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Design feedback in Open Source

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Design feedback in Open Source
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Open discussion about the design feedback process, gathering expectations andguidelines from different open source communities. Every Open Source project is different, every developer and designer isdifferent so hoping that this session would provide a magic answer to ourquestions is not realistic. Its purpose is to open the discussion and try togather examples from different communities in the search of drawing someguidelines. In Open Source, the hardest part is to know when a design iteration shouldstop: after a certain amount of time, after a certain amount of votes, etc.Since there are no real/accountable stakeholders/decision-makers and themajority of decisions are done with voting, it can be hard for a designer toknow which voices should be listened when iterating. Also, design is notreally like code, so it can be harder to do partial work and just let anotherdesigner continue it. Sometimes things need to be redone from scratch (becauseof style differences, vision, approach, tools, etc.) The purpose of giving and receiving feedback in open source should maximizethe input all parties receive, having in mind their interests, availability,experience, commitment, etc. Some questions we could ask: \- What can be done when we feel there is noconsensus between designer and community or even between community members? \-What are the motives for proposing the design work and how much work does itinvolve? \- Should something be accepted just because it's the only proposal?Do we have the luxury to refuse design work? \- Should the same rules as incode review be applied? \- How do we better match designers and communities interms of style? \- Should people from outside the community be involved in thefeedback process? \- Are community members the target or representatives fortheir users? Meeting everyone's expectations needs a better communication and understandingof the topic and that's what this session tries to achieve.
Open source Multiplication sign Decision theory Software developer Projective plane Feedback Archaeological field survey Interactive television Mereology Rule of inference Usability Process (computing) Digitale Videotechnik Different (Kate Ryan album) Telecommunication Mixed reality QR code Game theory Musical ensemble
Group action Focus (optics) Channel capacity Open source Code Decision theory Projective plane Feedback Quantification Usability Product (business) Revision control Process (computing) Software Computer configuration Internetworking Different (Kate Ryan album) Telecommunication Right angle Musical ensemble
Classical physics Point (geometry) Statistics Group action Open source Divisor Multiplication sign Decision theory Online help Parameter (computer programming) Computer font Graph coloring Usability Formal language Computer configuration Software testing Metropolitan area network Dependent and independent variables Scaling (geometry) Constraint (mathematics) Feedback Projective plane Commutator Bit Arithmetic mean Data management Process (computing) Voting Software Personal digital assistant Numerical analysis Iteration Quicksort Object (grammar) Freeware
Decision theory
Point (geometry) Pairwise comparison Code Multiplication sign Decision theory Feedback Line (geometry) Flow separation Equivalence relation Goodness of fit Process (computing) Software Robotics Iteration Position operator Resultant
okay so hi thank you for coming my name is the captain Yamato and I'm interaction designer for next week I'm going to talk about the open source [Music] design feedback it's going to be a panel mostly and these are my colleagues from I want it to be a very interactive session but because we have only twenty five minutes and I will encourage also the audience to participate so if you want to participate so the questions that are being asked because I don't know maybe we will not have time to ask everybody you can use the QR codes and the surveys there and we can see also what do you think about about the topics and the first question are who do you represent so that that will be an easy question for you like if you are designers or developers or other things and I also start when you in the community there so hello I'm Bernard that guy from just before I'm part of the open source design community I and using researcher and interaction designer and I'm trying to sort of get more involved in more open source projects that's me I'm young and you probably already know that I'm from the previous talk that I mixed toad and I'm interaction designer and yeah I'm also active in open source design and a few other open source projects I'm a visual designer mostly doing stuff for Mozilla and tall project and I'm representing where we help many other open-source projects with design everyone my name is Victoria I am an engineer with the interest in usability I represent first Asia open source design and I try to work on volunteer the project this means that it's very a calibrated attack bomb so the first question that I will ask the panel its what do they think that's understanding the designer motivations improves the feedback designer sharing experience or not and for you guys do you think it's important when you provide design feedback to understand why the designer it's contributing or you want to keep it professional it doesn't matter so do you think that if you know that a designer wants money in open source you should shoot a different or if you know that it's his I don't know doing this problem you should maybe be more polite to him or is it change the approach for communities when so I think that design contribution no difference from any other contribution to open source and it's very important to play by the rules of the community so if you are wanted to be a part of contributor of the open source projects you need to explain how you came to this decision and it's an if DIF difficult topic usually so in your design especially the most important process is explained the journey why you make these decisions and then you have a chance to succeed and make your contribution accepted I wanted to add something about that as well so when an open source project is born there's an probably there's a need for something new and the founders of the project understand the importance very very clearly so one of the problems which comes up when a designer comes into the game is that the communication of the importance of the mission of all the whole thing why the people are doing this is not translated well to the designer so this is why there might be a lot of technical contributors because they understand the need for the project while designers might lack that understanding and I think there is a gap between the communication between the technical leads of the project and designers because it's like it's like telling you why I love that particular kind of coffee it's like no one will understand that unless you explain them because the coffee beans are roasted in that way and it's because it's Fairtrade bla bla bla if you talk in that process like you can you can ah that's why you like that so much ok I understand why this is so important to you and if you are doing especially if you are doing this pro bono this is something a designer needs I think I think it's because we
