Omniglot homepage

For a while I’ve been considering rearranging Omniglot’s homepage and have come up with the following alternative. I’m trying to make it to easier for visitors to understand what the site’s about and to be able to find the contents they’re looking for.

What do you think? Is the new version better than the old one?

This entry was posted in Language.

0 Responses to Omniglot homepage

  1. I prefer it like it is now! It is easier to find your way, you can see everything at once!
    The other one contains too much text maybe.

  2. Dreaminjosh says:

    I’m in favor of the new page. When I was new to the site, the current page had a vagueness about it and I couldn’t find exactly what I need right away. The new page just kind of puts everything on the screen at once and it’s easier to find specifically what I want.

    I know people aren’t gonna go for it though. People don’t like change.

  3. Crwth says:

    I prefer the older format, because it fits into the half-height browser window I use by default – the new format requires scrolling. Additionally, all of the clickable targets are right there in one group, easy to find.

    That being said, I think newcomers to the site would get better use from the newer format, getting a feel for what the site entails. And if they are introduced with it, they’ll find the areas they’re looking for faster than I do, having to browse around a bit.

  4. I agree with Crwth in that a new homepage should not require scrolling. Other than that, I think it is good for people who come upon it for the first time – easier to find one’s way about. So do change without fear – people will always resist change, but do not let that faze you!
    Onwards and upwards, I would say – Pene crassui!

  5. While I appreciate the ease of finding whatever I might be looking for with your new design, it feels too overwhelming to be the main index page for me. It would make a perfect sitemap or index, though.

  6. Petruza says:

    I like the newer better, but it has too much text to look at once.
    Some sections like forum and blog have to stand up from the rest, denoting the importance.
    Also the writing systems, which are the main reason of the site, should be the most visible part.
    Also, the titles should distinguish from their content not only by being bold, maybe a different font or font size, color, background, etc…
    And the scroll graphic rocks, it should not go away, it could be smaller though.
    Anyway, both alternatives are ok, the site will still be great.

  7. Voytec says:

    I have to agree with the opinion that the new layout is better but there is to much text there. It may be a bit overwhelming. Maybe using just short description and some small graphics for each category would work better.

  8. dave prine says:

    I like the newer version, but with a little less text or perhaps a better way to differentiate the sections. For example, the store should be off to one side or with a different colored background. Other sections might be better suited for being larger or being in the center, etc. Or maybe bullet points for the sub-section categories. Stuff like that. Personally, I like having more choices up front rather than having to click thru several pages to find what I’m looking for.

    (The new look requires no scrolling on my browser, if that helps.)

    Whatever you chose to do, keep up the great work with the site!

  9. Bia says:

    I’m pro new version, I think the interface is better, it’s easier to read and to know what the site is about.

    By the way, loved both the site and the blog!

  10. GeoffB says:

    While the new page is a bit busy, it gives a much better picture of all that can be found at the Omniglot. And whatever the site started out as, I think of it as the place where you can find out how to say, “My hovercraft is full of eels.” So it’s good to see phrases front and center.

  11. I like aspects of both – I love the large random scroll and it’s scrolly (scrollish?) look and feel on the original page. But I also like the logical layout of the new one, as well as the What’s New? area.

    One thing I’d like to know is whether you’d going to keep the links on the new one in that other (more Google) blue, or if you just haven’t changed the stylesheet to match the darker blue from the original? I imagine it’s the latter, since the links go purple when they’ve been visited.

    Honestly, I think a combo of both is where to aim: keep the large scroll, change links to the dark blue, add the What’s New and perhaps work to diminish the amount of total text to fit it into a smaller window (though on my laptop screen both fit into a page without having to scroll).

    So perhaps there’s a happy medium!

  12. d.m.falk says:

    The new design is way too cluttered, but yes, I do think the main page design could use some updating. While some would like everything thrown at them at once, I prefer the old axiom, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!), when it comes to any page design.

    I do think, at the very least, that links to the most important sections should come first- About, What’s New, Blog, Forum, Scripts, UDHR, Tower of Babel, Phrases, Store. Don’t be overly wordy on any index page, either the main one or subpages, but when you get to actual subject/category pages, be as wordy for that subject/category as necessary.

