[open-literature] A Fresh Look at the Open Shakespeare Website

Open Shakespeare open-shakespeare at okfn.org
Wed Aug 4 11:36:17 UTC 2010

Dear All,

Alex Lee, a web designer based in London, has kindly taken a look at
the website for us, and has offered many interesting comments and
suggestions. I have already taken him up on his offer to draft some
new layouts for the site, but thought I'd post his comments here so
everyone can meditate upon and reply to them.

Without further ado:

* If you dig around, there's a huge amount of data in the site, but
the front page doesn't make this obvious. I'd suggest a clearer page
with the main calls to action and surface more content from deeper in
the site. The 'word of the day' for example could pull in the first 20
words of the article as a tease into the content. You could show a
random work or latest annotations.

* The big wordle image doesn't make much sense without a title (I
worked out what is from from the alt tag), and it doesn't link
anywhere so looks more like it's just filling space.

* 'Works' page  could be separated out a little nicer with anchored
links by alphabet or allow filtering by date or type (tragedy, comedy

* The introductions are fantastic, and actually hold links to useful
content (such as the editions links) could the introduction be
included above / alongside the work? Make the work the focal page and
then have sub pages/views which are 'annotate', 'introduction',
'editions/downloads' for example.

* The annotations is also a great feature, could this be surfaced
higher up or highlight recent annotations from the homepage? How much
annotating do you want people to do? Is that a core part of the
project, or not really?

* When I clicked into an annotation there were lots of 'test
annotations' so they could do with a bit of a clear out.

* Highlighting works that are in need of attention, or are very active
could be another way to draw people into the project

* A simple one is that search should really be in the header of every page

* Slight tangent but could you surface timely content? Passages which
discuss the current month or season? Maybe something that could tie
into word of the day.

* Or could you do anything with http://theatricalia.com/ to promote
the works by showing productions? Just a random thought.

* And finally, the title of the homepage is 'Open Shakespeare Blog' I
am little confused though, because I can't find any blog content.

Best wishes,


'The Marriage of Text and Technology'

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