Update: IETF Website Redesign

Alexa Morris <amorris@amsl.com> Tue, 20 May 2008 06:01 UTC

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Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 23:01:31 -0700
Subject: Update: IETF Website Redesign
From: Alexa Morris <amorris@amsl.com>
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We are slowly and steadily moving forward with the IETF website redesign
project.  Many of you rightly expressed concern about the fact that the way
we recruited volunteers for this effort made it impossible for people in
certain time zones to participate. I want to let you know that the next time
we do something like this, we will collect names for a day or two and then
randomly select a number of names from the pool of volunteers.

The website redesign team will be getting together in the next couple of
weeks for a kickoff conference call, and some of the initial actions of the
team will include:

1) review of considerations / design principles, adding or revising as
2) creation of a timeline for start and conclusion of the redesign project
3) creation of a process outline, such as:
    - create new site in parallel to existing site, using URL such as
    - get new site running off of datatracker, etc in parallel to ietf.org
    - announce site to community, for general feedback
    - refine site as appropriate
    - announce timeline that sites will exist in parallel, so that tools
team and general community have ample warning to reconfigure bookmarks,
tools etc to run off of new site
    - shutdown old site and move new site to ietf.org

In the meantime, here at AMS we have developed the following to use as a
foundation for this effort, though it may be revised when the website
redesign team meets.

Purpose of the IETF website:

* To provide general information about the IETF to the public
* To house the IETF's Internet-Drafts
* To house the various tools used by the IETF community to further their
  goal to make the Internet work better.
* To provide the IETF community with access to Working Group
* To provide the IETF community with access to IESG information
  - IESG statements
  - Appeals information
* To archive and log various mailing lists, Jabber rooms, etc. used in
  IETF work

Goals for website redesign:

* Improve site navigation
  - Clear Site Map
  - Define what is available on the site
  - Help users find the information they want quickly
  - Make it easy for users to request additional information
* Make it easy for a person who wants to become active in the IETF to
  find the information they need
  - "New to the IETF?" link posted on front page
* Consistent layout and design of pages
* Eliminate redundancy (i.e. avoid having the same information posted--
  rather than linked--in multiple places)
  - When redundancy aids in speedy navigation, *links* can be placed in
    multiple locations to that information, but we should avoid posting
    the same *text* information in multiple places
* Make pages clean and easy to read

Considerations for redesign effort (design principles):

* Web site should follow the W3C guidelines for user accessibility.
  Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0:
* Web site should have stable URLS
  - Once information is posted, that same information can be obtained
    from the same URL over and over.
* Users should be able to navigate the web site with images turned off
  in their browser.  (All images should have ALT text describing the
* Pages should load as quickly as is reasonable; minimal graphics
* The new site should not impede the IETF Community from running their
  own tools to scrape information from the site

We will try to keep the community updated as we move along with this project
but, as always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to
contact me.


Alexa Morris / Executive Director / IETF
48377 Fremont Blvd., Suite 117, Fremont, CA  94538
Phone: +1.510.492.4089 / Fax: +1.510.492.4001
Email: amorris@amsl.com

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