Re: some more questions on the control center shell, etc

On Tue, 2007-01-30 at 14:59 +0000, Thomas Wood wrote:

> We seem to have a really difficult time deciding on changes to our user 
> interface (gnome-main-menu discussion for example). How do we move 
> forward with UI improvements when we face these problems? Do we need a 
> group of trusted and motivated people to approve design changes?

Ah, that old chestnut :)  I still don't really see any (large) open
source project that's doing this very effectively, so I admit I don't
really know what the right answer is.

One of the original roles of the GUP was (IMHO at least) supposed to be
to take the lead in any major desktop UI changes, but that never really
happened, and there isn't really an active GUP to speak of at the

I think everyone would agree that designing user interfaces by committee
is rarely a good thing, and that there probably ought to be a quorum
with the final say on major UI changes, and overall UI direction.  In
that sense, it's good that the current changes have come out of Novell,
where they've been led and tested by a dedicated usability team.  

On the other hand, relying on any of our GNOME-friendly companies to
drive such innovation often means that some part of the community feels
they've been left out of the loop until it's too late, unless their
design process has been open and public from the start, in which case
you just end up back in the "too many cooks" scenario instead.  It also
potentially lays the community (or the company, or both) open to
accusations that the project is being driven too far in one particular
direction, to satisfy that company's customers.

So, answers on a postcard please :)


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson sun com            GNOME Desktop Group                      +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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