The UX of the new jQuery website

jQuery relaunched their websiteSee site here.

The comments on the post are fascinating.  The re-design immediately erupted a firestorm of “Yay!” and “Yuck!” proclamations.  Issues such as how professional (or not) it looked or how cool (or not) it looked dominated the threads.  It shows how similar people using the identical tool can bake into it such different mental models.

Mental models are incredibly important.  They are the reason people adopt various products and positions.  Mess around with how people think about their favorite things and they will get pretty hot.  This redesign does just that.

The jQuery team (for better or worse) is making a stand and saying, “This is our image”.  If you happened to be someone who doesn’t resonate with that image then you might feel alientated.

Truthfully, I feel alienated by it.  It doesn’t resonate with me.  It makes me feel old and lame.  My hair is not long and flowing. The rockstar isn’t me.  jQuery is me.  It’s different.

The color palette makes the site a little harsh to look at.  The illustration makes me cringe.  Up to this point, I have told people jQuery is the greatest web innovation since CSS.  I still think it is.  However, the site doesn’t fit my mental model of what jQuery is or who I am.  I am embarrassed by the site because I have been such an ardent jQuery promoter.

I feel horrible saying this because I love LOVE jquery.  It’s AWESOME.  jQuery is still the greatest innovation since CSS.  I just can’t look at the site.

My suggestions to the jQuery designers would be:

  1. Implement a style switcher.  Let people choose their own theme.  That is a cool JS feature anyway.
  2. Do a SurveyMonkey to see how the audience feels.

Man, August has been a horrible month for me.  All kinds of bad things happening.  We need some good Karma.

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