forum at Ubuntu Forums
- link to -user mailing list
- link to -devel mailing list
- list #ubuntustudio IRC channel
- list #ubuntustudio-devel IRC channel
- I would probably *NOT* include a link to wiki.ubuntu.com here as I view this topic as more community facing
- Feature Walkway
- would probably show this somewhere big on home page with a big, shiny button
- multipage spread showing and extolling the virtues of Ubuntu Studio, think of the information you see when installing Ubuntu these days
- mentions features such as JACK (extremely low latency, incredibly flexible audio routing), Ardour (unlimited tracks, multitrack recording), LADSPA/LV2 (crazy, mad effects preinstalled including compression, flange, delay, can be put into a "rack" with JACK Rack), etc - (almost visually walk them through an example work flow)
- Developers Blog
- this might now fly so well because nobody seems to blog much amongst the developers
- this menu might have a drop down to list all the developer blogs available
- User Blog Aggregate
- think Planet Ubuntu, but for Ubuntu Studio users
- User Suggestions
- would probably show this somewhere big on home page with a big, shiny button
- would email the ubunstudio-devel mailing list
- Social Media Integration
home page might have a latest social media scrolling ticker (see bottom right of http://shotofjaq.org/)
- probably need to create facebook group
- Want To Help Ubuntu Studio Developers?
- probably show this on home page, with big, shiny button
- page would include small jobs that entry level, non-dev types, can do (e.g. update wiki pages, create a wiki page, test backport)
- also include more involved tasks (fixing bugs, involved testing, packaging perhaps)
- also include a point of contact for questions about tasks
- include default link to testing ISO's and why testing is important
- description of getting involved with -dev team
- email address of ubuntustudio-devel mailing list
- mention #ubuntustudio-devel IRC channel
- links to favorable press about Ubuntu Studio
- could be a blog
- could be a Dave Phillips article in Linux Journal
- anything favorable
- User Submissions
- way for users to upload graphics, videos or audio
- run user polls so they can voice their choice of artwork for upcoming releases (users vote between -dev selected work)
- run user polls so they can voice their choice of applications to be included in upcoming releases (users vote betwen -dev selected applications)
- Shop (Future)
- need to find a distributor (might ask Ubuntu, Linux Outlaws or Shot of JAQ) and make some designs
- Ubuntu Studio stickers (I bet this would be a good seller)
- Ubuntu Studio buttons
- Ubuntu Studio shirts (I bet this would be the BEST seller)
- Ubuntu Studio coffee mugs
- other swag as we think of it
General Notes: I say we explore maximizing the website for widescreen monitors. Perhaps putting a menu on the left with fly out (like drop down) menus that might let us eliminate a menu in the header, just to try and save some vertical space. Just thinking out loud here, it's just a suggestion.
Original vs Planned Site:
I whipped up a quick wireframe of the current site. The current one is pretty simple compared with the ideas offered so far. I added a red line indicating what would usually be seen (850pxX650px) in someone's browser. As you can see, there is quite a lot of room to work with. I also added the SVG if you want to download and tweak it.
This original documentation is kept for posterity. Or in case it might still be useful.
- make developer voices easily heard
aggregate developer blogs into a Planet Ubuntu Studio & share this with other planets
- make community feedback easier
- provide a 'suggest a feature' form to direct mail the dev list, and use website polls to check users interest
- create a Development page that shows how to get involved in the testing and development teams
- make a showcase campaign for Ubuntu Studio work
- link to some work directly on the website in a gallery page (approved/selected work only)
- provide "I create with Ubuntu Studio" (or similar slogan) web link buttons
- make a reason for people to visit the website
- link to press articles regarding Ubuntu Studio
- update the site's styling to match current artwork
- link to quality backports (PPA, repositories, download, ...) for more recent versions, or for applications we don't package
- help wanted ads posting - a list of small tasks that people could help with, e.g. make an icon for a new app, someone make an MIR, someone review a wiki page (think of this as a more experienced task list but not Ubuntu Studio developer-centric)
- newbie help liaison listing - a list of easy tasks that newbies could do to help Ubuntu Studio and begin to become involved with the developers and perhaps cultivate new developers by lowering the entrance bar a bit (this would be Ubuntu Studio developer-centric)
- personals - looking for musical input or help? make a posting! People could swap .wav files via ftp to make music with each other. Or submit lyrics for each other. Or even recorded together via netjack.
Tech to use for:
- Main site (Drupal?)
Wiki (MoinMoin to make it easy for people coming from Ubuntu wiki?) - Drupal also has wiki modules
- Forum (no clue here) - Drupal has forum modules
- Blog (Drupal can provide this as well)
- for individual devs - can be for "personal" doing as related to Ubuntu Studio (but not needed to be on front page) as well as push select posts to news on main page
- offical - for updates and news which would also feed via RSS to planet ubuntu, etc
- Users should login with OpenID or Launchpad account (modules for Drupal are available)
- Look and feel between technologies MUST be seamless.
- Should incorporate multiple arms of advertisement/social networks into the website (twitter, facebook, youtube, etc...).
a "Ubuntu Studio User #n" counter (see http://counter.li.org/ for example) - this could also give us a sense of how many users there are