[Osmf-talk] design

Gregory Marler sotm at livingwithdragons.com
Sat Dec 17 13:38:35 UTC 2011

This e-mail thread is hitting on the big problem that the homepage 
design change has.

It is easy to get a nice design done(by crowdSpring, the community or 
what) and physically implementing it isn't hard. The trouble is everyone 
has their own idea of what should and shouldn't be on the homepage (even 
the map gets heavily debated). Gone are the days when we just try a 
change (remember adverts on the map?) and discuss it later or see how it 

For website homepages, I really like the idea of thinking about the type 
of people coming to the site are. One of the results of this can be big 
boxes, one for each 'user', like some of the country homepages have 
done.[1] But you can also do it more subtly, just making sure the top 
links they need are clearly visible on the webpage somewhere.
This is why the design@ mailing list, ?and unofficial working group?, 
started to create some persona.[2]

Would it create information overload to link from the crowdSpring 
proposals to a wiki page where we can collect links like [2] that might 
be relevant?
It would be interesting to know how many submissions come from current 
OSM community members and who find it through crowdSpring, but I don't 
think this should matter at all for choosing the design. Steve, perhaps 
you would be able to do this by messaging the submitters and tell us 
after it's decided, but then it's only to please my statistical interest.

It is very interesting to see OSM country webpages[3], as these usually 
do not have the the problem of impacting so many opinionated people, or 
do not have a wole committee behind the design. At the least, they 
weren't designed 7 years ago when OSM was a lot less.

Also, it would really help to keep a short description/tag line to make 
it clear what makes OSM different. It could be done with in-line links. 
E.g. OpenStreetMap is free to [reuse] the map on your own site, and 
access the underlying [data]. It is kept upto date and [improved] by 
anyone like you. (square brackets link to guides or wiki info pages).

So a long e-mail from me. Hopefully someone reads it while I carry on 
skim reading some replies.

[1] Philippines has sort of done it, but I thought someone did boxes 
with several links in. http://openstreetmap.org.ph/
[2] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Design_Mailing_List/OSM.org_Personas
[3] Needs further completion 


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