Friday, August 29th, 2008

jQuery.com redesigned with a Rock Star

Category: jQuery

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When I was doing an interview with John Resig for the Open Web Podcast, he mentioned that the redesign of jQuery.com had a lot of people talking, and it seems like people have strong feelings about the Rock Star for whatever reason.

Ignoring the style, the redesign is more than just that:

The entirety of the site has a new layout. With drastically improved multi-layer navigation and a standardized sidebar it should become much easier to navigate the individual portions of the site.
You should probably wear a hard hat while exploring the interior pages – font sizes, spacing, and colors are all in need of tweaking, which will be handled over the upcoming week (it’s fun working against Trac, WordPress, Drupal, and Mediawiki simultaneously).

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Posted by Dion Almaer at 2:30 pm
28 Comments

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Heh – it’s amazing what a single illustration and tagline can do to get people excited. (Un)fortunately, it’ll probably be gone by this evening, due to all the feedback we’ve gotten. Oh well – as a whole though, the redesign has been fantastic – the site was in a dire situation and it’s good to see it on the right track.

Comment by JohnResig — August 29, 2008

Hate to say it, but image is everything. If I was trying to sell my manager on using jQuery, Prototype, Mootools or Dojo, and sent them to those sites, I think based on look alone jQuery would be at a disadvantage. “Write less, do more” is a great slogan, “Be a Javascript Rockstar”, not so much.

Strikes me as being an amateur, and more focused on flashy effects than functionality. I love jQuery, it’s helped me loads on my most recent project, but that header just makes me cringe a bit on the inside when I see it.

Comment by shypht — August 29, 2008

Wow…!
White text on black background…
Far more gutsy than what I would ever dare… ;)

Comment by ThomasHansen — August 29, 2008

I hate the pic and the slogan, but love the rest of the redesign.
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Just seems like amateur hour. Unprofessional. I don’t want to mention that I’ll use jQuery on a consulting job if there’s a danger that the person who is paying me might go there and thinking that I’ll be spending my time playing Guitar Hero.
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jQuery is for getting things done, not showboating.

Comment by Nosredna — August 29, 2008

comments noted, folks.
Thanks for all the feedback.

Comment by ScottJehl — August 29, 2008

I have to agree with the others that the whole “be a javascript rockstar” thing comes across as unprofessional. I love sites with personality, but this takes it too far. The redesign itself is great though.

Comment by andykant — August 29, 2008

Honestly, I think John, Scott et al did a great job of identifying their primary audience and addressed it well. I’m not a fan of the Rockstar concept (more history there than most might think) but I think it works, for the most part.
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There is always going to be a bit of initial reaction to a redesign; the real key is whether or not it improves the use/response of the subject at hand, and that takes time to do. I am impressed with the illustration skills and it makes me glad to see that pure engineers are not always “ruling the roost”.

Comment by ttrenka — August 29, 2008

Yeah, wow… well, at least it won’t be hard to change. I love the “Who’s Using jQuery” bar, though. ^_^

Really, I don’t care what your site looks like as long as your darn documentation pages start working faster. :P

Comment by mdmadph — August 29, 2008

I came across the design today, and as a web designed / developer, I hate to say that I really think this design kinnda suck.

I totally missed the top main menu, and had to search the page for “plugins”. it seams like theres 2 main menus!

i didn’t like the logo, nor the graphics at the top. and very not the big ugly grey “Learn jQuery Now!” box..

i think the old site was great. it worked and, although mootools has a beutiful website, i still preffers jQuery. as long as the website is simple and coherent.

Comment by vsync — August 29, 2008

I’m all in for a site redesign. But this was more of an entire image redesign which is quite different. It’s nothing like jQuery.

Comment by jdempster — August 29, 2008

I agree, the rock star thing is too fancy, unprofessional. But the rest is o.k.!

Comment by rizqi — August 29, 2008

Not my cup of tea, but at least the graphic does look like a rockstar. Now if only you could persuade Manning to choose a graphic for your Secrets of the Javascript Ninja book which, you know, looks like a ninja rather than a samurai. :P

Comment by mhart — August 29, 2008

Rockstar gone. Thanks jQuery guys. Looks very pro.

