A new UX for the Django website

Django is the web framework, developed in Python, that encourages rapid development and a clean, pragmatic design. It is completely free and Open Source, with its continuous improvement driven by an active community of developers, including those at 20tab.


Django Software Foundation


Software - Open Source


2023 - 2024


The initial situation

Our commitment to Open Source stems from passion, a sense of community, and practical needs. At 20tab, we use Django daily, making it essential for us to enhance the framework by providing integrations for everyone.

During DjangoCon US 2022, the Django Software Foundation asked for our help in improving the user experience on the Django project website, a crucial hub for all contributors and community members.

Main technical activities

UI / UX Design

Tools and practices

Design thinking

User research

Heuristic evaluation

Implemented activities

Our goal is to refresh the website and enhance its user experience. Our designers began by analyzing the current situation, thoroughly examining the site and identifying strengths and weaknesses.


The key areas of focus included:

  • Usability of the site
  • Information architecture
  • Accessibility
  • Style

The central aspect that we must keep in mind in these assessments is that all individuals should have access to information, regardless of any disabilities, difficulties, or disorders.

The work method was structured as follows:

  • Website Analysis and Accessibility Check: This involved a particular focus on the needs of individuals with visual impairments, especially color blindness. A check of the colors used on the platform was conducted.
  • Async Evaluation: Nielsen's heuristics were employed, and, using a Miro template, each designer autonomously performed the evaluation to gather different perspectives.
  • Group Review and Discussion: Based on the template, a final discussion was held on the results and conclusions.
  • Conclusions and Reporting: The information collected from this analysis was compiled into a report, which was also presented at PyCon Italia and DjangoCon USA.

The initial findings led our designers to emphasize aspects such as poor color contrast, especially in crucial parts of the site like titles, the navigation bar, and essential footer commands. Other identified issues included a lack of consistency in styles, such as links not always being immediately recognizable, and a lack of specific calls to action or system feedback, making navigation less clear and secure.

The aspects to improve, as identified through heuristic evaluation and the initial analysis, include:

  • System Status Feedback
  • Recognition Rather Than Recall
  • Consistency and Standards

In general, there are several improvements to the information architecture, user experience, and branding that could be made to the platform, especially considering the now-dated design.


At the conclusion of this evaluation, we initiated a user research phase. We distributed a survey to the community, asking users about what, in their experience, works well or, conversely, makes the use of the platform more challenging.

The survey was completed by 545 individuals, and the analysis of the feedback revealed that the most critical points are related to the interface, information architecture and navigation in general.


The third phase of the work, which brought us into direct contact with the users of the Django site, were the interviews.

We established the requirements to start the selection of users to be heard in depth:

  • Frequent website visits (weekly or daily).
  • Typically spend more than 5 minutes in a single session.
  • Report difficulties in finding information.
  • Exclusion of those who selected "nothing to improve."
  • Equitable distribution among those who have contributed, contributed only once, or have not contributed at all.

Of the 545 people who responded to the survey, 290 agreed to participate in the research: of these, 16 met our selection criteria and 13 were contacted for an interview.

In total, 5 individual interviews were conducted, each lasting about 30 minutes. The chosen formula was the semi-structured, with open-ended questions guiding thread to focus the interview on the proposed topics:

  • Identify usability issues and evaluate accessibility and design aesthetics
  • Assess content quality
  • Analyze user flow

The research allowed us to gain important insights into what users are most concerned about and what they want from a website like Django’s.

Specifically, the community's top concerns were identified as:

  • Information Architecture: Improving the structure of information, simplifying navigation, and providing tools such as a site map could help optimize the user experience in finding the desired information on djangoproject.com.
  • Accessibility: Participants suggest that improving accessibility and providing a clear accessibility statement are essential steps to ensuring an inclusive and accessible experience for all users.

The other critical issues raised concern Aesthetics and Design, Search Experience, Content and Documentation, Learning Django, Community Engagement, Use of the Dark Mode.

Final Result

The final Report of the user research work, conducted throughout 2023, was delivered to the Django Software Foundation.

The report details the findings, opportunities, additional recommended research and improvement activities that should be applied to the results of the research.

For example, to improve the information architecture, the recommended actions are

  • Perform user testing: Verify through usability testing what the actual navigation problems are.
  • Improve and integrate Search and Navigation: overhaul the navigation map, consider adding a site map in the footer for easier navigation and search on all pages.
  • Improve Page Labeling: Check and correct page titles to ensure consistency and clarity.
  • Conduct a card sorting workshop with users to improve content per mapping.

The main recommendation remains to continue user research to uncover new opportunities for improvement in specific areas: in particular, interview junior users, board members, DSF staff, and donors based on chosen improvement goals.

The Report with all the details of the work done on the Django website is public and accessible.

Download here