IVOA website redesign

The Exec has decided to make the IVOA website more friendly for people in search of information regarding Virtual Observatory technology and tools. The conceptual design is embedded in this IVOA Note. This twiki page provides links to evolving drafts of the new web pages, and a continuing opportunity for community comment.

Links to draft material

  • Basic concepts and baseline design are as in the IVOA Note

  • current draft of new website is here

Update 2011-05-17

New version loaded up here, as seen by Exec this weekend just before start of interop. Most sections are completed but open for comment (see below). The Deployers section has not yet been done. During the interop we will be discussing ideas to get this done

Comments on version of 2011-05-17

Please type comments and suggestions in here.

From Dave De Young :

In the Astronomer section, the "tools and portals" subsection is good. It is very complete, simple, and devoid of superflous cute graphics. You can find what you want easily. The "getting started" section will, I think, lead to frustration. The examples don't cover what most astronomers starting out with a new (to them) service will try. You don't ask a new service a serious research problem right from the start. You want to see how it responds to a simple query first - how fast, how completely, how easily.

Reply from Andy

Slightly puzzled Dave - hard to imagine simpler queries. I'd be very pleased if you make a concrete suggestion and we will give it a go. Do you like the "blow-by-blow" style ?

From Bob Hanisch :

good progress, although I don't care so much for the greenish-yellowish font for links

From Andreas Wicenec :

- The top menu is switching to another place between the main home page and the subsequent pages. I think it should always stay at the same place.

- why is the IVOA logo not in the top-right corner just on top of with the name

- is it planned to have the top menu as a dynamic pull-down menu with sub-points? I think that would makes sense

- fonts on the various sub-pages are not consistent

- the about the IVOA FAQ could be done like standard news pages, short intro in every section and then a 'read more...' link to either in-line text which folds out and can also be folded back, or just a full blown link like the ones you have right now.

- it seems that these pages have been prepared without using a web framework. Wouldn't it be easier for maintenance and extensibility reasons to use one of the many frameworks available? That would also straight away fix some of the issues mentioned earlier and provide additional functionality like RSS feeds and other goodies out-of the box .

Reply from Andy

Andreas, most of your points will be taken up in the summary I am writing of various other email and verbal comments, but just two things.. Not using drop-down menus was a stylistic choice that we agreed last year - a divided issue, but thats the way we went. W.r.t web framework, that sounds like something for a version 2. Lets get the basic concept up and running with what we have.

Update 2011-03-13

Comments on current draft (as shown at interop 2010-05-19)

Add or attach your comments here :

Comments and notes on initial draft 2005-05-01

  • Here is a summary of the proposed PageTree

  • suggestions to replace button-pix here

  • Fabio comments on initial draft

I like the way the main page is set up, simple and with the things which are really relevant just one click away. In particular, "Members" should remain there as a visible button, just below "Home" ... The button could be called "Member Organisations".

I also like the implicit order (from left to right, for all those using the Latin alphabet): Astronomers, Deployers, Members. After all, astronomers are the main target community of the VO - they are not particularly interested in internals, nor they want to get lost in the middle of info on the individual projects.

I'm not sure I agree with you about having "latest VO news" and "IVOA events" explicitly in the main page. If they become too many (hopefully!) they could clog the page. There could be links to more detailed pages. Or else the main page editing needs to be VERY proactive! And this could be a burden.

It could be useful to have in the main page a "Getting started with using the VO" (or "For Beginners") link which would lead to test use cases, such as the ones prepared e.g. for the EuroVO-AIDA VO-days, or for similar initiatives in the US or elsewhere. Some of the use cases have been prepared for amateurs and students, who do not fall in any of the three categories currently envisaged.

But these are details. The core of the work is VERY nice!

-- FabioPasian - 02 May 2010

Comments on Conceptual Design Version 20100301

The w3c pages have four top categories - standards, participate, membership, about. These seem relevant to the IVOA - especially the standards (http://www.w3.org/standards/) and participate sections (http://www.w3.org/participate/)

If the IVOA site followed a similar model - the links to the VO projects (for astronomer consumption) would then be found in the 'about' section.

The layout suggested in the figure above looks nice - but the prominence given to 'For Astronomers' will mislead. Those who stumble upon the ivoa.net site will see that - think this is a VO - and be confused with what they find there - i.e. something that isn't a VO service for them.

In general - most organisations give highest web prominence to their main product targeted at their main stakeholder. Thus for the ivoa - surely this is standards for deployers/developers. Thus I'd suggest a layout with 'standards, participate, membership, about' as the main sections.

-- NicholasWalton - 01 Mar 2010

Nic - point taken, but for right or wrong, IVOA Exec has concluded pretty firmly over last year or two that it has a direct user-facing responsibility, because lots of people have heard of IVOA. A worse mistake could be if astronomers find the site, assuming its where they find out about the VO, and then find nothing but techy jargon, which will put them off the VO. So there must be a bit for them; but I do agree personally that they are not the main audience. So perhaps the solution is to move the Astro block to the right rather than left which looks "first". Or maybe label these sections "Information for Astronomers" etc rather than just "For Astronomers".

Comments on Conceptual Design Version 0.5

Following initial debate at the Exec meeting of November 2009, the general guidelines for the redesign were set out in this note, which was brought to the attention of the IVOA community. Suggestions were received as follows :

  • Add a section for "acronyms in use" (under the "deployers" section) - BrunoRino - 19 Nov 2009
    • I second that notion, but it should be also available as a vocabulary (2nd stage; UCDs are already there) -- JuanDeDiosSantanderVela
  • Clearinghouse for VO news and calendar items, providing RSS feeds for national sites to embed in their own sites - SarahEmeryBunn

Topic revision: r22 - 2011-05-21 - AndyLawrence
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