jQuery Site Redesign – The Community Speaks

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As many of you have seen by now, the jQuery Project’s site has been redesigned. It had been a long overdue task and it was important to put a fresh new spin on the main hub, and the face, of jQuery. One of the things about the jQuery Project is that we’ve never run with the crowd or accepted the norm. By pushing boundaries and sometimes being “in your face” we’ve not only grown tremendously in popularity but we’ve pushed most of the other JS library projects to rethink their own principles and make changes to improve their products. That’s a good thing for everyone as competition is always good.

So, it should come as no surprise by the drastic change in the jQuery website. So far, the single biggest complaint has been associated with the new banner (ie: rockstar caricature & slogan). Again, we wanted to push the boundaries and come up with something that would generate a lot of buzz. Overall, we’ve succeeded in that goal with plenty of positive feedback but unfortunately, with some very negative comments as well. We actually value both types of feedback and want more as it’s the only way to determine if we’re on the right track. As with any site redesign, you can’t please everyone and we understand that. But we also want everyone to realize that this is a first cut and it doesn’t mean that it can’t be tweaked.

We’re actively reviewing all of the feedback and will certainly be looking at how to best handle some of the concerns of the community. After all, the community is what makes the jQuery Project so special and so different from other projects. In addition, the jQuery team has always listened to the needs of the community and this time is no exception. Again, I think the team is unique in that we *DO LISTEN* to the community and we’re going to work on making the site an invaluable tool for everyone. So just give us some time to go through the messages and keep an eye on this blog for updates.
Thanks for your patience and we truly appreciate your feedback.

159 thoughts on “jQuery Site Redesign – The Community Speaks

  1. It’s not the look, it’s the overused tagline “Be a X Rock Star!” that isn’t even a good metaphor. It’s almost as overused as the “Got X?” line for milk.

    I don’t want rock stars working for me. I want team players – dependable, stable people that hit home runs. I think the metaphor doesn’t work.

    My vote is keep the look and the edgy illustration feel. Lose this particular message.

  2. I’ll go ahead and leave my feedback since you asked for it.

    I also have an issue with the banner. If your target audience is script kiddies who want to be cool by using fancy pants effects, then I think it’s fine, but if I came across jQuery when it had that banner, I would have probably passed it up because it didn’t seem like a serious, mature tool.

    A ninja, on the other hand, would be cool :)

    I will admit that it is an improvement over the old site, which didn’t have any personality at all.

  3. Muffintop on said:

    You’ve got to get rid of that banner. It makes the jQuery community look unprofessional. No ninjas, no rock stars.

    I love the rest of the design, just slide up that “who uses jQuery strip”.

  4. I believe this is bold design for a javascript framework and I love it. Instead of the tradition “API look” that other frameworks have, this website design embodies what jQuery is about — “rock star” functionality and effects. I understand John’s point above, but at this point, jQuery’s reputation and userbase proceeds itself.

    Impressive. jQuery’s pushing the limits of browser functionality — why not allow its website to push the trend of boring framework sites? Great move jQuery team.

  5. Yeah I agree with John, I don’t like the “Be a X Rock Star” metaphor either. It sounds like a purposely used buzzword. However, I could have easily done the same – but from my outside perspective, it’s easy for me to say that.

    I get the use of the word “rock star” though – it appeals to a lot of people who desire to be famous and sought after. I agree with the concept, it’s just overused like I’m sure a lot of folks have said. But still, I’m on your side!

  6. The redesign is great, styles are at once crisp and edgy and as I think that was your intent it’s a success. I do think the use of ‘rock star’ and the accompanying image are a bit incongruous with the rest of the site, however. Edgy is good but most everyone, especially in this community, is likely to cringe at the use of a buzzword phrase like ‘rock star’. For me, that’s a negative.

    Still, your intent was to push boundaries and remain on the edge and you’ve succeeded. Whether or not you end up changing the image/buzzword use you’re at least listening to your audience. Fine work, guys.

  7. Muffintop on said:

    @Muffintop: One final thought… “Be a JavaScript Rock Star” implies that you are not one already or that you are at least in some way deficient in JavaScript skills. I think that’s what really bugs me about the banner…it’s as if the framework is targeted at aspiring, unskilled developers.

  8. Thomas on said:

    The overall design is pretty neat indeed, but the whole rockstar thing… Kind of gives the impression that jQuery is for all of them 14 year old coder kiddies.

