Upto PublishingFeatures

WWW Design Specification

This is somewhere to document the design specifications of the global site.

This page started with the items on the WwwFEaturesPresentationWishList.

The re-design of the global site is being sorted out via irc meetings this wiki and on these three email lists:


Jakob Nielsen's alertbox on web useability is good background reading.

  • a better readability of texts with a lot of links
  • Pages should load fast, this means that graphics should be kept to a minimum and the HTML should minimalist.
  • Cross browser compatability is important and the design should work in as many browsers as possible, including text-only browsers.


Accessiblity is about making our websites as readable to people who have disabilities, text based, or slow computers. We should follow the guidelines in Dive in to Accessibility as much as possible.


Internationalisation requirements (i then 18 letters and then a n is short for internationalisation).

  • a layout that makes the multi-linguality of the site easy to understand and easy to use
  • "add translations" on a prominent spot
  • all translations displayed well
  • a set-up in which additional languages can be added easily

Navigation requirements.

  • links to the feature and newswire archive
  • links to some good static pages for contact and participation, links etc, but not too many (now they are spread over the page)
  • the cities list like it is
  • all translations displayed well
  • "add translations" on a prominent spot
  • the upcoming indymedia coverage box


Layout requirements.

We need to produce a layout plan like the UK did when they migrated: UkMirDesignGrids

  • a space for one or two alerts
  • the mission statement and the note about copyright at a good location on the site
  • a layout that makes the multi-linguality of the site easy to understand and easy to use
  • a good balance between our features in the middle and the RSS feed
  • more features introed on first screen


  • subscription to email indy-news update


  • maybe 3 different layouts (black on white, white on black and another one) this to be done by the clients switching the CSS that they use for the site perhaps with javascript.


Logo requirements.

  • the original logo, but maybe a new banner because the cities in the banner don't make sense anymore


  • more attention for the RSS feed: longer and maybe with the abstract


The redesign site should be valid (X)HTML, use valid CSS for presentation and comply with the W3C accessibility guidelines. The Mozilla web developer toolbar is worth installing since it gives easy access to various validators.


Since all user inputted HTML is run through HTML Tidy it should be possible to make the site valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. This particular version of XHTML would be best as it is the most backwards compatible and also the only version that can be served with the text/html mime type (essential for IE).




The HTML should be simple and strcutural, it should not contain tables and CSS should be used for layout, colours, fonts etc. For an idea of what it is possible to do using CSS see the Zen Garden.

Sizes in CSS should not be fixed (px and pts) but should use scalable sizes, em's, %'s etc this allows the user to control the size of the text displayed on the site \x97 let users control font size.

Page width should not be fixed and should be allowed to flow dependinmg on the width of the clients browser window.




RSS is used for syndication and RSS 1.0 is the best version to use since it is extensible via XML namesspaces.




Topic revision: r3 - 07 May 2004, RabbleRouser
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