shouldn't treat design as art of course because it's quantifiable and it's basically any design whatever we do like if they do it full-time if they do it pro bono or if they're just a volunteer they're just kind of a voice for for the user basically or for whoever is using it in the end so usability is quantifiable so it doesn't really matter in what capacity you contribute to the project so it's like you're just a channel for better usability for making better design happen so that shouldn't be part of like who you are or why you contribute to the project [Music] project and the options are the owners how understanding the panel improve the feedback the community gives one example when a committee looks at the design thing he doesn't think about his users he's just providing subjective feedback so who is the target in open source and how is that important and how does that reference I think the first question I think it's probably the world I mean the world contains the users the one that provides the most no it should also be the user well it should be the users ultimately and and the designer is the voice of the user the the contributors who write code also possibly be the users possibly so you have to take into account everybody's feedback I mean I just think it's important that it's we don't see like we don't say the target audience is everyone because then we don't have particular focus right so we have to move to first focus on like a specific group and then maybe maybe specifically cut that up into into different groups of target audiences so yeah I definitely don't think it's the world because like I don't know not like internet or something so for example that right listening of the world and 14 users I'm not sure if it's on on topic that I just wanted to add it's easy to say for whom we build software for users but it's very difficult to follow this and we sometimes assume oh I'm the user I know everything so if you build the project just go out and see people use your product that's the only one way we can learn so the users whoever you see using your project and then you learn and improve so very specific because if it's the world you are not surely who your target is are they advanced users are there normal users are they from a specific geographic region and this might be or not important when you propose something [Music] so they're the same options from so I have some personal experience with that I guess I think I mentioned that before so when someone asks you at four for contribution it's hard to understand who makes a final decision and in doing that in the beginning right in front can avoid a lot of misunderstandings in the in Tulane or because sometimes people want to work in the open doing requests an open source design but they want to have that final decision so if you're an open source project you are the founder of the project you want to create it you want to have the process in the open but you want to have the final decision in the end so ok I can understand that but that would be great if you can say that sometimes you want the community to have the decision so this creates this can avoid quite a lot of conflicts if it's in the brief if because open source design is quite niche yet it's nice to have a clear communication and you oh but the designers are not committers
so I believe that community have to decide always and community will balance itself and so I think it's those who make the software and those are commuters and designers all together and they have they as a community make decisions we cannot separate it Thanks I think like in many cases it it it will ideally become a discussion between all of these groups I suppose that like only one of them only one person is responsible would be sort of very classic management and I've hope that in our projects we can have a discussion together and make sense of it together I think that design by committees some is a wait for things to go certainly wrong there is I think that there is a one reason yet you might decide that okay after all the discussion if you haven't reached some kind of consensus somebody has to make a final decision and in my opinion that should be the designer and since you said that I would expect if there is a design made there was some research are some testing done with users and I would look for their data and if there was no data then it's more difficult but if you've done usability testing with X number of people here's data there's no data this is the fault would be my yeah I mean it's difficult to make a decision without any it's just opinion against opinion or if we treat design as an opinion so yeah again research basically Trump's these these factors like objective factors I just think it's important not to think of design as an opinion because I mean you you go to school you learn a profession and that I mean you can't always have statistical data saying it's a good design it is the profession and anyone else the next question is how this time influenced the feedback process so something very problematic I've seen his bike shedding like people talking about maybe that color should be a bit more purplish or something but because I like purple so that's not the right thing to approach things and bike shedding generally takes a lot of time and this waste of time as again I said oh sorry yeah as again as I said it depends really only who make takes the decision so takes it depends on the question before so the bigger the community or decision-making committee is the longer it