May 19, 2007

Does python.org Need a Better Navigation Bar?


Someone recently posted on c.l.py that the python.org site didn't make it obvious where to post a bug. So I snapped the navigation bar from the home page (though of course the navigation bar isn't necessarily where the feature should be added). How do readers think it could be improved?

[Note added later: clipmark feature was unsuccessful at capture, so I have replaced it with a PNG capture to better show the site]

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I emailed python.com 3 months ago and told them to put a Warning/Entry page and they agreed.
However, nothing's happened.
Sorry, I tried.
Yes, better navigation bars would be nice.

Craig Overend said...

Finding where to submit a core bug seems relatively easy to me. Took me two clicks. On the other hand, finding where to submit a site bug requires that you be on the homepage to see the link. That could be improved.

On the navigation: I haven't found it very intuitive. I'd prefer task orientated navigation with more of a human touch. Items like: Learn Python, Find Help, Browse Packages, Submit a bug.

Try this.... Pretend you know nothing about Python. How long does it take to find useful example code on Python.org? I think that should be a first-level menu item. When I learn about languages, the first thing I look for is example code.

Steve said...

Interesting comments. I verified (as you can see here) that the "site bug" link only appears on the home page. It could probably use better wording too, but that seems to go right along with the point about the organization of the site.

Seems like you are saying that the navigation is too much like a museum (taxonomy) when it should relate more directly to the interests and needs of its users, right?

George F. Rice said...

Craig, I pretended to be a newbie and sought to learn Python. My first attempt was Documentation --> Tutorial, and that worked pretty well (but I've been there before, so I may have pretended badly :-/.

But example code quick-linked from the home page would draw in experienced programmers new to Python.

Or better still... One thing I find compelling at http://pygame.org is the long list of actual games in the pane to the right, complete with screenshots and install links. Perhaps example programs with screenshots would draw in the visitor more efficiently.

I like the current right pane of python.org, but perhaps under the menu on the left? Or would that be too busy?

just my 10 cents (in binary)...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, one of the reasons you improbably have had no response, is that the URL for the python website, is python.org NOT the other one you suggested.

:joe. said...

python.org needs a new web design. take a look at ruby and RoR...!

George F. Rice said...

> python.org needs a new web design.
> take a look at ruby and RoR...!

While Rubyenvy is a popular Python sport (just as Pythonenvy was popular when I was deeply into Perl :-), I didn't find the Ruby website to be significantly better than Python's.

I liked the "Ruby from Other Languages" feature. It was careful to give credit where due (e.g., "there’s a little bit more syntax to learn than with Python"), which makes the newcomer feel more at home. Let's copy ^H^H^H^H improve on that!

I liked Python's "Using Python for..." feature, though. It really shows Python's maturity and "batteries included" feature very effectively.

Steve said...

You're right, George. There's always more you can do to improve a web site, but I think python.org has improved hugely in the last two years.

The volunteers who maintain it deserve our grateful thanks.