    The new logo on the other hand, is great!

  9. We’re slipping into java-tux territory here.
    Sorry, I’m not buying it. Definitely not professional, and a bit cliche and corny (I hate the term “rock star”, and personally don’t think i’d ever identify with the “rock star” tag).

    Whatever though; you got me at a time where i’ve already selected jQuery many times because of its usefulness. The “rock star” thing makes it tougher for me to not be embarassed when I’m trying to recommend the tool to be used here in the enterprise.

    j.

  10. I am surprised by the complaints. One lad (John) said he did not want rock stars working for him. Good, they can work for me. I want people with fresh ideas and who push the boundaries of development.

    Chris wants the web site to be professional. How is the site not professional?

    Look at what jQuery provides for your IT organization not its packaging.

  11. Here’s my 2 cents:
    The juvenile-esque illustration coupled with the RockStar tagline instantly lower the (perceived) target audience to a demographic that would otherwise have nothing to do with jquery. In all honesty, at first glance the homepage looks like it’s selling a videogame for XBox, not a javascript library.

    What’s more, the homepage banner is totally juxtaposed to the very impressive client/user list just below. Dell, NBC, CBS? These are huge brands who would/should entice similar brands to adopt jQuery. Seeing the site as it is now is essentially jeopardizing all the hard work you guys have done to get that client list in the first place.

    Still love your product, and the rest of the site design is great. I’d just suggest making a business-decision on the banner as it’s potentially losing you future, corporate users.

  12. The new jQuery logo rocks. The page layout, color scheme and organization rocks. All rock harder than the “Rockstar” graphic, please remove it from the site. Any web application developer can tell you seeing a job description or resume or trade article mention the term Rockstar is instant turn off. Using the term “[insert language/system] Rockstar” is a joke in the software world and I think it strays from the core concept of jQuery: “No bullshit, find things, do stuff, that’s it.”

    Anyway, it’s certainly not the end of the world, anyone who says “Waahh, I’m leaving ’cause I don’t like this,” can “go”, using a given JavaScript library shouldn’t be dependent on something as trivial as the design hosting site.

  13. Are you familiar with Kathy Sierra’s Creating Passionate Users blog (http://headrush.typepad.com/)?

    The new web site says JQuery’s a rock star and you can join the fan club. The old web site says “You’re a rock star! Can I be your roadie? I’ll take care of the tedious boiler-plate code and implementation differences while you focus on being awesome.”

  14. someone on said:

    I just talked to one of my colleagues today to convince him to take a look at JQuery. So I open a web browser and start explaining what JQuery is about, and then surprise, this new design pops up. By the look on his face I could tell that suddenly he wasn’t talking me seriously anymore.

    This new site make JQuery look like a funky toy, while it should look like a professional tool.

  15. We should all be thanking our lucky stars that Resig and the jQuery team have worked so hard to give us a tool that kicks such ass. If they want a rockstar, so be it. It’s funny as hell and everyone should lighten up…

    As for being professional… To who? The demographic is geeks. Us. Not our clients. Rarely our bosses. It is for us. So who cares? Make it fun for Pete’s sake and get over yourselves.

    Thanks Resig and crew for all the awesome work that you have done and for making my life easier.

  16. Nice and clean, but the “rockstar” baseline is a bit non professional.
    We try to explain to our clients that JQuery is a profesionnal lib, here it looks like a game…

  17. I assumed 14 year old Goths had hacked the site. Get rid of that terrible, terrible banner. Utterly unprofessional (as well as being a pretty cruddy piece of illustration anyway). Sends the wrong message entirely.

    As for the Rock Star schtick – lose that ASAP. What a load of bogus nonsense. Jquery is a fine tool. That’s all though. Nothing to do with rock stars or any other crap. If I were coming across it for the first time I would definitely be put off and I would have a hard time selling it to management too.

  18. Miguel Palazzo on said:

    Definitively love the redesign, from colors which are my favorites, the layout itself, loving it almost entirely! As everybody else has said, the “Rockstar” thing is not so sticky. You can absolutely make another illustration, something way more related to “Write less, do more” IMO! but not rockstars please!

    Besides that last part, congratulations jQuery Team. Great move!

  19. The site looks fantastic, and the logo is great but the rockstar graphic and tagline smacks of a desperation to be “cool”. I doubt that’s what you were aiming for but unfortunately this is how it comes across, and I think it’s a big mistake.

