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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Puppy newbie comments
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 10:05    Post subject: Puppy's jumping-off page  

Puppy's jumping-off page is Square One for newcomers seeking information, and I have a strong impression that it is failing to perform as intended in this respect. (e.g. how hard is it for the raw newbie to find 'How Puppy works'? Too hard!)

I'm tiptoeing on hallowed ground here 'cos the jumping-off page is Barry's baby and that means a lot of thought and care went into it.

IMHO the use of lots of funny icons linking to lots of subpages is much more confusing than helpful to the newcomer - and me - and the alternative 4-series starter page although a splendid job may actually have raised the bewilderment level.

OTOH, the simple, clear style which Barry used on the associated developer page is excellent.

I reckon that if it could all be done like that - ideally on one page - our newbie happiness level could go up several notches.

Views?
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KittyCat


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 67
Location: On a blanket in the sun

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 10:28    Post subject: Re: Puppy's jumping-off page  

dogle wrote:
IMHO the use of lots of funny icons linking to lots of subpages is much more confusing than helpful to the newcomer - and me - and the alternative 4-series starter page although a splendid job may actually have raised the bewilderment level.


That's easily solved just by labeling the icons... Wink

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Colonel Schell


Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Columbus, Ohio

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 17:14    Post subject:  

We have all had the experience of having a project that we love go awry. It can happen in more ways than just becoming outdated, too. Sometimes what we intended the user/viewer is not what they actually experience, simply because they are coming into something cold, with no preconceptions, and we already know what we are trying to say to them.

Yes, the experience is not optimal, and it needs to be tweaked. This would not be my project at this time, but if no one beats me to it, I may get around to it in future.
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 17:18    Post subject: Re: Puppy's jumping-off page  

KittyCat wrote:
dogle wrote:
IMHO the use of lots of funny icons linking to lots of subpages is much more confusing than helpful to the newcomer - and me - and the alternative 4-series starter page although a splendid job may actually have raised the bewilderment level.


That's easily solved just by labeling the icons... Wink


The principals of web site usability are still poorly understood (or sometimes ignored) as your observations point out. I.E. The need for putting text below icons or employing more than just four possibilities for navigation.

One name that stands out in the field of usability is Dr. Jakob Nielsen. Every web site designer worth their salt considers him to be the source of best practices for usability. Anyone who would publish a web site would do well to follow his recommendations as closely as possible.

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KittyCat


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 67
Location: On a blanket in the sun

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 17:54    Post subject: Re: Puppy's jumping-off page  

puppyite wrote:
KittyCat wrote:
dogle wrote:
IMHO the use of lots of funny icons linking to lots of subpages is much more confusing than helpful to the newcomer - and me - and the alternative 4-series starter page although a splendid job may actually have raised the bewilderment level.


That's easily solved just by labeling the icons... Wink


The principals of web site usability are still poorly understood (or sometimes ignored) as your observations point out. I.E. The need for putting text below icons or employing more than just four possibilities for navigation.


I think you may have missed my point. I was responding to the comment that having funny icons linking to lots of sub-pages can confuse a newcomer that doesn't know what the icons mean. Labeling the icons, i.e. giving them obvious names, would make it less confusing for someone who is trying to figure out what they mean.

One could argue that if the basic principles of usability are so poorly understood then they are not as obvious as they claim to be... but that's the topic for another discussion. Wink

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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 21:06    Post subject: Re: Puppy's jumping-off page  

KittyCat wrote:
I think you may have missed my point. I was responding to the comment that having funny icons linking to lots of sub-pages can confuse a newcomer that doesn't know what the icons mean. Labeling the icons, i.e. giving them obvious names, would make it less confusing for someone who is trying to figure out what they mean.


As I stated, I agree with you.

Quote:
One could argue that if the basic principles of usability are so poorly understood then they are not as obvious as they claim to be...


Only people can make claims. Rolling Eyes

Improvements in the usability of a web site benefits every visitor, most especially newcomers.

We can agree that usability is poorly understood by those who are ignorant of the basic principals. But the subject is not hard to understand. And the improvements that can result from applying these principals to a web site's navigation can be immense. Which is why many of the most successful web site companies seek advise from experts such as Dr. Jacob Neilsen. Very Happy

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KittyCat


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 67
Location: On a blanket in the sun

PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct 2009, 08:58    Post subject: Re: Puppy's jumping-off page  

puppyite wrote:
KittyCat wrote:
I think you may have missed my point. I was responding to the comment that having funny icons linking to lots of sub-pages can confuse a newcomer that doesn't know what the icons mean. Labeling the icons, i.e. giving them obvious names, would make it less confusing for someone who is trying to figure out what they mean.


As I stated, I agree with you.


Then I missed your point. Um. Ops? Embarassed

puppyite wrote:
Quote:
One could argue that if the basic principles of usability are so poorly understood then they are not as obvious as they claim to be...


