Re-jiggered "sidebar" for top-level pages

We get a lot of requests to put this link or that link in the home page. As an experiment, I updated the sidebar to collect all the "hot" links into a single "Quick Links" section.

I also removed a link to "About this wiki" and "LEDE To-dos" from the navigation bar. Comments, please.

I expected the current sidebar plus some added links.
Instead I found a completely re-arranged sidebar, turned upside down so to say.

Things that were previously normal links are now "quick links".
I don't understand the logic behind this.

I like the current page order -- Home, Supported Devices, Downloads, those are probably the most viewed pages. In the re-jiggered sidebar they're demoted which doesn't make much sense to me.

Maybe just move LEDE Rules/ToDos/Infrastructure to the Development branch of the current sidebar and be done with it?

To me, it looks better.

That being said, I understand a lot of effort goes into this, but I feel like the old homepage worked better. It was cleaner, and easier on the eye. Now, it looks very busy, and I am not the only one missing links on the homepage.

I feel the decision to move from the jekyll homepage to the wiki homepage was rushed, and it was put up for discussion, but it felt very 'internal', and I think for decisions like this the input of the larger community is very welcome. After all, the homepage is intended for our widest possible audience.

I might agree - it did sort of turn out to be upside down.

There's intense competition for links to resources on the home page/sidebar. I was having trouble deciding which ones "deserved" to be listed, while others weren't listed. (Example: Clearly, we need the "Downloads" link to be highly visible. What about the "Bug Tracker" link? What about IRC?)

I decided to see what the page would look like if we just lumped all the potentially-popular link into one collection (I called it "Quick Links", perhaps "Resources" would be a better name. Or maybe you have a better name...)

The challenge I throw out: Can you describe your reasons for placing links in the side bar (or reasons not to include the link)? Thanks.

One of the criteria could be the popularity of the page. However I'd prefer the use cases.

Say a new user comes to the site and they are convinced they want LEDE. They'd want to know if their device is supported and where to download the image. Ultimately Support (links to IRC/mail-lists and forum)/Forum would be the last two pages in this use case.

For developers coming to the page to learn about LEDE there's also a need for 5-6 links.

Finally, would be great to have links to stats (including build stats) even if it's below the fold. If there's a reason to make the sidebar shorter tho, this section can be sacrificed.

OK. Another arrangement:

Guiding principle(s):

  • Welcome to LEDE at the top, separated from...
  • A list of the links you'd use if you want to do something with LEDE, separated from...
  • Links to non-operational information about LEDE
  • Contacts on the bottom, because that's where it "should be", by convention

I don't have any opinion about the order of the second group. I suspect people will see that this is the list of "stuff to do", and scan down the list to find what they want.

See how the updated sidebar appears in action at

Sorry @richb-hanover, I edited your sidebar, then realized it should be kept as a reference so I reverted it back to your revision.
Here's how I see the organization of the sidebar tho:

First up are downloads/supported devices, then section on how users can get help/obtain more information, then the similar information section for developers.

I did remove the "Welcome to LEDE Project" from the top for two reasons:

  1. There already are multiple ways to get back to the home page (clicking home, clicking on the icon/LEDE Project in the toolbar).
  2. Visually it's quite a bit longer than any other link and stands out.
    If there's a strong reason to bring it back, I suggest the link title is shortened to Home.

Otherwise, it contains pretty much the same links as the current sidebar (which is great btw), but I hope this organization of links makes sense and will be better perceived.

I think it would be beneficial to have a Stats/Status section with information site stats, builds, infrastructure health, etc.

I comment this with

richb: take it with humor :slight_smile:

Use some separators to give it a structure. A simple 1-2-3 will do. Everybody can count to 3, everybody knows upper - middle - lower section.

Group 1 - Base information

----- separator -----

Group 2 - Convenience / Quick links / $younameit

----- separator -----

Group 3 - Abouts + Contact

If there are... say like 10 links in Group 2, then there's something wrong in the concept. In this case, these links should rather be put on a separate page, and the sidebar only linking to it. Because when there are 10 links, soon the request for two more will come... and the sidebar will become quite lengthy, where it should be simple and short.

BTW: Which convenience links are requested?

Any feedback on

1 Like

I like this direction so far the best.

Based on other posts, like the 4MB device thread, and a general preference to promote the important content, I think that "Documentation" should be first in the list. Downloads should be low on the list, even if it is more popular. Users will tend to work down through the list, and having documentation higher is likely to get people to read more.

As a former web designer I was taught different and much prefer navigation by menu, ideally a no-click hover menu. I find it much faster and easier than waiting for pages to load only to find I need to go to another page. I really do not care for the pages of links and having to follow "bread crumbs" embedded in page content. They are too hard to find. Miss one and your lost. I want to go to:

  • Documentation=>HowTo=>VPN=>OpenVPN=>OpenVPNServer

from a single menu and not through 4 pages, though I should be able to do this also.

While I like to keep the top level menus to no more than 6 entries, I do not care to much about the breadth and depth of the lower levels. It depends on how things group under the category. I find our thin menus extremely frustrating.

We also do not have a "site map" that I can find.

Thanks, I think I missed that entire drop down. I am used to site map being at the end of the menu or page footer.

Funny how what's old is new again. I thought we replaced pictographs 2000 years ago with a written language. We invent smart phones and forget how to write.