Home Page Lo-Fi Wireframes: It's content time!

alex alessandro at thunderbird.net
Sat Mar 16 00:41:24 UTC 2019

Hi Eyal, thanks for your insights and sorry for the delay in answer. 
Busy week :)

On 2019-03-13 2:38 a.m., Eyal Rozenberg wrote:
> On 12/03/2019 23:58, alex wrote:
>> Hello wonderful people,
>> Let's start moving forward with the refresh of the Thunderbird website!
> TBH, I would be more interested in a refresh of/update of/additions to
> the site's contents rather than the site as such.
Yes, that's what we're doing and focusing on right now. That's why the 
low-fi wireframes. Throughout my years of doing this, I noticed that is 
easier for everyone to define and write content if it's already inside a 
website-like structure. It helps to give boundaries and giving a sense 
of space, and it translates better once the content is applied on a 
webpage rather than writing everything inside a word doc.
>> I think we can all agree that the website looks outdated, not appealing,
> Doesn't look outdated to me. Or - perhaps I'm an outdated person?
> As for appeal... well, I don't know. Doesn't seem that bad; but I guess
> it depends on who you want to appeal to, and how.

I should have elaborated more the message. It's outdated in terms of 
design choices like the grainy background and white drop shadows of the 
text. Those styles were the "new hot thing" around 2007 and it was 
actually Apple to launch that trend. Design style evolved drastically in 
recent years and having an interface that resembles something that was 
almost globally used by all the websites a decade ago, does communicate 
a sense of "old" and "outdated", which it's not what we want for a 
product like Thunderbird.

Also, from a user-flow prospective, it's a bit all over the place with 
wrong alignments, wrong kerning and leading, and a poor use of white 
space to give a good and readable pace.

>> and it doesn't properly communicate the massive work all the awesome
>> developers are doing to revamp Thunderbird, and the overall team growth.
> This is true!
>> So, let's start this process!
>> First and foremost, we need to properly define 3 things:
> I would say the first thing to define is:
> * Which kinds of visitors does the site cater too?
> * What does the site aim to offer/provide visitors of each kind?
> * Which kind of visitors are "prioritized" over others?
> For example, right now it looks like the main kind of visitor the site
> caters to is the newbie user who is not very knowledgeable, with a short
> promotional pitch and a large download link. Everybody else is relegated
> to searching through the non-prominent top menu. I'm not saying this is
> necessarily a bad choice, but it is _a_ choice.

What you're talking about is defining a Persona, which in my opinion, 
would be wrong to follow that approach.

Thunderbird is an email client for many different users, they can be 
newbies, teachers, developers, my mom, etc. Defining a Persona for such 
broad user base wouldn't be advisable as we would end up having too many 
variables to cover, or risking to alienate a specific group of people.

In case of these type of products, it's always advisable to approach the 
content creation from our own prospective, and trying to answer these 
questions: What do we want to showcase? Where do we want to direct the 
user? Which areas are important to us?

Based on many constructive feedback I got on the wireframes, I noticed 
that we're probably focused on these funnels:

  * Easy download of the main product and the Beta version
  * Prominent donation CTAs
  * Easy access to support
  * Easy access to collaboration
  * Highlight important features
  * Highlight the Calendar

With these points, we can define the proper content and sections for our 
home page.

>>    * A solid and well thought sitemap
>>    * The amount of written content we want in each page
>>    * The "type and style of communication" we want to use (Are we
>>      friendly? Are we quirky? Are we business -jargon oriented?)
> Also -please don't be overly friendly, like those cringy messages on
> Slack which tell me they like me...
You can help use by leaving comments in the wireframes and write some 
message example to define the tone and be sure we don't slip into the 
cringy area :)
>> Without having a solid understanding of the content, the message,
> You seem to be assuming a single message.
"the message" = "the tone". I'm assuming we want to have a consistent 
tone and overall similar type of message, right? We don't want to be 
super businessy on a page and super firendly on another.
>> and
>> the overall structure of the Thunderbird web presence, it wouldn't be
>> productive to start mocking UI screens, icons, colors, etc. That's why
>> we should all try to get rid of any visual bias and work on a bland
>> wireframe to keep the focus on what matters.
> Structure should follow from function...
That's why the wireframes are bland and unstyled. That structure is just 
a placeholder to help visualize content in a web contest. The actual UI 
will be defined around the content and the desired user flows.
>> Linked at the end of this message you will find a public Presentator
>> board. There, you will see a really simple, and quite standard, home
>> page layout for a product presentation.
> It seems you are making strong assumptions regarding the fundamental
> questions we're facing, already in basing this on a product presentation
> to customers/clients.
What assumptions I'm making? I literally created a blank canvas and ask 
everyone to contribute with content, text, and suggestions. I don't 
understand this comment as I didn't write "this is the new website and 
we do as I said".

The only thing I did was giving some guidelines to help contributing to 
the page based on my 15 years of experience in this field. Was I wrong 
to do that?


Alessandro Castellani
Lead UX Architect

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