  20. Sasha Sklar on said:

    The slogan and illustration needs to go. Most of us are using jQuery on behalf of other parties, whether it be a client or just the company were working for. Not to mention the fact that it comes off as more then a bit patronizing. Resig is the “JavaScript Rockstar”, we’re just using a tool.

  21. The naysayers can go nay themselves. The redesign looks great! And the rock-star feel to it gives you personality.

    If you want to change anything, you can have an alternative homepage for the boring people.

    Please keep this design. Resist the “this look unprofessional comments”. They can go design their own sites they way they like, using what they like.

  22. @David

    “Look at what jQuery provides for your IT organization not its packaging. ”

    If you have to try to overlook the packaging, doesn’t that mean that the packaging is somehow deficient?

    Personally, I think the effort that went into this should obviously be appreciated, but I have to say that the graphic, and the dark dark dark of everything, would make this a hard sell to my medium sized customers who don’t know one library from another.

    For corporate interests, the corporate prospects need only look at the list of clients on the front page. I won’t argue that the incongruity between the presented image and the client list may lead some to investigate deeper before committing to jQuery, but the library is just getting better, and the reputation is as well.

    In the end, for me, I don’t mind it so much, other than it is dark, and to me that makes it a bit gloomy, mostly because it is already integrated into Drupal (which is pretty much all I do now) and I don’t have to mention it to anyone.

    But really people, it is a site FOR js developers, and aren’t most of us 80’s rockers anyhow? Oh crap, just dated myself again…

  23. I hope I wasn’t one of the too-negative comments. I actually LOVE the rest of the site design (except it’s a little hard to see the change in the mouseover menu of the lighter blue bar).

    I still don’t like the big rockstar banner, and I think it would be better to just not have any banner at all except for the bar of big names below it.

    One other small thing: It’s a little confusing that the popup menus appear over the “CSS3 Compliant, Cross-browser”. The pop-up itself looks fine, but it’s too big and they cover up parts of the other ‘bullet points’. I hope that made sense.

  24. Hey cool a third of the main page (sorry, no 21′ screen with full screen browser here) is taken by a ridiculous picture of a guy who needs finger surgery ! Is this the web site of Rockband ? Guitar Hero ? No seriously, this is misleading. jQuery is about writing less to create great websites, not oversized jaws.

  25. The new site look is quite nice, and works well with the image jQuery is trying to convey. Just lose the kitschy slogan and the twit with crushed fingers.

    I actually like the background they’re on, though.

  26. diyoji on said:

    i love jquery and the site redesign itself is fine, but i agree with the majority of the comments here. the graphic is gawdy and unprofessional–but not the end of the world. the real problem is that, in my opinion, it has nothing to do with jquery. i see this and i think comic books, flash movies, video games, etc. i don’t think, incredibly simple and powerful javascript library. take the “write less, do more” concept and create something that frames it in a visual context. you guys may not lose many developers who are already in love with jquery, but i’d be surprised if the front page didn’t cut down on future first-time users. also, if you were intent on going in this direction, i can’t understand why you didn’t use resig’s slightly less hackneyed term “javascript ninja” as the theme. “blub” rockstar is a joke at this point, a phrase whose presence is a red flag in job listings.

  27. Some Random Idiot on the Internet on said:

    Not that I really mind the rockstar thing, but “write less, do more” is a better tagline, *and* it’s actually relevant.

    Site looks good, btw.

  28. Peter Beardsley on said:

    I like the overall site design, and I like the illustration. At first I too was a little turned off by the hyperbole of the whole “rockstar” thing, but I think it might get the attention of people on the “design” end of the spectrum, as most programmer/techie types already know about jQuery.

    I will say, however, that I miss the Devo hat. I realize that its still in the logo (in a somewhat subdued form), but it would be nice if you could’ve worked that in there somehow.

  29. Being a ‘rock star’ never stopped me from being a team player, too. If it had, I’d have been fired long ago.

    I like the banner.

  30. Overall I don’t mind the new site design.

    However, although there’s nothing particularly wrong with the illustration when taken out of context, I don’t think it’s the best marketing message for the jQuery project.

    The jQuery site has a diverse range of people to target, not just the ‘Rockstar’ developer / designer.

    Promoting jQuery as a serious, stable and mature development framework to the people who aren’t the ones who are already sold on using it, is not well represented with this element in the design solution.

