[openstreetmap-website] Redesign (#498)

John Firebaugh notifications at github.com
Tue Nov 19 23:04:29 UTC 2013

Thanks for the feedback everyone. It's led me and Aaron to think about aspects of the redesign we hadn't previously considered and produced a number of important refinements. Following the [previous round of changes](https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/pull/498#issuecomment-28309700), we:

* Continued to balance of the main layout between the desires to have plenty of space for the map in some contexts with the desire to have room to show search results and changeset, node, way, relation, and note details.
* Moved note creation and commenting functionality into the sidebar, improving consistency and giving it more breathing room.
* Made selected features on the map more prominent.
* Improved IE8 and IE9 compatibility.
* Improved the behavior of note and data overlay controls at low zoom levels.
* Further increased the font size and contrast for header navigation elements.
* Fixed issues with user menu during the sign up process.
* Adjusted about page and welcome copy to be less urban-centric and more inclusive of average contributors.
* Restored the original width of user profile page.
* Improved the behavior and appearance of the loading indicator.
* Improved the display of changeset data.
* Improved the behavior of the changeset view for a particular user and for friends and nearby users.
* Improved the export bounding box UI.

We're now 230+ commits and 100+ comments deep here, and I think it's time for to call for cloture. No redesign is perfect, least of all this one, but based on the feedback I think most people agree that this is a big step forward from what we currently have along several important axes:

* A first time visitor to the main page sees an explanation of what OpenStreetMap is and clear actions to learn more or start contributing, rather than a cluttered and narrow sidebar without a clear information hierachy.
* Functionality that was duplicated between browse pages, the data layer, and "view on map" links is now consolidated and consistently presented in a sidebar and map view. This is an important improvement in the information architecture for one of the primary use cases of the website -- as a tool for contributors to explore data and changes.
* The site feels fresher, more modern, more attractive. The OpenStreetMap community is competent, experienced, and capable, and this design is a better reflection of those qualities.

This isn't the final word on design changes to the website. I'm planning to continue to work on refinements, and I'm hoping that this work will prompt contributions from others as well. It _is_ a good start -- let's get it live.

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