    As stated, I liked the simplicity of the current main npage, but I could see room for improving the layout/design so it doesn’t look outdated.

    (There are, admittedly, some who prefer a Yahoo!-style portal with all the bells and whistles and then some in front of them, so they don’t have to bother going to each section, but to me- and considering I have bad eyesight, due to congenital rubella syndrome- that much clutter feels like a “Where’s Waldo?” puzzle…. KISS is the best way to handle any site’s design, IMHO.)


  13. I have been loving Omniglot since 1999 or 2000, and I have always loved your simple, sparse homepage. The new one is so cluttered. Please don’t change it!

  14. xarxa says:

    yeah, i agree with most of the comments here – the old page has a much cleaner style, whereas the new one is more cluttered and not as easy to navigate, even though the links are clearer. maybe you could keep the old page, but attach a small concise label to each of the links that you already have?

  15. Caenwyr says:

    Same for me: I like the old version better. It’s sharp and clean, even if not all the information of the website is visible. The only thing I always though the front page missed was the idea of “there’s so much more behind this page”. The proposed new front page gives visitors the idea of a huge package of information indeed, but I’m not exactly a fan of the muddled format it’s in. Keep it sharp, nice and clean I’d say.

    Another suggestion, you could also put a tiny little link called [more] or [site map] or something in that order on the homepage, redirecting visitors to proposed new one. That way people can easily navigate to a more thorough overview of what has to offer.

  16. I like the old design far better than the new one. The new one appears far too cluttered, plus I think the old one had an aesthetic/graphic appeal that it would be a bad idea to ruin. Perhaps, like Caenwyr said, you could use the “new” one as the site map rather than the index page, so people who really do want to see all that can see it, and those who do not don’t have to.

  17. xarxa says:

    yeah, a site-map link sounds like the way to go

  18. Declan says:

    The new one is a little too cluttered, but it is a nice idea.

  19. I just found Omniglot, so I don’t know what it looked like before. But I can say that it looks fine now. It’s easy to navigate and read. So many sites do dumb things like dark blue text on a black background. At least you have common sense, and the design tells me you have a sense of good design.

    I was looking for tips and tricks for entering IPA with a computer, a problem which a team of grad students have attempted to address (see website). We started it because we finally became disgusted at the pathetic efforts of today’s students – handing in papers with the characters written in by hand, for example. And professors are sometimes not much better.

    So if you have any favorite ways you enter IPA on your computer, we’d love to hear about it.

    PS, we’re halfway around the planet from Brighton. But we’re only next door via the internet. 🙂

  20. Alf says:

    I’ve used and loved your site for many years now. I agree that you can keep the simplicity (and elegance) of the original index page while perhaps adding a few extra links. The changing image on the “classic” index page is very pleasing too. Its iconic of your site actually.

    I’ve used your site in linguistics and language classes I teach to middle school students. It’s always been very easy to navigate. Please don’t succumb to the temptation of clutter.

  21. Philip says:

    Prefer your original site. The new format is to sterile, and far too corporate.

    Some revision of the present site may be of use.

    I’m happy to have found your blog in the first place. Please keep it up!

  22. I must agree with what some of the above readers said: Use the new proposal (or a version thereof) as your sitemap!

  23. Simon says:

    Thanks a lot for all your comments. I’m inclined to keep the old homepage as it is and to make the new one into a sitemap.

    Some of you mentioned that you’d like a few more links on the current homepage – which ones?

  24. renato figueiredo says:

    I like the section what’s new, is faster to find new informations, in spite of having lots of info at the same time. I liked, We don’t need to click several times on links, to see what we need. It is everything in one place. New page is my vote.

  25. Caenwyr says:

    What I did like about the new page was the immediate links to what’s new, even though I’m afraid even that will damage the perfectly clean look of the “classic”, well-appreciated home page. Maybe you could add the most recently added conscripts, audio files, articles etc below the “what’s new” line, in the same discreet style of the rest of the page.

    But I must say, the idea of no changes at all doesn’t bother me, but maybe I’m just being conservative ;-).

  26. Jacob Zuiderveen says:

    I like the additions made in the new homepage but it looks cluttered. In order to make it work you need some order to the links and some visual contrast: not just blue text. Some illistrations would be nice!
    Keep Working.

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