Redesign the OpenWrt download page

Hi all, I've started earlier today with a friend to rework the OpenWrt download page since it's a bit clumsy to find things. My overall idea is to adopt the 2020 redesign and also integrate parts of the functionality of the firmware wizard into the page, if (and only if) JavaScript is enabled.

The file structure should stay the same as before, I'm just trying make it visibly more pleasant.

I'd be curious if other people try to archive something similar and what their ideas of changes would be.

@jow @richb-hanover

5 Likes

I am glad you're looking at this. The current https://openwrt.org/downloads page (which I assume this would replace) has always been a real grab-bag of topics that were in some way related to "downloads". (At least, I felt that way when I originally worked on it.) I also like use of color as an indication of "safety". Some other questions/thoughts:

  • I couldn't tell from the mockup how would this integrate the Firmware Selector (firmware-selector.openwrt.org) and the new, improved Imagebuilder (chef.libremesh.org) Perhaps there could be a place to type in the router info within the Stable Release box?

  • How would this page look when we don't have a RCx release (say, we just released 21.02...)

  • Placing the Release, RCx, Dev builds at the same "visual level" makes them appear equally important to the OpenWrt "audience". I wonder if we want to emphasize the current Stable by making it the major item at the top of the page. That would give us space to describe the beauty of the current release version, its major features, etc. We can then list RCx, Development builds, and even Previous Builds a little farther down.

Thanks again.

My idea was that you click on whatever release you'd like and (if JavaScript is enabled) a little text input appears on top of the release page allowing to enter the device name.

The "improved" ImageBuilder would require official recognition before it becomes integrated anywhere. Since it requires more logic than a simple search search through JSON I'd leave it separated for now.

The middle box could simply be removed and snapshots on stable are next to one another.

Sounds good to me. I'll work on a redesign of the boxes.

Looks good. Question though: downloads page as in openwrt.org/downloads or as in downloads.openwrt.org ?

downloads.o.o. I have no knowledge about editing the wiki style.

You need to be aware of what effects colour-blindness might have, which are different to what just a monochrome monitor or a desaturated image might do.

Even if the green, yellow and red -including the white/ black text on top of the coloured fields- would disappear completely[0], a catchy and explicit description of each release is still underneath in black on white. Out of curiosity, what problems would you envision with the mockup page above - respectively how would you solve them in a better way?

While hard to tell from a mockup image, the resulting page shouldn't pose much of a problem to screenreaders either - no fuzz, no reliance on pixel images.

It is very hard for designers not specifically trained for accessibility issues to notice potential problems (early enough or at all), so I'm really curious what would be an issue with the mockup above? I wouldn't expect the directory-browsing enabled representation of the download site to go away either, as the above seems to me more targeted at providing a shortcut to the casual user, rather than replacing https://downloads.openwrt.org/ altogether.

--
[0] and at least the two colour blindless simulators I could locate on the web suggests that in either way the text remains fully readable, just the surrounding colours go through several different permutations (depending on the chosen filtering for deutanopia, protanopia, tritanopia or achromatopsia) - weird, but nothing that should surprise or confuse a person with these conditions.

2 Likes