Only people can make claims. Rolling Eyes


People and insurance companies. Wink And I think there is a large number of web sites out there proving that thees basic principles desperately need to be wider spread. I just think it would be sad if the Puppy website was one of them...

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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct 2009, 14:40    Post subject:
Subject description: Puppy's jumping-off page ... et al
 

Thanks for the Nielsen link, puppyite. Required reading, brilliant stuff.

So easy to use his site, and not a **£$%$%*! icon in sight! (GEM brought down great misery and turmoil upon this world, right?) ;-)

Cross thread, (new wiki one), but pertinent - puppyite kindly pointed out some ambiguity in a comment of mine on indexing - thanks - I was looking at the pragmatic rather than the technical side, which brings me back on track:-

Today, cringing with remorse, I had to edit a response to the newbie comment thread to add something good I hadn't known about -

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42593&start=171

For pity's sake, if I hadn't known about darrelljons wikibook yesterday, what chance does the poor newbie stand - nix!

It tears me apart that excellent work like darrelljon's can be overlooked, even by me, for want of better resource indexing.

It also tears me apart to think of Puppy noobs crawling back disgruntled to windoze misery just for want of the same.

I think the indexing presentation in Flash's Index of resources for beginners (in this forum) is extremely good for newbies - and me! - and one to which the new wiki needs to aspire - but with the perennial problem of updating - if you're looking, Colonel Schell, could you please consider adding the remaining links in the post linked above.

Square One of indexing remains the Puppy's jumping-off page.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 13:22    Post subject:  

mmm

Neilsen's site is very informative, if a little dull, maybe, as sadly we now live in the wizzbang world created in fantasyworld by mediamoguls, and 'instant gratification', and even Puppy has undergone a massive increase in widgets & bling
....so shortage of information has become superfluous disorganised information, and we have just our share, inevitably

I do a lot of research, but still lose links, so it's not just a noobie thing

I've suggested before, an alphabetic/user-selectable-search-term database....

...Yet some noobies don't even find my search thread - so I keep linking it Very Happy

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=29754

My feeling is that there is a tide of change coming soon....

Here's a good idea by hepcatfive, that needs being made aware of...

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42593&start=165

Aitch Smile
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Colonel Schell


Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Columbus, Ohio

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 20:09    Post subject:  

dogle, Aitch...yes, absolutely. Those links will be included.
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Colonel Schell


Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Columbus, Ohio

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 20:09    Post subject:  

Surprised w00t! (or is that, w00f!) Double Post! I got an error message that said my connection to the server could not be established, but obviously, I connected after all.
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mcalex

Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Perth, WA

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2009, 11:02    Post subject:  

In the short term, perhaps, mebbe we just need a forum of 'where is that thread?' questions.

A bit tongue in cheek, but it strikes me this is one of the few fora around where you're not treated like an idiot if you don't show that you've done 100 hrs of your own legwork before asking a question. It seems all the magic tricks being tried (wikis, enhanced search engines, google sorcery etc), don't seem to match the efficiency of simply posting a question in the forum.
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct 2009, 13:47    Post subject:  

mcalex wrote:
In the short term, perhaps, maybe we just need a forum of 'where is that thread?' questions.

A bit tongue in cheek, but it strikes me this is one of the few fora around where you're not treated like an idiot if you don't show that you've done 100 hrs of your own legwork before asking a question. It seems all the magic tricks being tried (wikis, enhanced search engines, google sorcery etc), don't seem to match the efficiency of simply posting a question in the forum.


Here’s a thought, a thought I have thought before and your post brought it back to mind: What if, and this is a big fat what if especially since it’s likely impossible with this forum software. What if a member could post a question and after it’s answered the OP could just delete the thread? Or what if they could delete a lone post? That way forum members *could*, if they wish, clean up any debris that might otherwise clutter the forum.

Doubtless any moment now someone will arrive on the scene and brand me a heretic (once again) for suggesting things that could cause the destruction of the current world order. Mr. Green

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct 2009, 07:59    Post subject:  

puppyite - Heretic, no, no dunking ponds here!! Laughing

The current [unpublicised] method is to post

e. g. MODS - PLEASE DELETE THIS POST, in RED

...it sometimes doesn't get noticed, so resort to PMs

Quote:
In the short term, perhaps, mebbe we just need a forum of 'where is that thread?' questions


mcalex, that would be a good idea, if the thread could be deleted after the solution is posted,
....and made use of, by the originator

We really need an alphabetic thread/post database search - he said, again.....

Aitch Smile
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct 2009, 15:29    Post subject: The Netless .. lest we forget  

Several recent newbie comments have stressed the need for built-in documentation. Barry's determination to include this was a big plus point in early versions of Puppy v/v the competition.

I have this rather guilty feeling that people like me who now have easy cheap internet access have been all too quick to forget that a great many around the world still do not.

IMHO it is a great pity that the built-in stuff is currently not up to its former high standard - thanks to Aitch for flagging up newcomer hepcatfive's suggestion to the 4.4 thread
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=46941&start=105
- and really good news to see that technosaurus is already on the case
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