jQuery Site Redesign – The Community Speaks
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.
Quick fix to get rid of the rock star:
Interesting bunch of comments. I personally dig the new design. I think it’s fun and I like a little rebellious attitude. This whole stiff necked industry could use a kick in the pants once in a while.
As for it not looking “professional”, JQuery is a library for goodness sakes! Anyone refusing to use a great tool because they don’t like it’s mascot better reconsider their line of work. If we all thought like that, Linux would have never gotten off the ground.
The rock star header made me laugh out loud (in spite) and then do a 180 and wish I’d never used jQuery. It makes me ashamed to be associated with something so bland and clichÃ©. It’s not edgy, it’s everything that’s wrong with advertising and hyped up nonsense. jQuery is bold enough not to ever have to claim to be something it isn’t.
Ditch it! The rest of the design is ok.
I you “wanted to push the boundaries”, the “rock star” cliche was not the way to do it. There’s nothing wrong with a non-corporate vibe, but some artfulness would be nice.
Other than the banner graphic, however, the site looks fine.
I have no problem with the design. Very nice. But I am long promoted jquery and OSS in the large organization in which I work and I am afraid that, in the minds of the less informed, it will tickle out some unfavorable stereotypes (punk, hacker, script-kiddie) rather than portraying the true smarts and innovativeness of the jquery team. Maybe making the list of corp. users (Google, Dell, etc.) more prominent may help. But I like it! (And suffice it to say, I’m not a kid.) Complements to the artist!
Just wanted to share my new experience.
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First thought.. hmmm, must be the wrong site… did I type it wrong?
Second thought… ok, maybe they were hacked.
Third… sigh.. what were they thinking??
The graphic is god awful.
@felixc: I agree. I like the background the “rock star” is on, but not the rock star concept. That said, the banner does take up a bit much real estate.
Usually i don’t comment, but this is an unusual case(and feedback is encouraged, yay!).
When i got hooked to jQuery – there was a simple calm website, with docs showing code, nice mild colors – i really liked it and was using ever since.
New banner and logo – i can’t help but think that this is some sort or irony. Like, duh! “rockstar”? They can’t be serious!
If this is for real, then there are two unfortunate consequences:
1) For the newcomers it’s a turnoff, since “flashy” usually means “unprofessional”. think mtv or myspace.
2) For friends recommendations/enterprise it’s a turnoff, ’cause management won’t buy “flashy” stuff, for the same reasons.
3) Front page usability went down. it’s just a graphical noise. it’s non-functional. i have to scroll down to see actual important information. like, the one i need when i’m visiting your site.
now i have no idea how would i reply to a friends, when they ask “what, that jquery ROCKING DUDE is a really nice library? no way!”
i mean – you’re effectively reducing you target audience.
i’d prefer other banner and slogan, presenting you more like serious guys. ofc, no “generic smiling people at generic computers nonsense”. maybe some humor, maybe some irony. but definitely not “mtv” style.
otherwise – way to go! thanks for a great library! :)
But the banner is very kitch. Please consider removing it.
Please fire whoever stuck the stoopid (sic) graphic on the main page.
Even if it’s yourself.
As so many others have said, the new look of the site is fine, the new logo is embarrassing. I thought this was a prank or that I was linked to a fake site. Please get rid of the logo.
I use jQuery, I really like jQuery, but this is ridiculous.
I use jquery under protest, preferring YUI. Thanks for an extra bit, albeit a small and trollish amount, of fodder for my argument in favor of YUI.
I might even come to like the rocker image, if it wasn’t for the slogan. It’s just too cheesy and patronizing.
Apart from that, great work!
Yeah, I’m sorry, John.
This new branding is horrible. You should stick to the Ruby-trendy-red and drop the illustrations. This is jQuery, not j*Q*u*e*r*y.
Since the code to jQuery is open, why not let the community submit ideas and designs? I would love to see jQuery styled in a classier, more refined pallet.
One of my major (albeit few) complaints about jQuery was always its site design.
As of today, one of my major complaints is still the site design.
I liked the light color scheme and the blue-green gradients, because even if they weren’t pretty, they still felt friendly. Dark colors are cold, the Rock Star banner is dissuading, and the rollover effects (and blatant checkbox/radio button confusion on the download) are flaky at best.
While a site design was long in coming, I think it needs a lot more polish before it’s considered official.
