The new website has a lot going for it. The font is larger and easier to read. The website layout seems more spacious. It looks more "modern", if that makes sense. I suspect it will be easier to maintain.

But something about the new website has seemed odd to me from the beginning. I think the problem is a lack of consistent branding.

The current GIMP website has excellent "branding", meaning the user absolutely knows she's on the GIMP website, no matter which page she navigates to:

* All the main pages ( have the same consistent and distinctive color scheme: dark green, gray, and orange.

* All the pages have a recognizable header across the top, which is an orange bar with Wilber on the left edge, plus the word "gimp" as an image, and on the right side, the words GNU Image Manipulation Program.

* The image in the header bar is a link taking you to the home page. This "link to the home page from the header at the top" is something every website needs on every page.

* The wiki pages ( have a different, but also consistent layout, with Wilber wearing his construction hat prominently featured at the top of the right-side column.

It seems to me that the new website could benefit from clearer and more consistent branding:

* Wilber is on the new home page, but he's sort of lost against the background image at the top, and he's missing from the other pages. It would help with branding if Wilber were prominently visible at the top of every page.

* There's no consistent color scheme tying the website together. A consistent color scheme would help with branding the website. On the pages that aren't the home page, putting a darker "branding" color outside the center column with the text would make that text look a little less lost than it does in the current large expanse of surrounding white space. On a small screen, this is less of an issue. On a large screen, the pages look a bit unfinished.

* There's no "identifying header bar" on the other pages.

* There is no link to the home page from the (nonexistent) identifying header at the top of the page. Every website needs a link to the home page from the top of every page - users shouldn't have to scroll to the bottom to get back to the home page.

I think readers are fairly sensitive to these kinds of "website branding" issues. A clear branding for every page on the GIMP website inspires a certain amount of confidence that you really are on the official GIMP website (rather than on one of the many websites that wants to convince you to download malware).


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