    If jQuery was a personal toolset for individuals, then this banner image would present the message appropriately. However, it doesn’t translate jQuery well to other project decision makers – Producers, Operations Management, Back-end developers etc. who do have input in evaluating frameworks or assessing switching frameworks for larger projects.

    At the end of the day, that banner section can be swapped out for alternatives so there isn’t really any major issue here – but it does make for an interesting discussion :)

  31. Have to agree with the consensus…

    I use the site from work, and try to get my colleagues hooked on jQuery.
    I winced when I saw the rockstar banner today.
    You are going to get semi-technical team leaders namechecking the site out of curiosity, and it would be a step back to let them think they’re looking at some sort of Wii videogame.

    Great work on the logo – it looks much better.
    And I’d emphasize the “who’s using…” list too.

  32. “So, it should come as no surprise by the drastic change in the jQuery website. So far, the single biggest complaint has been associated with the new banner (ie: rockstar caricature & slogan).”

    That’s because it’s hideous.

  33. tomvons on said:

    Kudos on the design and the site, overall it’s fantastic.

    While JQuery was undoubtedly one of the projects the pioneered terms like “rockstar” to describe web developers the tools, the theme has become tired and overused to the point where middle management might well use it along side of “Web 2.0″. In using the “rockstar” theme I don’t think you are pushing any boundaries, in fact it makes you look more like a follower to the tens of “Rails Rock Star” or “CSS Ninja” job postings on the 37 signals job board (the place I see that theme the most, but maybe just because I’ve been looking for a new job lately).

    That’s my $0.02 anyway. The banner certainly isn’t going to kill anyone or diminish the value of JQuery.

  34. Guy Fraser on said:

    The 3 links to the left of the download button (that fade in an overlay when you move over them) _need_ hover intent plugin ;)

    Oh, and ditch the rock star – it makes the site look tacky.

  35. I’m gonna tow the majority line here. I love the design, but the graphic and slogan *screams* unprofessional. jQuery is an excellent tool, and it’s quickly becoming the first choice for new projects in our shop. You have a client list that includes some of the top brands on the internet, but the page looks like an ad for Guitar Hero. Yes, someone else made this exact point already, but it bears repeating. That graphic doesn’t fit. “Write less, do more” works not just for javascript libraries, but for design as well.

    And to the artist who created it, I actually think that it’s a very good piece of art, and I take nothing away from the work that went into it. Kudos! I just don’t think it belongs at the top of the jQuery site.

    – Stealth Dave

  36. I am overall okay with the new design. However, the rock star illustration bothers me a lot. It’d be slightly hard now to convince my boss or my clients that they should use jQuery.

    It’s just the rock star dude. Please get rid of it.

  37. Bohdan Ganicky on said:

    I’m amazed by the negative feedback on the Rock star theme. Why are you all people so rigid?

    “You have a client list that includes some of the top brands on the internet, but the page looks like an ad for Guitar Hero..”

    Hey! Isn’t this exactly the point? That jQuery’s client list includes some of the top brands on the internet and still can have some funny and relaxing design on its homepage? :) I love it, keep it as it is. jQuery makes writing javascript a fun, I think it deserves the homepage which stresses this fact.

  38. Marcos on said:

    I love to be a rockstar!… good design folks… i’m tired of the f*** corporate Micsosoft-like branding design of the programming tools, languages and libraries just to look “professional”

  39. Marcos on said:

    On the other hand, why we have to convince our bosses or clients to “use” jquery??? we use it, period. Nobody has to do or say about how we develop solutions. They just have to enjoy the solution.

  40. Jon Davis on said:

    I have to +1 on the banner-has-to-go.

    The site design is great but the graffiti-banner/rockstar-tagline looks out of place on this site and cheapens the look of the jQuery site and project.

  41. @Ryan Bigg

    If those are the only two options, then yeah. :) FWIW, I like soccer better though. Those dudes run forever.

    @David

    IMHO, there’s only about 2-3 rock stars that push boundaries (besides human tolerances for stimulants) or offer a fresh approach every decade. ;)

    All that said, congrats on the new site – loving it all in all.

  42. Daniel on said:

    What I think is funny is that all these people are saying “Im going back to [other javascript library]”

    What the hell does the imagery on the website have to do with how good the product is?

    Do you all use superglue because it smells good? No, you dont.