[openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website] Proposal for a more refreshing layout (#2435)

map93-osm-2 notifications at github.com
Sat Dec 7 02:40:43 UTC 2019

I definitely agree some design updates would be nice, and I really like the floating search bar; I think it does help somewhat to separate the project from the map itself. I do agree with @gravitystorm's criticism regarding the floating navigation; it would be good to prevent that from taking up too much space.

Regarding the website right now, the largest issues I see with it are:
* There isn't an easy way to discover all the resources available to learn more about OSM, and as a result, it's easy to get stuck. Things like the iD tutorial and https://www.openstreetmap.org/about cover the basics pretty well, but after that the learning curve gets steep really quickly - it'd be good to find ways to make that easier.
* For people who aren't already familiar with OSM, the website doesn't really answer the question of "why" - Why should I care about an open map, and what can I do with it? Answering that question takes a decent amount of research and articles from other websites, which not everyone is going to be willing to do.
* The website is fairly difficult to use on mobile, which is now [52% of all internet traffic](https://gs.statcounter.com/platform-market-share/desktop-mobile-tablet).

With that in mind, I'd propose something like this:

<img width="1126" alt="osm-concept" src="https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/58614770/70367496-0ce0a080-1866-11ea-8b3d-f0a977570150.png">

For the navigation items:

* "Map data" (probably with a different name) would help to answer "why" and "how". It could include:
  * Copyright info
  * Cool examples of what other people have done with the data
  * Instructions on how to download the data
  * Commonly-used software to process the data

Alternatively, this could just be a list of links to existing resources (switch2osm, the copyright notice, whatever wiki articles there are on this). But I think it's important to have all of these in a centralized place that's easily accessible to new visitors.

* The wiki is probably the most comprehensive guide to OSM available, it would be really nice to have a link to that be easily visible.

* "Start contributing" would link to the existing sign up page. 

* I'm not sure exactly where the GPS trace page would go. It doesn't seem to be frequently-used enough to justify having a link in the main navigation, but there probably should be a link to it somewhere.

Making this work well on mobile is a separate issue; I'll try to spend some more time coming up with a design for that.

Let me know what you think! I think there's definitely a lot of different arguments that could be made about what the most important resources are to include in the navigation. The UI details could definitely use some more refinement as well; this is just something I threw together in the browser devtools in a few minutes.

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