Nice work on the revised site. Overall a very pleasing layout. Just a couple of comments:
– While I like the “in your face” message with the rockstar bit, it does seem more suited to script kiddies than serious (aka professional) developers. Nice artwork, and fits with the site redesign. But perhaps focusing on the wrong demographics?
– front page – download section. This area is not easily identifiable as being “important”. It blends in to the background noise of the rest of the page. Perhaps something simple like lightening the background color of this area?
– download section again. Production version is indicated as being 14 kb, compressed code. Selecting that option and hitting download, you end up at the google download page for the minified version at 54 kb. Is this just a mis-link? Should this be pointing to the packed version instead? Do we even need the file size on the front page? Personally, I have never used the minified version – only the packed, or developer versions.
Minor issues, and the type typically seen with a large scale revision such as this. So, overall great work! Keep it coming.. :)
Sorry, but that banner is fairly awful. I don’t mind the theme so much as the cliche tagline and poor illustration.
This type of design is not appealing at all to your target market, which is web developers. We don’t want to be rock stars and you don’t need to do something so flashy to let us know your product kicks ass. Maybe if this was something you were trying to market towards the average digg user, maybe it would work well. But this is not your target market.
You might as well throw up a pair of titties on the homepage.
The site looks so terrible now with that graphic on top there is no way I can tell a client I use this toolkit and have them trust it as a serious piece of software. There’s a reason some little kid doesn’t draw the packaging boxes of software.
A commented above me seems to have the right idea with his mockup without the terrible rockstar thing you guys put on here.
Also I hate, absolutely hate, the idea that you are bringing all of us UX/Front-End/Web developers down to this script kiddie level by trying to bring us into this rock star meme. No one wants a drunk, egotistical, selfish, childish, unreliable, arrogant, rockstar type person on their team as a developer.
Rockstar != Really talented, dedicated, and motivated professionally skilled developer
I like it and think its great — everyone who says it’s nonprofessional is being ridiculous. I’ve worked in various organizations and would not have a problem using this tool because of the website.
keep on r0ckin!
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss.
It’s clear we’ve missed on our message for a majority of users, so we’ll adapt things shortly.
Hang tight :)
I’ll keep my comment short. I don’t like it. It was a good logo before, which quickly and easily identified jQuery. Why the change?
Usability first. The download form has two usability problems. First, the “labels” next to the graphic checkboxes don’t work. The labels next to checkboxes should always affect their associated textbox.
More importantly, the download box is purposefully doing something wrong in order to look cool. There should be no text boxes, and the two kinds of download should “labels” should be direct links. Who expects, or wants, to interact with a form to do the most fundamental web operation, access a link?
I didn’t even realize what it was for a while.
The whole “rock star” thing is so played and tired.
If you hear it (“rock star”) from a prospective client or employer you need to bolt out of your chair and flee the building like it was on fire.
If you see it on a resume or some idiot poseur (look it up) uses it when referring to themselves I suggest you punt them out to the parking lot (pointing and laughing at them is optional).
Can we have a “grownups.jquery.com” url that we can use in our build documentation? Please?
Oh. It’s even worse. When you do realize it’s a form, and use it properly, you STILL don’t get your download, you have to look at a wholly new site (code.google) and click another link. Now, I could understand it if the layer of indirection was to an explanatory page (like “Download” at the top of the jquery home page). But here, it’s just a pointless, jarring indirection. Get me right into the jquery philosophy, please – get me to work immediately.
(PS, sorry for the typos – I said “textbox” a couple times in my previous comment, should have been “checkbox”)
Oh dear. I love jQuery dearly and love being part of the community, but this isn’t the image I was expecting or hoped for at all.
Please jQuery; keep your position at the top of the pile because if I navigated to that comic style homepage on my first visit to this site I’d have gone elsewhere in seconds as I would have dismissed it as a wannabe webmaster’s gimmick. You’ve got a great opportunity here; please grab it.
It’s amazing what a strong reaction the new design has received…at least you know that you have passionate group of users!
My reaction wasn’t quite as strong, and while I can appreciate the design and effort…I agree that it does not send the right “message”.
The design, the banner, the whole concept, everything is great. Programmers are not that serious, and I love jQuery..
I really like it. One point thought, on the homepage the check boxes for downloading should really be radio buttons, right, right?
