On design, designers, engineers and inspiration

Being at the GNOME UX Hackfest even for just one day was an energizing experience, sort of eye opener in a way. And it made me think about the situation GNOME is been for a while (desktop-devel being dead, foundation-list too alive, and things like that…)

I tried to remember what made me contribute, and I remember that it was posts like this, the ones that made me excited and pushed me to spend endless hours learning about C and this GObject thingie, so that I can improve the very desktop I loved to use, and I could help to prove to the world that great and usable products could be made the opensource way. At some point down that path, I made GNOME technologies a goal of its own.and I stopped focusing on creating a great desktop (prolly because up to some extend the experiencie of trying to implement those ideas was not as pleasant).

I have the feeling that we, hackers, have done a pretty bad job at encouraging our designers among the community to challenge us and push the boundaries and goals of our own technologies further, actually, we've let those boundaries to stop the designers' proposals. Bad, bad, bad idea.


This is an open letter to the GNOME design community:

Folks, *BE VOCAL*, really, please, challenge us, communicate, blog post like there's no tomorrow, propose your stuff, draw mockups, file bugs… take over the project!

It can be difficult at times, we hackers can be quite energy stoppers, but please, ignore us, push design back in our veins. I want jokes and fun back to the project, I want pirate hats in our hackergotchis, I want Rupert jokes, I want a new planet theme, I want crazy pictures of crazy GNOME hackers doing crazy things. I want that magic back, and I have the gut feeling you can bring that back guys. It is only through design that we will enter new grounds, innovate and excite new contributors.

Update: RubenV just pointed me out to this example that nails exactly what I'm trying to communicate here.

4 thoughts on “On design, designers, engineers and inspiration

  1. Couldn’t agree more. I’ve had great experiences with our GNOME designers last year at GCDS and it made me love them [1].
    My motivation for working on GNOME came from the same “OMG those guys are doing awesome stuff”-feeling. We should cultivate this again.
    So designers: show us stuff we cannot implement, which is too hard but would rock the world. Hackers can do miracles when you challenge them enough.
    [1] http://weblog.savanne.be/176-a-tale-about-design


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