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Various ideas and notions for the site redesign. Please tell me what you think...

a) Adobe.com as a model for the new front page:

www.Adobe.com - IMO this site is a particularly fine example of the sort of design we might use for the front page redesign. A big top picture, six 'frames' below, that in our case could each correspond to one of the major sections of the EG, and then an 'other' section of links below.

We could use an image (that we could change periodically) to represent each section of the EG, with that image representing that section (Ex: the Galactography tile would show an image of one of Steve's clickable star maps, the History tile would be image of the interactive timeline, etc. Clicking on a tile would take you to the opening page of that section of the EG (more on that in a bit).

For the six buttons at the top, we could have the following:

Explore, Read, Play, Participate, Shop, What's New

Like the Adobe page, mousing over each would generate a large drop menu with links to a variety of related content (Explore would have links to the EG and all its major sections, as well as links to the illustrated backstory, primer, etc., Read would take you to V:FT, Play to a page for the eventual OA RPG pages, Participate to the forum and Yahoo lists, contribution guidelines, Donation link, etc., Shop would take you to pages to buy our books and ebooks, and What's New to our What's New page).

Like the Adobe page, we'd have a Search bar. Icon/links to social media could either be below the big picture or maybe we have a 'Share' button that opens up to all the various social media venues OA may be on now or in future.

The title of the site and our logo would be in there as well of course.

b) Use a similar design for the major topic pages of the EG in that we emphasize both exciting visuals and interactivity. So we put the clickable star maps on the first page of the Galatography topic, the interactive timeline widget on the History topic page, etc.

c) Maybe we set things up so people can share individual EGs via social media?

d) Possibly set up something we've talked about for a while where authors can load the final version of their EG entry straight into our content management system for an editor to put in final edits and activate on the site.

Just some thoughts,

Todd
Another possible website design model: The SCP Foundation.

The SCP Foundation is another type of shared worldbuilding/group fiction project. They are perhaps even more text intensive than we are.

Their website can be found here:

http://www.scp-wiki.net/

And possibly offers another potential site redesign idea source. Although I'm sure there's a good reason why OA doesn't take up the entire screen the way the SCP and some other sites do, perhaps we should revisit that limitation? The additional screen real estate might open up places to put links and/or allow more content on the front page (I rather like their News window) or in the EG, allowing for a more...multi-part experience.

Just another possible source of redesign ideas. YMMV.

Todd