Improve the download/install experience, default OS is not working correctly, and other issues
Preamble: When a new visitor arrives to download LO from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/ I think the big question on their mind concerns how to quickly get the right download. While the LO download page has gotten better over time, considering how much of a first impression it makes I think it's still lacking. Yes, it's functional.
Consider this: If a new user gets messed up on this page (as I did when I was first starting out with LO) it leaves a bad taste in their mouth about the whole LO thing. [Remember, at this point in time, a person knows nothing about LO, except what they see at this page.]
There are two important questions to quickly and accurately (i.e. without any assumptions) get answers to from the newbie:
1) What OS or platform are you using?
2) What LO version do you desire?
SPECIFIC DOWNLOAD PAGE ISSUES AND > SUGGESTIONS
A) I think having a default OS is misleading. (Currently it's RPM.)
Did the this page look at my OS (my HTTP browser information) and somehow determine that that RPM was what was required for me?
That would be my first guess, as that's how many web pages work today. But no, I have Debian, and it came up with RPM! So that's misleading and problematic if the button is clicked.
> If you can't correctly determine the OS needed, then don't start out with any default. Force the user to select OS, like this:
(When I was new at this I had no idea what RPM was. I only knew that I had Debian, I had too many things to learn that day, and quickly needed a download that would work with my system. So I clicked the download button only to end up in much more frustration.)
Select from the following supported architectures and operating systems:
Mac OS X x86_64 (10.8 or newer required)
For Intel and AMD 64 bit wide CPUs and operating systems:
Linux x64 (deb) - for Debian derived installers (apt, synaptic, etc.)
Linux x64 (rpm) - for Red Hat derived installers (rpm)
For Intel and AMD 32 bit wide CPUs and operating systems:
Linux x86 (deb) - for Debian derived installers (apt, synaptic, etc.)
Linux x86 (rpm) - for Red Hat derived installers (rpm)
Windows x86_64 - use with 64 bit OS and Vista or newer
Windows - other (i.e. 32 bit and older windows)
Notice that I revised this list so that it consistently has the newer 64 before the older 32. Also it's alphabetical. (If we support all of these, then we should not be giving deferential preference to any of these here. In other words, I prefer Linux, but I'm not going to try and push that on a user who has a different OS.)
Get rid of the line that says, "Selected: ...". Replace it with selectors and buttons that say what you download when you press them.> So at the very top of the page put a clearly marked LO version selector and an OS selector.
(The "change?" link is unclear. Change what? At a minimum say "change selected OS", but please read on...)
!! ALSO, it is not clear as it is now, that the downloads listed further down this page are also modified by the (below) selected version.
The whole page is upside down, with the selectors at the bottom but being used at the top.
Put the selectors at the top, and then use the below. If you went to a car parts site and they showed you a muffler to buy, would that make any sense. No first you want to select the car you drive.> Make each clickable download thingy on this page look the same. In other words when you see a green button you know that it's something to download. (It's ok to have the main download bigger, but all downloads should look like buttons, because they are actions rather than links. As it is, it looks like they might be links to where you might download those other things.) > In this OS selector, provide some tool tips for new users who might be confused by the x32 vs x64, and Deb vs RPM versions. For Windows say what the plain version of Windows is for. In other words: HELP the visitor make these selections. Assume they are new to all of this! (If we are to grow the LO user base, we must start with new users who know virtually nothing about any of this.)
B) Furthermore I haven't been given the choice of version (at the top). I may have arrived a this page from a variety of links and I know nothing about versions, so I need to be provided with a list of available versions with some info about each so I can make an appropriate version selection.> Make any download buttons say what OS and version is being downloaded, i.e. change "DOWNLOAD VERSION 6.0.0" TO "DOWNLOAD V6.0.0 for Linux x64 (deb)"
C) Once downloaded then what? For Linux the https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/install-howto/linux/ page is unhelpful.
==> For Linux downloads provide one additional download: A bash script that can be used to automatically unpack and install the downloads. Somebody must have something like this already written, and rather than all of us re-invent the wheel, just help us with an installer script, i.e. rather than having to do all of the cd, sudo dpkg -iR DEBS, wash, rinse repeat for each of our downloads ourselves.
If you made it all the way thru this, thank you. These things have been on my mind for a few years, and I get reminded every time I try to upgrade of how much of a pain it is, and how it could be easier.
Updated by Florian Effenberger over 3 years ago
Mike Saunders wrote:
Thanks Ilmari – some of these things I can change directly, but for a few I'll need some help from Cloph, so I'll add him in as a Watcher on this ticket.
As we plan a call tomorrow w/ Cloph, you, Italo and me, can you add this to the agenda?
Updated by Mike Saunders over 3 years ago
Hi Ilmari, just an update on this -- sorry there hasn't been much activity on this ticket for a while. Looking at it again, I think the two issues are:
- There are a lot of changes here (some of which I agree with, definitely!) that amount to a pretty major redesign of the download page (eg the OS selector drop-down would become much wider)
- I can change some wording and layout, but deeper changes (eg Linux distro auto-detection) will require some more understanding of SilverStripe
So is there anything that really stands out to you, that we could fix/improve quickly? It would indeed be nice to get a few of these ticked off the list, where appropriate, and which I can do fairly quickly...
Updated by Beluga Beluga over 2 years ago
Florian Effenberger wrote:
Let me take this from your pile and release it to the public - no urgency/priority atm, and lack of feedback from original reporter
To get feedback, it is best to visit the original Bugzilla report and email Howard with any questions.