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Warehouse - The Future of PyPI

Warehouse is the next generation Python Package Repository, designed to replace the legacy code base that currently powers PyPI. Warehouse is due for public release in early 2016.

Warehouse - The Future of PyPI

The Problem

In mid-2015, I took on a new role within the Python community - redesigning Warehouse (the new PyPI), a project due for public release in 2016.

It’s an exciting project, with lots of questions to address, including:

  • How should we update PyPI’s visual identity?
  • How can we ensure the UI is accessible for all Python community members?
  • What devices and browsers should we support?
  • How should we challenge and validate design decisions?

The Solution

There has been a huge amount of work done so far, and there is still lots more to do. Here’s what we have come up with so far:

Designing the Visual Identity

PyPI’s visual identity has been overhauled to reflect a modern, clean, minimalist aesthetic. Olivier designed a new logo to represent the Warehouse project and capture the spirit of the redesign. The result is a much stronger brand identity that has pushed the project into the 21st century.

Making the UI Accessible

I’ve paid a lot of attention to making sure that the UI works for every Python community member who visits the site. For users with poor eyesight, I’ve chosen clear, high contrast colours and large font sizes. I also wanted to make sure that the site worked well for users who use screen readers. For this, I contacted Xavier Dutreilh, who presented a great talk about accessibility at DjangoCon Europe. Xavier generously agreed to audit the site, resulting in a clear set of planned accessibility improvements.

Device & Browser Support

Of course, accessibility in 2016 also means supporting users on a huge variety of devices and browsers. At the moment, very few PyPI users browse the site on their phones or tablets - but we expect this may change now that the new design has full device support via responsive CSS break points. We’re also going to (at least in the short term) continue support for Internet Explorer 8 9, as we have a number of users, primarily in China, still using this browser. See this issue for more information.

Validating Design Decisions

Feedback from the Python community has been overwhelmingly positive and many users are very excited about the new design. That said, validating design is not just about public opinion; it’s about testing the design with a range of users and use cases. For this reason, we’re planning on conducting a series of usability tests with a range of Python users; from complete beginners to long time users. So stay tuned in 2016!

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Contact Me

Get In Touch!

I am available for new design and development work via Kabu Creative. To discuss a particular project, please contact me at n.harris [at] kabucreative.com.

I tweet @nlhkabu - feel free to say "hi"!