I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently. That’s basically because this cycle has been incredibly busy. There’s been a huge demand for design work from our developers, and keeping up has taken a lot of my time. This is all great of course, and I’m really happy to be busy making sure that everyone has all the design guidance that they need.
Since things are kind of crazy right now, and since there is so much new design work, I’m not going to cover the new designs in a huge amount of detail. Instead, I offer you a list of the things I have been working on recently, along with links to additional resources.
Things I’ve been doing:
Everyone’s favourite UX polish extravaganza is back for another round. For the next months we will be targeting a host of bugs that will add polish and finesse to the GNOME 3 user experience.
This is the third time that I’ve run Every Detail Matters. Over the last two rounds, the initiative has gone from strength to strength. A total of 82 bugs have been fixed so far, and the GNOME 3 user experience has been massively improved as a result of everyone’s contributions.
With all of this progress, it might seem that there’s nothing left to work on. However, there are still plenty of bugs out there, and there are many possible enhancements that can be made. I’ve lined up a substantial bug list for this round, with some pretty cool stuff in it. If you are interested, check it out.
If you have never contributed to GNOME before and fancy having a go, Every Detail Matters is a great place to start. Likewise, if you’re an experienced developer or GNOME contributor and fancy adding a bit of user experience polish to GNOME, this is a great way for you to take on an extra well-defined task or two.
The 2013 GNOME Marketing hackfest finished yesterday. We did many things over the course of the three day event: we updated the design of the website, discussed new outreach initiatives and planned how to clean up the marketing wiki pages. But our main focus was the development of a clear story for the GNOME Project. We spent a long time talking about why GNOME is important and how we think that contributors think and feel about what they do.
We refined and defined these ideas, pulled them together to form an integrated identity, and started the work of translating them into text and pictures with which they can be communicated.
While GNOME has not had a clearly articulated story in the past, I believe that we do have compelling aspirations. If you look around our project, you will see a lot of highly motivated and passionate people. They find GNOME inspiring, not just because of the technologies that the project produces, but also because of its wider mission and ways of working.
Our job in marketing is to distill these ideas about GNOME into something that can be easily communicated to the outside world, and to ensure that our messaging is consistent enough to make us familiar and recognisable. Over the coming weeks we will be continuing this work and will be presenting it to the rest of the project for feedback, comment and further development.
I just got back from a great trip to Seoul for this year’s GNOME.Asia conference. This was the third GNOME.Asia that I’ve attended, having been to Hong Kong last year and Bangalore before that.
The conference was a two day event held at the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). There was a nice range of talks, covering general topics as well as various GNOME technologies like Rygel and GStreamer. There were also quite a few talks about input methods, along with a training session on translating GNOME. I gave two talks, one on contributing to GNOME and the other on the history and future of GNOME 3.
As is always the case, the best thing about the conference was the opportunity to meet face to face with people from the GNOME community. It was great to see some familiar faces from previous GNOME.Asia conferences, as well as GNOME contributors from Asia who I have not previously encountered.
I’d like to thank the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my attendance at the conference. I’d also like to thank the conference sponsors for their support, including NIPA, Lemote, LG, Google, Linux Pilot, ONOFFMIX and Bloter.net.
The GNOME 3.8 release kept me pretty busy. In the run up to UI freeze I was focusing on tracking bugs, providing guidance and testing. Then it was marketing time, and I was spending all my time writing the release notes as well as some of the website. (Kudos to the marketing team for a great 3.8 release, btw.)
With 3.8 behind me, I’ve been able to turn back to some good honest design work. I’ve been looking at quite a few aspects of GNOME 3, including Settings and GNOME Shell. However, in this post I am going to focus on some of the application design activities that I have been involved in recently. One of the nice things here is that I have found the opportunity to fill in some gaps and pay some attention to some of the long-lost applications that are in need of design love.
I haven’t blogged about Contacts for a while. 3.8 was a great release for the application though, mostly thanks to some fantastic work by Erick Pérez Castellanos. We got a new editing UI and a new selection mode, as well as a new linked accounts dialog. Along the way many of the most prominent usability bugs were fixed. Thanks to Erick for making this happen.
I just got back from Madrid, where I attended this year’s Libre Graphics Meeting.
LGM is a great chance to meet with other designers working in the open, and this year’s event was no exception. There were lots of great talks, including some from really interesting speakers, and I really enjoyed and valued the diversity of the topics that were discussed, which mixed Free Software technology, artistic and design practice, as well as academic thinking. Highlights for me included Ben Martin and Dave Crossland’s “Fonts of Doom”, Chris Kelty’s “The Internet and its Parasites: Freedom and Participation” and our own Jakub Steiner’s “Localized Animation with Blender”.
This year’s LGM was a big success. The venue – Medialab Prado – was fantastic, and there was also a good level of participation; Madrid seems like a place where there is a lot of interest in libre graphics. If this year’s LGM is anything to go by, open graphics and design are in good shape. It was rewarding to participate in a general event around free graphics and design, something which I hope that the GNOME project can contribute towards.
Big thanks to the conference organisers, Medialab Prado for being such a great host, and to Red Hat for allowing me to attend.
[Credit: thanks to Jakub for the photo]
It’s that time again: 3.8, the latest GNOME release, has just gone out of the door.
This is the strongest release of the 3.x series, in my opinion. We’ve not just got a lot of really nice features, like the new application view, the updated window selector and the new Clocks app. There’s also major technical accomplishments, like Owen’s frame sync work, Jasper’s pointer barriers and Web’s switch to WebKit2. Many of the existing applications have also received some very nice enhancements.
Go read the release notes, if you haven’t already: they’re pretty impressive.
As ever, this release is the result of the hard work and dedication of everyone who contributed, and I know that some people really pushed hard to make this release as good as it is. To all of you: thank you. I continue to be blown away by the dedication of the GNOME community.
Now, roll on GNOME 3.10!