The Reef Web Development Thread

I’m sorry, I know it’s a whiny thing to say, but I hate the Reef website. It looks like something from the 1990s, with the colored background and the low-resolution carousel images. I think it signals low quality. What to do? @matthias @noemi @BaobabUrbain

Relatively easy. In that case, @ilaria please remind our designer that we need an actual design proposal for the frontpage of both the Reef website and the Sci-Fi Economics Lab website from him. It may be due to a misunderstanding of sorts that we “only” got website graphics cropped from the main visual so far. But this is what’s in the design services contract – and this part was written by me, as that’s what I need to make the technical part of a website:

A visual for our already existing minisite. For this, the requirements are a wireframe design proposal for its frontpage. It should use the existing basic structure of the site (header with menu and logo, footer, main content area) and adapt this by choosing a suitable color scheme, images and any formatting that can be done by CSS.

So far, in the interest of speed I just thought “close enough” and made a color scheme etc. around the main illustration graphic we got from the designer.

As for the carousel images, we’ll just drop them when we have proper frontpage image material from our designer.

And for future contracts, I think we should just include that all communication happens in this forum. Playing intermediary must be annoying for @ilaria as well.

Here are the final graphics, with the original files and the high res images.
Lorenzo accepted to send them despite what he usually do and what’s stated in the contract.

We discussed what we wanted from the designer, he proposed a number of deliverables, we selected what we needed, made corrections, asked different things. He did his job, we can like it or not, but I think he worked more than he was expected and paid for. It’s fine, he’s happy to work with us. What I feel annoying is not having clear communication: if anyone wants to be part of the process of decision making, then has to engage in the process in a positive way from the beginning. If not, then we should trust our colleagues and accept the results. I think we are all doing our best and we are doing a good job despite the circumstances.
PS: of course, advices, suggestions, offer of help are more than welcome :wink:

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If you refer to me, I do… unless the final quality is obviously too low. Then, sorry, I reserve the right to step in. :slight_smile:

Anyway, the visual itself is IMHO uninspired, but acceptable. It is the website that I don’t like (from a purely graphical point of view).

I don’t refer to you specifically and I agree that you have the right to express your thoughts :slight_smile:

What I think is not useful in this situation, especially because we’re working in not that easy circumstances, is panicking (again, not you). I can understand it, we’re all a little worried because we didn’t have the time to plan everything with ease and we don’t want to fail, but I suggest to unite our forces and be empathetic and helpful with each other. I assume that everyone is doing her/his best; if this is not enough, we say it. But during the process I think we also have to encourage people in order to have greater results.

Btw, I’m not upset or needy in that way, I know I’m doing a good job. Also, I know that at the end it will be ok, because we are all doing a good job and learning from this experience and adapting to accidents.

Agree. In this case, I had to flag the issue, because I wrote to the Commune de Forest and judged that the website was unfit for purpose: adding the link would have decreased our chances to get a successful meeting. What must not happen in Edgeryders is box-ticking: “ok, this is done, move on” without wondering “does it serve the purpose for which we did it in the first place”?

Thanks, but it’s more than expression. “Step in” means temporarily revoking delegation of responsibility and going into what Nadia calls “micromanagement mode”. Which I hate, but sometimes it needs to be done, and then it is the project leader’s duty to do it. Just so we are clear. :slight_smile:

I understand it. Of course, you should do what you think is the best for Edgeryders so, I accept whatever decision you will make.

It is not “the final quality” since this website is an iterative process, right from the start of this thread. As in “client provides some specifications, I implement it, client looks at it, rinse & repeat”. That’s the best process I have come up with so far, after way too many unworkable “make me a website I like” projects for various clients. I’ll change any part of the website as often as desired, as long as it stays inside the hours included for this in the offer.

In this case, specifications from your (Edgeryders) side were one graphic so far … which is, umh, very scarce. Assuming that you don’t have time to express more clearly what you expect the website to look like, I propose (see above) that @ilaria goes back to our designer and gets us the contracted frontpage wireframe designs for both the existing Reef and Sci-Fi Economics Lab websites. If you like that design proposal, that’s a spec I can work with. Alternatively you can provide an example website where the style looks right to you. What does not work is “make me a website I like”, because neither original designs nor mindreading are one my skills, and these are consequently not on offer :slight_smile:

Now this is a funny situation as I’m somehow on both sides of the contract. I take it as an educational experience: it helps to see things from both sides by personal experience in order to keep this company a place where contractors like to work for …

Of course. What I mean is: I stayed completely out of it, considering that I am pretty low maintenance in terms of visuals, but then when I needed to use it I decided it was not yet good enough.

Most Edgeryders minisites are good enough. For example or

@Matthias: wondering if you can replace the slides on with the photos/quotes from here? normally, they shouldnt have all the logos overlaid, but well… :frowning:
I have a lot more quotes and photos of other participants, but not sure how to create similar filters. I can try thoguh, let me know if you would need them:

Sure, can do (today I think). So far there are three slides with people and quotes made by Lorenzo, so more would be better. When you upload the participant photos you have (named by the people) and put their quotes somewhere, I’ll create more. The filters are not difficult to make.

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Quotes (the ones in Green is where we have permission to post, but you can mix them, as everyone was very forthcoming at the workshop):

Update: There’s a new version with the slides and quotes, as requested by Noemi.

I’ll now work on the final design, roughly following the design proposal that we received. If anyone dislikes that proposal, or has specific requests what I should do how, now’s the last chance to tell :slight_smile:

Note that I don’t plan to make this website a single-page site as in the design proposal. If you guys want to use it as the medium to long term web presence of The Reef, that would be too limiting I think.

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I cannot get involved in the site design more, been following transversally and offering advice when something comes up. Hope it’s OK!

I do love how you added the photos and I think the filters are good, they are not too revealing of people’s faces. And all names are rightfully assigned to the photo and quotes, thank you for the care!

Another good photo to use here or elsewhere is this:


My 5 cents:
If a site layout would be more simple, based on these images, and simple background (the sides of the site etc.) I think it would look better than the green/brown combo from the official materials. There is always the option of using that imagery somewhere if and when needed, but it doesnt have to be the DONE visual brand, especially because none of us is hyper excited about them.

For the budget we had, it’s OK to have gotten something, but the work of a proper visual brand building will take longer, so not locking ourselves in a design I think is the smarter choice.

It’s also why I will not ask our video maker or anyone doing comms to use religiously the repository we have i.e. notice The Reef title sequence in the video with improvised font… :

I know, it’s non-commital but I dont feel we are at the phase in which good branding is possible.

cc @alberto @manuelpueyo (who is big on storytelling and content organising) might have other opinuons.

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We do need the multilingual content!
BTW we have it for the Community building part:

I have just prepared all the topics belonging to so that they are ready to take the translated content. Once the translations of one language are all in place there, I can switch on that language version on the website.

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Update: A new version of the website is online with major updates to the graphics, font formatting and site structure.

@alberto please have a look. Is that fit for purpose now? Any modification requests? Otherwise I’d consider the work done until I get the multilingual content to integrate.

Yes, now it’s fine. Thanks!

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Much much better, well done!!
The button on the homepage that says Connect to the community should probably link to The Reef category. Currently it links to Campfire…

I added the Events page in FR:

I see that the Frontpage is also done. The rest might need to wait…