Thank you, Alice -- this definitely helps.
I agree that Joomla does not have a place for those who do not know what it is to get that information.
As for those not acquainted at all with Joomla, our website currently does not have a landing page for them.
Also correct, but there's no need for a "landing page just for them." The home page is the orientation point for people who don't know what a product or service is for most any website out there. You shouldn't need to click from the home page to some sort of newbie page. Therefore, we need to do a better job with http://www.joomla.org
. The current home page incarnation is better than those we've had in the past, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.
Joomla has always treated its home page for those who are in the know about Joomla. That might be because of politics, or it might be because there are still far too many communications channels for Joomla to effectively coordinate.
I encourage the people working on this project to look at the simplicity of wordpress.org, which does an excellent job of inviting a newbie to try their software.
- It states exactly what it is in the first sentence, in phrasing anyone can understand ("WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. ")
- It contains the 3 steps you need to follow to get Wordpress running quickly -- 3 steps which, incidentally, are exactly the same for Joomla. The 3 steps link to more information. These 3 linked pages are also built simply, providing easy information for those who already know what they're doing (for the download page, there's a link to the downloaded zip file) and for those who don't ("If you have no idea what to do with this download, we recommend signing up with one of our web hosting partners that offers a one-click install of WordPress or getting a free account on WordPress.com.")
- Note how the Wordpress.org home page *invites* users to try their software, where Joomla's home page *sells Joomla.* The tone of the page established by this invitation to try is far more effective, particularly for users are new to working with this kind of software.
Joomla.org, like many successful websites, has grown organically over 7 years. People have felt like X audience was being neglected, and they cobbled on another part of the site. Joomla.org now resembles the Winchester Mystery House (see http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/
), with staircases to nowhere, doors that open to nothing on the second floor, and dead ends everywhere.
Rather than putting another patch on Joomla.org, even rather than redesigning the home page again, time would be better spent reworking the entire architecture of all of the joomla.org sites. Ideally this would be done without regard to politics, so non-functional areas of the site can be discarded and streamlined. That's a huge job, and politics make it extremely difficult. Ideally you would bring in someone from outside of Joomla to rework the information architecture and message of the sites, and I think you'd wind up with an improved product if you did that.
You did not explain why the task of reworking the website has fallen to OSM and not to the CLT. Again, I find this division of labor to be puzzling based on what I know about Joomla's current leadership structure.
lynda.com author, instructor, and curriculum designerhttp://www.jenkramer.org