[drupal-devel] promote to frontpage: confusing.

Scott Courtney scott at 4th.com
Tue Mar 8 15:59:31 UTC 2005

On Tuesday 08 March 2005 02:57, Bèr Kessels wrote:
> Good one. "headlines" is indeed only slightly mre general then "frontpage". We 
> should indeed think of a new term. Anyone?

"Promote", by itself, without saying to *where*.


1. Semantically, to "promote" a node means to mark it as important enough for
   all to see. Think about in a community setting how nodes get promoted, and
   why. In a traditional web development sense, if I correct typos on a page
   in my [conceptually] static content, such as a book page, I wouldn't want
   to trumpet that change to the world. But if I introduce a whole new
   section of the site, I just might want to "promote" that section's main
   page. The *concept* of promotion makes sense indepenently of how that
   translates to a site visitor's visual experience.

2. In my experience of writing both web and traditional terminal-based apps,
   users easily *learn* a term that has no intuitive meaning in their prior
   computer experience. What confuses them is to use a term that says one thing
   and means another.

   In this context, "promote" is a term that most users will at first wonder
   what it does, because it doesn't intuitively seem to mean anything in terms
   of a computer interface. Once they see that this means to mark an item as
   important and cause it to be elevated in prominence, they will not forget.
   And they will learn to associate "promote" with whatever happens on the
   site with which they are working.

   An analog to this would be a term like "mouse". Someone who has never seen
   a computer before would *not* intuitively think a "mouse" is a small piece
   of plastic with buttons on top and a thin cable connecting it to a computer.
   But the moment you show them one, they never have trouble remembering what
   it is called, and if you say the word "mouse" five minutes later, they
   know exactly what you mean by it. If you called it an "gesture keyboard",
   *then* they would be confused, because they have a conflicting preconception
   of what a keyboard is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, focus on what "promote" means semantically,
rather than what it means in terms of visual representation on the site.

Just my opinion, worth what you paid for it. :-)


Scott Courtney         | "I don't mind Microsoft making money. I mind them
scott at 4th.com          | having a bad operating system."    -- Linus Torvalds
http://4th.com/        | ("The Rebel Code," NY Times, 21 February 1999)
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