It’s not just the cartoon. It’s the colour scheme as well. It’s extremely difficult to come up with a decent design for a non-entertainment website that is based around black. Usually it ends up looking like a side project from an inexperience teenager who has done one too many websites for his gamer clan.
The cartoon, really, is just the final nail in the coffin. A large, rusty, six inch long nail, but still just the final nail. Trying to excise the cartoon and leave the rest of the design won’t fix this. It takes talent, inspiration and a lot of effort to make a colour scheme like this work for a factual website. Apparently these things aren’t available right now, so you cannot salvage this design.
I love jQuery, and honestly, I hate to sound so harsh, but I can’t help but say: I am kinda embarrassed for you. It’s a kid’s design. I just don’t see how you can salvage it. Please don’t put the designer’s feelings above actual utility; this isn’t one of those situations where people hate it just because it’s new. People aren’t going to come around given time. An immediate rollback is the best course of action I can think of, and it would certainly show the jQuery community that you listen.
I’m not subscribed to the mailing list, but I keep tabs on the weblog, and wasn’t even aware this redesign was coming. Perhaps the lesson to be learnt here is to do the redesign out in the open instead of springing it on people as a fait accompli.
Geeks are typically not good marketers and especially suck at branding. The site redesign and slogan is a shining example of what I mean.
The rock star thang is all wrong. You can’t chase cool. It doesn’t work that way. In fact, chasing “uncool” will get you to cool a lot faster.
A note for the artist: you did good. I come from a family of comic book artists and I think your stuff shows lots of promise. Keep it up!
Anyway, any coders who need a hand with branding? Shoot me an email. I specialize in branding (and I suck at coding).
Jquery has helicopters.
The new style looks great, but the banner turns me off. I agree with some of the other comments — if I wasn’t already a jQuery fan I wouldn’t go beyond the front page. Not that I want it to be boring, but it doesn’t seem to target the right audience.
I love the new design EXCEPT for the slogan and banner. I don’t think it matches what the site stands for at all. It looks like some script kiddie’s fourm banner. Please lose the slogan and banner and keep the color scheme.
Love the new site, kind of sad that people are so insecure about their tech choices that a ‘rock star’ has such an effect.
I’m not a huge fan of the graphic, but I love the rest of the site, and I applaud the effort to try something different.
An easy way never to fail is to never try. Perhaps a style switcher so that people can choose the persona that they feel is most appropriate for their audience.
I’d be nice if people chilled out a little and took a deep breath before letting one negative outweigh all the positives of the new design.
-I’m- -starting- to see a trend here in the comments. Unfortunately, indeed my own gut reaction was ‘Ewwwe’. But let’s be constructive here, as we wouldn’t care if we didn’t care about jQuery.
Here’s my one observation for whatever it is worth:
It’s *not* about edgy vs professional (sleepy).
Let’s use an example. I find that the following site (arguably edgy) _works_ because its over-the-top concept and execution is clearly ironic:
(no personal/professional relation)
The irony balances the audaciousness – a recipe that, I suspect, many web dev / jQmmunity members would find satisfying.
jQrew: I trust you’re listening (if there’s high levels of truthiness in twitter tweets, then you are) – thank you for an excellent project/tool with or without any particular branding.
I’ve adblocked the rockstar and kept the city skyline and it looks fabulous.
I’d highly recommend.
I do not like it!
To Rockstar thing is awful and the link highlighting isn’t great either. The howering on the homepage is bad aswell. It’s not even working right on Opera 9.52 and it looks stupid (at least in my opinion).
I like your UI design, but please go back to the old design for the normal page!
I love everything except the tagline, bleh!
Wow. The rockstar thing got removed in a jiffy. The devs really do listen, unlike in so many other projects out there. Just for that, this project really does define itself as a community and one worth supporting.
As a developer, I thought the rockstar was a step back as the entire rockstar phrase has been overused. But, the “Who’s using jQuery” is absolutely brilliant and will definitely attract more users, developers and the management that needs convincing.
*sigh* Boring they wanted and boring they got.
I think it’s noticeably more appealing now.
Awesome work! I have to agree I’m very happy to see the rockstar image (a very excellent and well made image, but just not appropriate for this site) gone. The rest … fantastic! Thanks!
Thanks guys. Looks great. I don’t have to worry about my clients thinking I’m trying to be a rockstar now.