As told in the weekly meeting today, Timothy Anderson of Voltec Design
has proposed redesigning Musicbrainz's main site. He has already
presented a first draft preview, which is available at
This message is meant to start a discussion which will eventually lead
us to better understanding our design issues and to Timothy preparing
some new and refreshing visual appearance.
Some points already raised on IRC:
* Most probably we don't need a complete redesign. A refreshment,
cleanup and "unboxification" is however desperately needed. Web 2.0
look is okay, as long as "Web 2.0" equals "clean and elegant".
* Our BDFL and several other people (me included) prefer to keep orange
as the main color.
* Visual re-design should go hand in hand with interaction
re-design which will hopefully be underway soon. Incidentially, due to GSoC this
will also go hand in hand with backend re-design ;)
Otherwise, start your editors and comment. I wish Timothy a dick skin,
even though I know most of regulars will stay constructive and polite,
but judging from the past, I see a lot of potential for intensive
discussion on the merits of particular elements or the design as
whole. We won't get a perfect design overnight, however I think it's
important to have someone take up the task, since MB always had some
great coders, but a long time no good web-designer ;)
My apologies for missing this week's meeting - I'll be missing the next two as well, but back for most, if not all, for the rest of the summer. :)
I took a look at the demo that was linked to. Just my initial impressions: It's way too dark, and at the moment, it feels more like a color change than a layout change. I too would prefer to keep something close to the current color scheme. We may joke about which pastel color to use for the next menu bar, but for a site editors spend a lot of time on, the light/white color scheme is a lot less work on the eyes.
I'd agree, as well, with the "unboxification" concept, but I'd take it a step further. Right now, not only do we over-box things, but we also balkanize the various segments of information. I'd more tightly integrate them; as example, there's no reason that release ARs or annotations should be separated out, *above* the actual listing for a release, on the release page.
Just to maybe give some ideas, here's something I put together the other night just playing with Firebug, just trying to a more integrated, less boxy look. (Some of you have already seen this in IRC.) It's not polished, and I'm still not 100% happy with it, but I think it's less boxy, and flows much better, vs the current types of layouts. It's almost building a "Wikipedia-like" page, using the database to populate various sections for the page: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y48/brianfreud/Screenshot-27.png
Still too boxy, and I don't like the big orange bar, but it's an improvement, imho. :)