OSP

15 Mar 2004 - 10:48am
10 years ago
5 replies
231 reads
Rob Adams
2004

On 3/10/04 11:25 AM, "CD Evans" <clifton at infostyling.com> wrote:

> Here's a nifty new thread on integrating design into Open Source
> Programming.
>
> (Not as model for design)

This thread looked lonely so I thought I'd revive it.
I've done a little bit of work in this area already, and I've come to
believe that the questions of how to bring interaction design and usability
to open source and how to do "open source design" are interlinked. Both
communities need to adjust their way of working to support the other. Open
source developers need to include designers as useful contributors to their
process. Open source designers need to be comfortable leading the design
efforts of a community of contributors, rather than working as a lone
designer or in a small team. I've written a little about how such a process
might work here:
http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/weblog/archives/2003/06/25/personas_and_open_
user_research.php
One question I've always wanted the answer to: are there interaction
designers and usability professionals out there who are interested in
contributing their expertise to OSS projects? As Donna pointed out,
professionals are busy and it would take a lot of (unpaid) time to
contribute to open source software. Are programmers unusual in being
willing to work for no pay? Or would designers and user researchers also
find incentives to do so, if they were made welcome?

-- Rob
http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/
http://roblog.org/

Comments

16 Mar 2004 - 9:55am
CD Evans
2004

Sign me up.

Design without money is a sort of tradition. Most design is seasonal
and a love affair more than a proper job anyway.

When an economy booms, design flourishes. When it slightly dips, design
is "the paint on the windows that doesn't need a new coat this year".

Business uses design as a nicety, when really it's needed. It's paint
that stops broken windows, not bars, you'd need those afterwards.

CD (cutting in for Ziya)

-------------------------------------------------------------
Will work for Design.

On 15 Mar 2004, at 15:48, Rob Adams wrote:

> On 3/10/04 11:25 AM, "CD Evans" <clifton at infostyling.com> wrote:
>
>> Here's a nifty new thread on integrating design into Open Source
>> Programming.
>>
>> (Not as model for design)
>
> This thread looked lonely so I thought I'd revive it.
> I've done a little bit of work in this area already, and I've come
> to
> believe that the questions of how to bring interaction design and
> usability
> to open source and how to do "open source design" are interlinked.
> Both
> communities need to adjust their way of working to support the other.
> Open
> source developers need to include designers as useful contributors to
> their
> process. Open source designers need to be comfortable leading the
> design
> efforts of a community of contributors, rather than working as a lone
> designer or in a small team. I've written a little about how such a
> process
> might work here:
> http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/weblog/archives/2003/06/25/
> personas_and_open_
> user_research.php
> One question I've always wanted the answer to: are there
> interaction
> designers and usability professionals out there who are interested in
> contributing their expertise to OSS projects? As Donna pointed out,
> professionals are busy and it would take a lot of (unpaid) time to
> contribute to open source software. Are programmers unusual in being
> willing to work for no pay? Or would designers and user researchers
> also
> find incentives to do so, if they were made welcome?
>
> -- Rob
> http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/
> http://roblog.org/
>
>
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>

23 Mar 2004 - 12:50am
Ashu Thakur
2004

HI

Rob Adams wrote:

>One question I've always wanted the answer to: are there interaction
>designers and usability professionals out there who are interested in
>contributing their expertise to OSS projects? As Donna pointed out,
>professionals are busy and it would take a lot of (unpaid) time to
>contribute to open source software. Are programmers unusual in being
>willing to work for no pay? Or would designers and user researchers also
>find incentives to do so, if they were made welcome?

I don't know about professional designers but there are many student designers, like me, who will be willing to work on OSS projects. They can work on these projects as independently and as their classroom projects. We work on various design projects from various corporate and business establishment (and we donot get paid for it). The institute charges a very token amount for that. It helps the us to gain valuble experience in running live projects as well as we are also free to experiment various techniques we have learnt.

This is a model that exists in many design instututes and can be harnesed by OSS to do various design related activities by student designers. What is needed from the OSS is guidence and regular feedback. It would be good if there is one small group responsible for the software to which design students can report as well as look for feedback, comments and guidance.

One of the problems that can come up in this approach is that the deliverables may vary from very good to average i.e. depending on the experience of the students who are working on the project.

I have gone through this article
> I've written a little about how such a process might work here:
>http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/weblog/archives/2003/06/25/personas_and_open_
>user_research.php

As mentioned in the article we are doing our design projects using personas, scenarios etc. This method is very useful and one of the strengths of this technique is that it keeps the design team very focused regarding the user group. This is important when you have many people (designers) in a team. This has been my personal experience.

regards

Mayank Shekhar
Software and User Interface Design
National Institute of Design
India

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22 Mar 2004 - 5:03pm
Gunnar Langemark
2004

> >Are programmers unusual in being
> >willing to work for no pay? Or would designers and user researchers also
> >find incentives to do so, if they were made welcome?
>
> I don't know about professional designers but there are many student
> designers, like me, who will be willing to work on OSS projects.

Drupal (www.drupal.org) has benefited from contributions from people like
Kieth Instone and Michael Angeles who are known as highly valued professionals
in the Information Architects loop.

Drupal has a real taxonomy system and a number of best practices implemented
which is unusual for an open source content management/community system.

Drupal is still nowhere near the heavens of Usability, but has come a long way
in the past year and a half.

It is not impossible to persuade highly paid professionals to give input. But
most OSS projects lack the organization needed to take in the input and turn
it into action and a better product. It often depends on the developers being
willing to accept the need.

Best
Gunnar

gunnar at langemark.com

23 Mar 2004 - 6:26am
CD Evans
2004

I think you're right. Rob's suggestion is very thoughtful. He's managed
to eliminate the 'bickering part' of designing while testing and
interviewing with a large number of people and still keep the process
the same.

I think if we are really going to create a sound process of open source
projects (oss/osp) this might be a good first step.

George Olsen gave a great presentation on persona detailing at the
IAsummit and I hear he will be publishing it on boxes and arrows soon..

George? Are you out there? What do you think about open source personas
/ scenarios? A possible way forward?

Cd Evans

On 23 Mar 2004, at 05:50, Ashu Thakur wrote:
>
> Rob Adams wrote:
> >     I've written a little about how such a process might work here:
> >http://www.lokislabs.org/~loki/weblog/archives/2003/06/25/
> personas_and_open_
> >user_research.php
>     
> As mentioned in the article we are doing our design projects using
> personas, scenarios etc. This method is very useful and one of the
> strengths of this technique is that it keeps the design team very
> focused regarding the user group. This is important when you have many
> people (designers) in a team. This has been my personal experience.  

10 Mar 2004 - 11:25am
CD Evans
2004

Here's a nifty new thread on integrating design into Open Source
Programming.

(Not as model for design)

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