New LDS.org design is awesome Q&A

Discuss ideas and suggestions around the LDS.org website.
cognifloyd
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New LDS.org design is awesome Q&A

Postby cognifloyd » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:37 pm

I've watched lds.org evolve over the years. I really like the direction that the design on beta.lds.org is headed. Two thumbs up!

I would love to understand some of the thinking that went into this design. Is there anyone here that's participated in some way on the development of beta.lds.org?

How did this design come about?

I have a bunch of questions about this great design. I've been thinking about documenting what I see in this design on the wiki.

Comments?

SorensonMi
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Postby SorensonMi » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:45 am

I am the lead developer over beta.lds.org and could answer some questions you have. The design has been several years in the making, and has evolved significantly over time. There have been many talented individuals that have contributed to the design and it is a mixture of their ideas along with feedback from users. Throughout the process, we have also received counsel and suggestions from the leadership of the Church which has also altered the design.

cognifloyd
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Postby cognifloyd » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:40 am

Here's my first draft document on the beta.lds.org design: https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/User:Techgurufloyd/Design_of_lds.org

Where did the name Jericho come from? Or I should say, is there a story behind using Jericho to describe the menus? Does it have something to do with SOFEA?

I'll just ask a few questions at a time.

DaltonTM
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Jericho

Postby DaltonTM » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:14 am

I'm not the right person to really describe the choice of the name Jericho, but here is a fun religious reason (even though it is not the primary motivation, it fits for a religious site).

The city Jericho is known for how low in elevation it is. (I believe it may be the lowest city in the world.) In the bible we read in the parable of the good samaritan of a "certain man" who was "... going down from Jerusalem to Jericho..." There is another meaning in that sentence since Jerusalem was considered holy, and Jericho was considered worldly...anyway, I digress.

My analogy is that the world comes to lds.org, and has to start at the lowest point (Jericho). From there they find themselves on a spiritual journey leaving the world (Jericho) behind. So "Jericho" starts us off, and gets us going in the right direction...and the only direction from Jericho is UP! :)

Having said that, the menus do follow many of the SOFEA principles. Interestingly that was not entirely intentional up front, but we migrated that direction as we ran into certain problems. Nice layout in the wiki by the way...fun to see people so interested in the details.

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Jericho Missile

Postby LynesJA » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 am

Hi, I'm one of the lead designers of lds.org, and though I didn't design the new menu, I did name it Jericho. I named it after the small missile by the same name from the movie Iron Man.

Some people say the best navigation is the one you never have to click. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the navigation you only have to click once. That's how dad did it, that's how America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far.

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More names

Postby LynesJA » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:24 am

A few more names you might be interested in.

The colored side ribbons are called Judy. The thick colored stripes are Betty. FYI.

cognifloyd
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Postby cognifloyd » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:08 am

Whether based on the worldly city headed up to Jerusalem or a super-one-click missile - Jericho's a great name. :)

Tyler wrote:Having said that, the menus do follow many of the SOFEA principles. Interestingly that was not entirely intentional up front, but we migrated that direction as we ran into certain problems. Nice layout in the wiki by the way...fun to see people so interested in the details.


Yah, I noticed the change to AJAX in a recent rollout. Teach me - what problems did you run into? Was it too difficult to update the menu on all the pages?

Also, how is the site served up? Is there some Java magic (ie a CMS of some sort) happening in the background to build the pages, or are they static pages being served up with JavaScript to spice things up, or ...?

Thanks for the compliment about the wiki page.

cognifloyd
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Postby cognifloyd » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:52 pm

As I understand it:

Originally they were looking for names like "frosting" to describe the different design elements. Kaleb Tracy suggested that the flag be called Judy. Someone else (who?) suggested the name Betty for the colored bars. Chris Mayfield says he came up with the name Jericho based on the movie Iron Man. Originally he pushed for an always visible menu (thus the one click to change the page is like one button to blow up the mountain range). More people pushed for the menu however, and it is a beautiful solution.

I've significantly updated my wiki page: https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/User:Techgurufloyd/Design_of_lds.org

Some of my questions are (The order is based on the general order of the wiki page. The order, other than that, means nothing. The numbers are there for reference):
  1. Why is jQuery the standard library?
  2. Where is the profile/account settings going to be?
  3. How did the breadcrumb (filed-under) menu come about?
  4. What thinking went into the landing pages, specifically the feature with a block on the right side?
  5. What kind of backend runs the search queries? What does the indexing?
  6. Why the distinction between /globabl/css/ and /resources/css/common/ ?
  7. What kind of study went into choosing the 5 main categories: Our Heavenly Father's Plan, Family, The Church, Service, and Study?
  8. Other than differentiating one section from another, are there any reasons for the specific colors of each of those categories?
  9. There's a comment on the pages that mentions an "app" class along with "narrow" and "fluid". What does the "app" class do? Where is it defined?
  10. Why OFLSortsMillGoudy and Vegur fonts?
  11. What thinking went into the design of Church News & Events? Why so different?
  12. What kind of backend runs beta.lds.org? Is it a Java-based CMS, static custom-crafted pages, or something else?
  13. Any other cool stories that would be fun for me to know about the design of lds.org?

The youth site demonstrates several design elements that didn't make it into the current design.

  1. The sub-site branding (in this case "Youth" is in a cursive script): As I understand it this will be simple text in Judy's ribbon space. Is that accurate?
  2. The sub-site menu that is present on all of the pages of the site.
    • We have the menu in platform-canvas-nav, but that only works for two sub-levels. If you try to add more, it quickly breaks.
    • I suspect that organizations will easily have three or more levels of content.
    • Has any thought been given to a way to have a sub-site menu that is always present (like the main jericho menu is on every page), so that you can quickly navigate from section to section of an organization's sub-site?
  3. The colored bar is different colors depending on which organization's site you're in. It's orange/yellow for the Youth site, pink for Yong Women and brown/green for Young Men: Judy will indicate which category of the site you're in (plan, family, church, service, study, generic) but she does not tell you if you are in a particular sub-site. Is there some other element to provide this kind of sub-site branding?

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Postby lajackson » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:56 am

techgurufloyd wrote:7. What kind of study went into choosing the 5 main categories: Our Heavenly Father's Plan, Family, The Church, Service, and Study?



Wow! Did the light ever turn on when I read this. Thank you for thinking and posting it.

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Postby kennova » Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:29 pm

Disclaimer: I'm on the Search Team at National Instruments here in Austin, Texas..

Why does the Search box require a click to get to? One the biggest feedback items for our website ni.com is that the search box is the most heavily used asset. We are constantly getting feedback to make it bigger, more accessible, etc. Why the decision in the new.lds.org site?

I'm also interested in the search engine that lds.org uses..


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