[Dextrose] [Sugar-devel] Sugar UI Dictator

Barbara Barry barbara at laptop.org
Sat Nov 20 09:38:57 EST 2010

As an advocate for Sugar in the field in my work, I'm chiming in to support
Walter's point.

What might help Sugar is a designer who can articulate a strong design point
of view by understanding the needs of the users and translating them, guided
by the Sugar core design principles, into a plan for development.

Design is not a set of isolated decisions about what features to add or take
away but how to move consistently toward a goal, in Sugar's case an OS and
computing environment that can help children as they learn.

Designers have particular skills that are not obvious. Good ones are masters
at modeling the needs of users in astonishing detail and accuracy, and it is
their job to negotiate the terrain between the stated design goals of an
organization, the user experience, and the implementation by developers.

It's not only Apple that has a distinct design point of view but really any
company that makes a product that works and grows.  So Bernie, I think what
you were asking for is not a Dictator, who suggests, approves or denies
features, but someone to lead by articulating the user model and helping the
community develop it in a coordinated effort.


Barbara Barry, PhD
Director of Learning
One Laptop per Child Foundation
OLPC Middle East

On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 8:42 AM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 4:32 AM, Martin Dengler
> <martin at martindengler.com> wrote:
> > On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:06:56AM -0500, Michael Stone wrote:
> >> Martin and I talked for bit this evening and I believe that I managed to
> >> persuade him to support my [UI Dictator team] proposal.
> >
> > I do, for the reasons mentioned in Michael's "key arguments".
> >
> >> P.S. - Later [...] we discovered a confusion about the mandate of
> >> the proposed committee; to wit:
> >>
> >>   Is the main purpose of the committee to act as a UI Maintainer (e.g.,
> by
> >>   deciding which UI-related patches to merge) or is the main purpose of
> the
> >>   committee to make UI-related decisions on an as-requested basis?
> >
> > I think it is both act as maintainer and make UI-related decisions.
> > It seems we're re-invented the Design Team.  I spoke with Gary Martin
> > and Bernie and, despite having lost the logs of my conversation with
> > Gary, my hazy recollection is that that they also came to this
> > conclusion.
> >
> > With that in mind, I think we should just have more people actively
> > participate in the design team.  I'm interested, so have put my name
> > down on http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Design_Team/Contacts#Team_Members
> > .  I hope anyone else interested in being active, will do the same.
> > Michael Stone, Bernie Innocenti, I'm looking at you.
> >
> > Gary, can you add / correct anything from our conversation?
> >
> > Michael, is there anything I've misunderstood/misremembered about your
> > proposal?  Would you want the Design Team to adopt your "what does the
> > committee do"[1] responsibilities?
> >
> > Martin
> >
> > [1]
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/sugar-devel/2010-November/028615.html
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Sugar-devel mailing list
> > Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> > http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
> >
> >
> I mostly kind of agree with this. But adding a bunch of developers to
> the design team will not help it accomplish its design goals. We need
> more designers involved. And we need to stay focused on Sugar's core
> design principles. One thing I do remember from your IRC discussion
> with Gary (I was on the edge of the conversation) is the need to bring
> the HIG up to date. While this may be considered tactical, I think it
> is strategic, in that sets the tone for all further actions. (For the
> same reason, I have been advocating for an architectural document from
> the Engineering perspective.)
> -walter
> --
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
> http://www.sugarlabs.org
> _______________________________________________
> Sugar-devel mailing list
> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
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