ux.gnome.org - user experience community site - was GNOME and non-linux platforms

On Tue, 2009-07-28 at 15:52 +0100, Calum Benson wrote:
> On 24 Jul 2009, at 19:13, Karl Lattimer wrote:
> >> I think we could really benefit from a ux.gnome.org site for
> > demonstrating new ideas and creating concrete mockups and cataloging
> > testing data from various organisations who are performing usability
> > testing or have in the past.
> Probably a bit OT here -- at the risk of causing myself some list  
> moderation work, setting followups to usability gnome org :)

May be an idea to forward on the original message also.

> FWIW, we do already have <http://usability.gnome.org>, which used to  
> redirect to d.g.o/projects/usability, but now redirects to l.g.o/ 
> UsabilityProject.

I think the main problem with the wiki being used is purely that it ends
up being a place that people who know will find it, and moreover gives
the project less visibility and more difficult to define overall
objectives and follow through on them, tracking progress etc... 

Wiki's are good for sharing knowledge, but aren't great for managing a
project, even by establishing templates and a workflow with review
process it would still be difficult to manage the project with a wiki.

> Do we need a separate site outside of l.g.o for what you propose?  Do  
> we need to add ux.gnome.org as an alias for usability.gnome.org?  I  
> don't know... maybe.  The text-heavy UsabilityProject area could  
> certainly do with a more attractive homepage, at least -- I basically  
> just shovelled everything over verbatim from the old d.g.o usability  
> site as quickly as possible when d.g.o was being deprecated, and  
> haven't really had time to do a great deal of remodelling since.

As a start I think we should set a ux alias, usability and user
experience are two different things though, the way I see it is this;

User experience covers
 * Visual design
   - This covers, colours, shapes and icons of the interface
     this is essentially the "Theme" itself, but we should also
     consider other visual concepts, a good example of how this
     goes outside of the theme is window shadows.
 * Theming engines
   - Deriving requirements from the visual design I can see the
     css theme engine development being driven forward by this.
 * Interaction principles
   - Changing interaction's is a difficult thing, but if we do
     come up with any situations where interaction is difficult
     or is a worry then modifications could be made to the 
     underlying toolkits. This could incorporate changes to any
     existing widgets or alternatively could cover the creation
     of new widgets. e.g. A pet hate of mine is the combobox which
     is horrifically up and down :/ Creating the menu as the 
     full size it could be, but then having items showing up
     under the combobox itself with a scrolling button that 
     scrolls the items up to fill the empty space above the
     combobox... W-T-F is that about? /rant
 * Usability
   - Usability is an essential part of the user experience, with
     GNOME we've had generally good usability principles for some
     time, essentially trying to reduce complexity in favour of
     simplicity and clean interfaces. The existing principles 
     have served us very well to date. However I think we need to
     become more strict with ourselves and define new ways forward.
     GNOME-shell is covering this wrt our overall shell, but there
     are other areas that require study, brainstorming, distillation
     and implementation. 

> > We could even possibly get people grazing through and helping out,
> > especially people like the gnome-look community which is thriving and
> > still producing content on their brainstorm pages...
> > http://gnome-look.org/index.php?xcontentmode=185
> Our current equivalent, I guess, is <http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/Whiteboard 
>  >.  It's probably true that we haven't evangelised that enough, and  
> of course some of the larger GNOME projects have their own design  
> areas on l.g.o so don't use the usability Whiteboard area anyway.

I think to begin with a place where we can take in ideas all we really
need is a place for people to upload a bunch of pictures and write a
short explanation of what the pictures represent. 

The next stage is to have a way of voting on different ideas and
distilling them. Then it's a matter of organising any work that needs to
be done among willing participants. 

There'd need to be a review process, and lots of other bits and bobs of
workflow that would need to be put in place. We'd need a way of managing
the ideas and directing the contributors, for instance if someone comes
up with a really good Visual Design idea, this would need to be analysed
and feasibility determined by thinking through the idea wrt the theme
engine and interaction principles, implementation then needs to be
worked through. The key here is that our user experience the principles
we define and the ideas we develop should be able to cross any and every
part of the platform. How else would we achieve consistency :)


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