Sending users to our documentation

The only color from the logo that you could give to the header background would surely be the inner red flash - otherwise you would lose either the blue/black headphones or the yellow flash/waves.

I’m glad I’m not the only one with a hobby-horse … :slight_smile:


What I had in mind was adding just a touch or red. The current colour (color) is (or close to) #00F, I was thinking that just a touch of red would make them more visible against the current background.

This is #30F which is noticeably brighter on my laptop screen:

Which is of course the other solution. I think the background is made up of images (top corners, bottom corners and main “inner” background) which makes it a bit more tricky to change.

An easy way to mock-up the text colour is to add the “Firebug” plug-in to Firefox - this allows you to change the html/style and see the result in real time - then take a screen shot.

I note that in the changes some of the section titles have changed from white to blue on the bue background - very hard to read. :frowning:


You mean on the Board index page. Yes, so they have and so they are :frowning:

<<<Are we trying to help the less able users? Then the London Times is irrelevant.>>>

Not it’s not. Less able users would never have found out that links are required to be purple. They’re far better served by bright clear links – given our background colour.



That certainly stands out a lot better, and I don’t think it looks bad either.
Somehow it also seems to make the line “Click the underlined links for quick answers in our” stand out better,

OK. Ya got me. I made the background darker.


I think it looks better with the background a shade darker - more contrast, so easier to see.

+1 for the bigger font for Tips, Tutorials and Documentation

But I suspect that GAle will comment that this font size is bigger the the “Audacity Forum” - if so then I suggest we increase the font size on that too.


I’m guessin’ he isn’t going to like the form of the characters because they’re not strictly HTML layout.

Did you notice “Click The Underlined…” text is all on one line? No folding.

They may not need to be HTML, tho. I created a web page for someone once where I created clickable portions of the graphic within the code, whether they were text or not.

You can define a window within a graphic and make it a clickable items. I don’t remember how I did it, but I can look it up again.


The grey background to the yellow waves was in fact the colour used for the trademark. I had to change the colour of the trademark here to go with our current header background, or it would be invisible.

The idea of the #f3f3ff used on the Wiki or the near-neighbour #eeeeff (238,238,255) on the main web site is that it is close to the reflection colour on the left headphone of the logo. Clearly that sort of colour could be used for the header background here, but it may still be that the originally intended colour for the trademark will only actually show with a white background.

I’d also point out that we are “supposed” to be working towards our sites having a unified appearance rather than a patchwork.

I think I’ve found the two CSS elements for the corners and the main background now.

Thanks. Yes I used to use Firebug to do things like that but Firefox became too much of a resource drain on Windows. I use Chrome for my browser at the moment and haven’t investigated any Firebug-like extensions for that.

Sorry, but unintentional - will revert to white as soon as I can.

Thanks for the mockups. What I’m missing is any concrete evidence that users don’t click on the current blue links because they don’t see them ; whereas I do have concrete evidence that white links (even underlined) are not recognised as links. I think the links simply must be blue if we want to maximise clicks.

On my CRT monitor, the darker background makes the Audacity word in the logo appear both jagged and blurred (and harder to see). I get this jagged/blurred effect to a lesser extent with Steve’s more pinkish blue for the text, although with that proviso the links are easier to see because of the increased contrast.

I would never get links of the size Koz suggests passed on the main web site by Vaughan et al so I’'m not proposing to have links of that size here. Visual consistency again :slight_smile:. Also, most people should come to the Forum from so will already have seen the invocations to check the Wiki and FAQs first. I think it would be confusing to have links of huge size or excessive contrast that are nothing to do with the actual site the user is on.

For now, I’ll probably just tweak the blue of the links a little, if it can be made to actually look like a blue that is something to do with the blues on the Forum or in the logo (I don’t really think that’s the case with Steve’s blue).

Later on I’ll see if I can produce some mockups of a white background and an #eeeeff background.


from the perspective of a dumb user
who has a problem to solve – now , of course
and not from the viewpoint of an audacity suit
who wants everything to be pretty and just so …

we may have found the forum that way
after a google search or maybe we came some other way –
but does not mean we wrote down all that info
or know how we got to the magic page on sourceforge

what is wrong with putting it where you need it
where the forum discussion raises issues that should be
checked by looking at the docs wiki help faqs tuts etc

shades of blue wtf - you can have pretty or you can
have functional to help those who are looking for more info

from the users perspective - we prefer functional

i hope whatever blue you pick motivates the developers
to avoid the bugs that sends users here to try to find the
links to get to the answers :slight_smile:

Personally, I think the “Click the underlined links” text is already larger and more prominent than is warranted :slight_smile: . It’s human nature that most users will post rather than click around looking for their answer, because it is the least line of resistance.

