User Experience Advocates

One of the things that I love about GNOME is that it prioritizes the needs of everyday users. That prioritization is, in my opinion, the reason for GNOME’s success. Creating great user experiences is never a finished task though, and there are major challenges to overcome if we want to make GNOME user experience truly competitive.

One thing that you need in order to deliver good UX is to be able to see things from the perspective of users. That’s not always easy though, and it helps to have someone whose job it is to give the UX view. This is where the idea of User Experience Advocates comes in.

A UX Advocate doesn’t need to be a developer. They don’t even need to be a usability expert (though they can be on their way to becoming one). What they do need is the time, energy, and inclination to champion user experience. A UX Advocate can triage and prioritize UX bugs, and they can research design problems. They can even do user testing.

There are plenty of people out there who are willing to work to help GNOME deliver better user experiences, but we need to encourage them. The UX Advocate project is a way to do this – it is basically a way of letting those who care about UX (and about GNOME) know that we want their help. It is also a way of saying that if someone does UX work, we will recognise them for it.

A key feature of the User Experience Advocate project is that it is an attempt to distribute UX effort throughout GNOME. We already have an amazing community of designers and usability gurus, but that community is too small to be involved in every part of GNOME. Each and every GNOME sub-project could have a UX Advocate though – a person whose job it is to ensure the best possible user experience possible. That sounds like a good idea to me.

Me and Andreas will be holding a BoF on the User Experience Advocate project at GUADEC this year. All are welcome.

This entry was posted in gnome-ux. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to User Experience Advocates

  1. Is says:

    hello… I am really interested in UX and Gnome but I think I’m not able yet to be a UX advocate… I want to join or contribute something for GNOME. Where should I start ?

  2. KonfuseKitty says:

    Hi Allan,

    I’m not sure if I can become involved, but if you care about making GNOME better, please take a look at my thread in the, Desktop section, entitled “Working with pictures in Nautilus is driving me crazy”, where I report on some quite serious usability problems. I’m sorry, I appreciate this isn’t “doing things through the proper channels”, but it’s the best I can do. I just want to be sure that someone engaged in making things better is aware of the problems and they can then effect change in the way that it should be done. I hope you understand, and thanks for the UX Advocate innitiative, it sounds very promising.

    • Allan says:

      KconfuseKitty: sorry to hear you’re having problems with Nautilus. I’ve had a look at your forum post. Some of those issues sound irregular. Some I would need to ask you more about. Why not write a mail to the Nautilus mailing list, or drop by #nautilus on

  3. another_sam says:

    that’s not the exact title so I put here the link

    (is “Working with pictures in GNOME Nautilus drives me crazy… Any solutions?”)

Comments are closed.