[Dextrose] [Sugar-devel] Sugar UI Dictator

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Mon Nov 22 22:51:23 EST 2010

On Mon, 2010-11-22 at 08:25 -0500, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
> Random thoughts, not terribly connected:
> 1) agree with developers != designers.  It's like developers !=
> release managers.  We developers can often play at being a designer
> (or a release manager), but we've got bad tendencies that sneak in,
> just because we "know too much" or "know what's hard" or just start
> thinking about how to code something instead of how to *use*
> something.  It's fine to use developers as short-term stand-ins for an
> empty slot, but we should keep in mind the dangers and compromises
> involved.
> 2) That's not to say that a lot of the basic HIG work can't be done by
> a developer -- or a teacher, or *anyone*, really.  There's a lot of
> "don't want to touch that" paralysis that we should try to get over.
> Step 1 of a HIG update could be to import the HIG into a more
> appropriate non-wiki tool, or to radically restructure how it is kept
> on the wiki to make it more of a living document, and/or to figure out
> how versioning should work.  Step 2 is probably to go through and
> red-line the existing document to describe how (and why) the existing
> implementation doesn't currently match the design -- with maybe a
> rough idea of whether its the design or the implementation that's "at
> fault".  Both of these things don't actually need a designer, they
> really need *time*.  A large "design team" composed mostly of folks
> without design training can still be of great ongoing assistance with
> these "paperwork" tasks.  Progress can/should be made independent of
> finding the one perfect dictator.
> 3) I see a little bit of buck-passing going on, as a third-party
> observer.  It seems like the real reason for a 3-person committee is
> that no one wants to actually step up and take on the responsibility
> of UX lead.  Unfortunately, lack of clearly defined responsibility is
> the crux of the problem you're trying to solve, so I'm not certain
> that splitting the horcrux is part of the solution.  Maybe it would be
> help to identify a single dictator and lieutenants (rather than the
> committee-of-3) with hat-passing as necessary -- so, for example, we
> can have 4 (!) design leads, but each one is ultimate dictator for one
> week a month.  That reduces time commitment without diluting
> buck-stopping responsibility.
> 4) Agreed with the general sentiment that the best shouldn't obstruct
> the good.  Even with the concerns I stated above about
> designers!=developers, having someone step up and actually start
> cleaning up the UX docs (and/or organizing the UX patch queue) is
> probably the most important thing.  Dictatorship may (or may not)
> naturally evolve from this; if Walter and/or OLPC are going to find
> the perfect UX Design Dictator candidate in 2 months (say) then
> consider what you can do in the meantime to pave the way for the
> Messiah's arrival.
>   --scott

I basically agree with everything you wrote.

Sorry for posting just for stating this, but I couldn't think of
anything else to add.

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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