takes so if it's only one decision maker obviously it takes much less time but it's less transparent so it's a compromise always one thing to know it is done in open source design process and feedback can take like a couple of months so even in our community we've seen proposals that didn't receive for I don't know five months response etcetera and for designers can be very hard to go back in that mindset and remember what they've been there and create another iteration time this time also helps to rethink and get out of maybe you were stuck in back then so you you can get removed from like your baby that you created as a designer and you're so attached to and very important when you request design work it's to also mention how much time that designer has to work or not because for example when requesting things for free there might not be an urgency and if you want something very fast at least until that designer that I don't know that okay it's free and it's fine but you need it's urgent or or not No okay well you want to see what would be great sometimes like often people seem to be unsure what they what they need and that's like super well it if you don't know how to approach a design problem if you're not a designer yourself and in that case I think it would help for example communities like like ours a lot of people who will be just frank about it and say I would like to have that improve but I don't know know why so please first help me to to make a good decision about that I think that's really important because design isn't just about going away and doing something in a in your time coming back and saying here it is it's also talking with the people who have asked you and if they don't know what they need then it's your job to go back to the start and say okay what is it that you're looking for and let's talk in the simplest of language and then you get to the point where you've got a better understanding of the design thing that you're trying to do okay now I understand and it'll save pain and hurt make a summary of the things we discuss and it was if you were to pick one of the factors that it's the most important design process which one would be and the options were knowing who is the decision maker and or knowing what is the motivation for designer or understanding the need knowing the target knowing time constraint or any other thing and currently for example the most important factor from the other audience they consider to be the need so understanding first so talking to people yeah I mean like of course I agree it's the need but unfortunately the reality is that you actually don't have time to do usability testing especially in open source so unfortunately it ends up being just a whole bunch of opinions of a whole bunch of people on your issue tracker so I think that's actually a good point that understanding the need is the most important point and do usability testing or or any kind of testing is a very very important thing in design as a whole but especially in open source projects yes been mentioned before it's in think it's the most important thing is that design not to treat design as an opinion because like people look at it as a form of art which it isn't so for example you cannot say I like rap so let's make the logo red because you need to understand that Brett might be aggressive it might in some countries it might have a different meaning you might want to know that sans-serif as font is different than serif fonts because blah blah blah so you gotta have arguments I think I can understand if you don't have the background to to get that but comments like I love it or I hate it because man are kind of like unconstructive so I think this kills the process of feedback the feedback process stops and the audience has options like after X number of votes or when the committee decides to when the designer decides to after a number of iterations so the main questions was do you need to do like accelerations or do you need to wait like seven months or do you need to make the designer happy do you need to make the commuters happy in the world or I don't know I mean if we talk about it on a broader scale I think the feedback process never stops because software is ever-changing and so that but that also helps because we say okay what's the best for like the next half year or what's the best for right now and then we also have things for more future iterations so I think yeah at the same time it's it's good to realize yeah this
will change in the future maybe anyway and five years ago it looked much different and decision to say this is going to change in the future maybe anyway but we can always weave so we can always revisit it but for now and that's let's decide on something which works or
not the winner is when owners are happy so I
think that it's very important to know that there should be time for several iteration because the first result would never the belt it would be never the best one so when you plan to design something just just accept the idea that it's good go for several iteration and even if you are not happy with the first one move on and an iterate again so the process never stops because we Pro software constantly and it never gets to the best point because everything is changing software has to change as well so process never stops I strongly disagree with this result I'm sorry I just want to do a comparison with that like there's a reason there is a CTO there's another reason there's a creative fleet so imagine like a designer taking on the CTO position hey I don't like this line of code like please do don't do it like that I don't like that so it's the equivalent of the owners not liking or liking the decision so if you have asked a designer to help you what's the point of asking a designer when you're doing the decision yourself anyway right you just need a robot to implement the design for something which you have in mind because that's not it how design works so I think like everyone has their own skills and this should be respected of course in a more open and transparent way so let's yeah that's it nutshell so i sorry I completely disagree with this result as well the software is being developed I presume for users the designers opinion doesn't really matter if the users are happy with the software and they're using it more and there are more users and everybody is happy that's when that's my opinion thank you thank you so much we also have the please provide feedback for the sessions [Applause]