Comment by Nosredna — August 29, 2008

Based on the extensive feedback we received, we’ve removed the caricature and slogan which constituted the bulk of the concerns for many in the community.

The thing that makes the jQuery project so special is our fantastic community. It’s what drives the effort and the jQuery team makes every effort to listen and address the needs of jQuery developers. Today was just an example of our commitment to ensuring that we continue to provide the community with the tools that they need to be successful.

Thanks everyone for your feedback and patience.

http://jquery.com/blog/2008/08/29/death-to-javascript-rock-stars/

Comment by ReyBango — August 29, 2008

I like the new layout but what’s with the logo? Those waves remind me of something my little brother created when he was still learning photoshop. The typography is okay but those waves aren’t adding much for you, they went along with the rockstar theme I guess.

Comment by staaky — August 30, 2008

This is far better Rey, though there’s still the “white text on black” which makes it look like something 2600 thingie…!
(hint; 2600 == hacking sites)
I don’t think it’s in your best interest Rey to let people believe that “this is the place for getting your hacker tools”… ;)

Comment by ThomasHansen — August 30, 2008

@Thomas: Thanks for the feedback.

@staaky: If you read the first blog post about the new redesign, it explains the logo. Thanks for your feedback.

Comment by ReyBango — August 30, 2008

Why can’t be it more white, more optimistic %)
Never liked dark designs.. And I don’t know too much (any) popular sites with a dark design..

Comment by AdrenalinMd — August 30, 2008

My only problem with the design is the JPEG background images. I hate the look of JPEG compression on gradients. Well, I hate the look of JPEG compression in general, but especially on gradients.

Comment by MattCoz — August 30, 2008

way better, and thank you for finally fixing some glaring IE bugs in the api docs themselves. i still think whitespace can be removed here and there, but overall its looking much tighter and professional. I’d maybe touchup the jquery logo itself, it’s a little bland/blurry compared to the sharp look of the menu/header/text elsewhere.

on the whole thanks for listening to ppl! you guys are awesome. as someone who has sold jquery on a few organizations, i know the battles people are talking about and yes, the rockstar would’ve laughed the option off the table.

Comment by ilazarte — August 30, 2008

I don’t know if this was Resig’s original idea (Hi John), but it fulfilled my thoughts about jQuery all along. One person did get it right above ^

“jQuery is for getting things done, not showboating.”

It seems as though much of the press about jQuery over these last few years gives the impression that using jQuery enables you to ‘appear as’ a JavaScript Rockstar.

Comment by ded — August 30, 2008

what is this?
up up down down left right left right b a

Comment by tan — August 31, 2008

The story here is less about jQuery than the growing up of JavaScript.
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For years JavaScript engineers have been saying, “No, JavaScript is not a toy, it’s actually a powerful dynamic language.”
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The jQuery Rockstar, therefore, was completely off-message.
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I’m not sure Resig “gets” the ramifications of what he’s created yet. From his twitter comments he seems a little irritated by the realization that professional programmers need jQuery to appear to be a professional tool.
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It’s always hard when something that was a playful and clever experiment grows up to be useful, and has to conduct itself in an adult way.
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But he should be proud.

Comment by Nosredna — August 31, 2008

I love how people make comments about a webdesign when they cant make anything better. White text and a black background, who really cares about that shit? atleast its readable, and beats black bg and gray color..

Comment by V1 — August 31, 2008

>>I love how people make comments about a webdesign when they cant make anything better.

It didn’t occur to you that a fair number of the commenters are likely web professionals? ;-)

Comment by Nosredna — August 31, 2008

i like it
Very cool design

Comment by Remedies — November 19, 2008

Nosredna is right.

Make it X rockstar, I can’t and won’t use it professionally.

Comment by boon — February 28, 2009

Ha. I’m a year too late.

Comment by boon — February 28, 2009

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