We aren’t discussing “where”. Where else do you want to put links? The place to put precise links targeted to the exact question is in the post. Putting targeted links to our Wiki, Manual or FAQs in answers is what I’d like you to do when you answer questions. Links in the header can only ever be to a list of answers/articles.

I have to satisfy the “Audacity suits” as well as the users/moderators. My point is if the user has no motivation to look for answers and just wants to ask (which I believe is largely true for first time posters) then however prominent the header links are, they won’t be clicked on.

I don’t believe more than a small minority of users come here to actively report what they believe to be bugs (the correct way to do that is to e-mail the feedback address). I don’t even think that Audacity bugs in our current code are sending large numbers of users here. Of course a fair number of users come here through bugs or lack of features in 1.2, but the problem there is not being able to get 2.0 out the door. The majority of users come here because they want help using Audacity.


my point is that the links as they are
do not look like links
i overlooked them for months
until someone pointed them out

to be useful
links need to look like links
not hidden

Now the links are underlined and have “click the links” text, they do look like links. I note that many of the links on the Board Index and in messages don’t “look like links” (aren’t underlined). Do people have difficulty realising that you have to click on the non-underlined “Windows” in the 1.2.X Forum to go there?

Here is a mockup of links in three different colours pulled from the logo. The “Tips” link is 38,38,154; Tutorials is 0,0,176; “Documentation” is 49,49,182:
Obviously I am not suggesting mixing the colours, but choosing one and using that for all three links. The “Tutorials” colour starts to look ragged on my CRT, so I would rather not use that. I like “Documentation” the most, it is not quite so dark but catches the eye more. Will this do until we try some mockups for white or current Wiki background?

Whatever the background, how do you feel about a small (i) information symbol to left of the text? I could probably live with that/justify it.


On my flat-screen (laptop) monitor, “Tutorials” stands out much more clearly than the other two (and does not look ragged).
Of the other two, “Documentation” perhaps stands out marginally better than “Tips”.

I realise that the comma does not strictly belong to the “Tips” link, but I think it looks terrible being in the non-link colour.
Do we really need the exclamation mark at the end of the line? I notice that both Koz and myself avoided both of these things in our mock-ups.

In my opinion, yes they do.

I can live with it, though I’d prefer to loose the exclamation!

I’m not sure exactly what you mean. Is it necessary or an improvement?
I think the major improvement in all of this is that the links are now underlined (plus it says “Click the underlined links…”) so give or take any minor benefits of stylistic changes I think it is pretty clear to anyone that reads it (not that there’s any guarantee that everyone will necessarily read it, even if it’s in inch high flashing DayGlo letters).

<<<(not that there’s any guarantee that everyone will necessarily read it, even if it’s in inch high flashing DayGlo letters).>>>

The links are not for the users/posters. They’re for the elves. I use them all the time. By the time people in difficulty arrive, they’re already composing a question in their head, and if they came from Google, they’ve composed it multiple times. Nobody is going to abandon that process to go down a mystery link. If you know people that did, then you know celebrity posters and they’re certainly not common.

Welcome to British Telecom. Your call is important to us. Instead of talking to a Customer Service Representative, please visit our Question and Answer page on the web.
Thank you for calling British Telecom.


I wondered why you had Tips Tutorials ! No, I really don’t think that will do in a sentence - it’s OK in a list with enough space between the list items so it’s clear they are separate links.

I can only suggest again that the trouble with the text and link colour not matching is the background colour. If the text colour was black, it would be fine… but you want the text to stand out against the background…

I don’t really need the exclamation mark - no-one mentioned it before. Obviously though it was an exhortation to the users to click the links.

When Peter first posited links in the header he wanted an image of a schoolmaster pointing at a blackboard to catch attention. This is a watered down idea to catch the user’s attention and remind them of the links, using an information symbol image like these.

I think it could well help, if the intention really is to catch the users’ attention.

Whomper (if I interpret him correctly) thinks the links are for the users. For repeat users, even I do. But for first time users, my reasoning all along has been that making the links more “visible” is largely futile.

As for the elves, they should know where those links are (even if they were non-underlined same colour) :confused:

But if you ring my ISP they exactly try to get you out of the queue by reading the online FAQs :slight_smile: I thnk it’s worth a shot, futile as it probably is for most first-time users.

I’ll go with the “Documentation” colour. I don’t get links of the “Tutorials” colour giving me problems on the CRT when against a light background (but they do look very aggressive whatever the background).



Yes. They’re very popular…with the companies.

“I have an extraordinarily painful place you can put your FAQ.”