[Design-team] Fedora UX design

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Thu Apr 8 01:15:25 UTC 2010

On Thu, Apr 08, 2010 at 04:39:16AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 04/07/2010 05:00 PM, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > Hi Design team,
> >
> > I've been working on a write up for the strategic working group
> > regarding UX design, and I want to make sure I'm clearly stating the
> > role of the Fedora Design team and how they interact with other
> > groups.  The page I wrote is posted here:
> >
> > https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Pfrields/Desktop_user_experience_designers
> >
> > Are there places in that page where I could more explicitly outline
> > the work the Design team does regularly with other teams that affects
> > the look and feel of the Fedora distribution?
> >   
> I find this description a bit fuzzy and I assuming part of the goal of
> documenting this is conflict resolution.  I would like see a few
> different decisions presented as examples to make the point you are
> trying to make.  So for example,  let's say the Desktop SIG wants to
> keep the current default theme and the design team proposes a new one or
> vice versa,  whose has the final authority?    Does whatever is upstream
> win or is the responsibility within one team or another? 
> What if the design team proposes a new UI for system-config-printer or
> Anaconda? 
> The guideline suggests that design team should be consulted on Fedora
> specific UI changes but is there a mandate or even a strong
> recommendation to do so?

There is a balance that has to occur.  The overall Fedora preference
is not to depart heavily from upstream, and that should influence
decisions.  At the same time, Fedora also needs to have some
distinctive look and feel, and at times those may come into conflict.
Overall we want experienced UI designers to make these decisions,
which is why the Design team is responsible for overall look and feel.
At the same time we have to strike a balance for meritocracy, and the
people doing the work also have to both take responsibility for
changes, and also consult with and respect the input of experienced
people around them.  We want these decisions to be made
*collaboratively*, not by pitting any one team against another.

The Anaconda example is interesting because in fact Mairin Duffy
worked on that redesign.  (I don't know about s-c-p, although that
seems quite improved over the F-7/F-8 era version.)  A proposed UI
always has to be put in place by developers, and that process is a
collaboration, not a contest.

"Should" is definitely a strong recommendation (that's the dictionary
sense at least).  I don't see a way of making the consultations
mandatory unless we can guarantee that everyone will get the requisite
amount of experienced designer time.  To progress to that point, we
should spend time figuring out how to get more of those designers
actively involved.

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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