[ubuntu-art] ubuntu-art Digest, Vol 27, Issue 17
angeliko at gmail.com
Mon Sep 24 20:37:13 BST 2007
Just a few suggestions on the three questions:
1. What is the problem today?
There is already a good community around artwork, but there are poor efforts to coordinate human resources and a shortage of useful documentation. Some people in the forums have already pointed out the process isn't really a secret, but it seems so to others because there isn't enough publicity and clear docs that explain how the planning, design and selection process works. The community is frustrated in part because they don't understand why certain a design is chosen (especially if the design in question does not chime with their candidates). Some designers are frustrated because there is not enough documentation in place that spells out what is being asked of them. The result is a lot of wasted effort in the "wrong" direction and not very good feelings about the designers' roles in the overall process.
2-3. How can we solve it? And execution?
- More cover material for the community that explains the entire design process. Once a design is finalised, a statement that presents the design to the rest of the community, answering the most oft-asked questions. E.g.: What were the starting aims of the process, and what does the design say about Ubuntu?
- Better guidelines and/or kits for designers that includes some very elementary but essential items, e.g. a palette (not just a sampling of previously accepted colours), or theme components. At the moment there is some disagreement over the colours that should be used, whether other colours (if any) should be combined with the "palette".
- Contrary to some views, audience and message does matter, because design tends towards functional/communicative as it is towards artistic/creative. All this work is going towards certain markets or viewers. Who are these viewers, and what are they to get from the design? This should be one of the starting points in the planning process -- establishing image and audience. It might seem irrelevant to a "meta-debate", but it's part of how the design process should be approached and, eventually, executed. It's also one of the things that gives consistency in the visual experience, because everything will be working towards a common goal or trying to say the same thing to users. Consistency usually indicates that a good amount of thought went behind the entire process, rather than something being thrown together because the parts were at hand.
As for some execution details, the wiki and forum could probably do for now. Artists looking for feedback specific to their designs can open up separate wiki/forum pages and link to them on the Hardy page next to the thumbnails, so that a comments section on the main page will contain comments on the general process, while separate sections are available if the public wishes to directly contact the artists (e.g. via the artists' pages).
In addition to "Forum Ambassadors", any important dates/deadlines should also be posted to the wiki -- IRC and the mailing list are fine for the design "team", but the rest of the community shouldn't have to root up months of archives and transcripts trying to figure out what's happening. Having a roadmap up for everyone to see adds to the impression of transparency, that the "team" has got itself together and is making progress. When someone asks, all the Ambassadors have to do is link people up to the proper documentaton and field additional questions. It avoids sending mixed messages and confusion.
Overall, the resources are there, but better direction and more communication are needed to mobilise them properly.
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:25:11 +0200 (CEST)
> From: lasse at sosialisme.no
> Subject: [ubuntu-art] Let one thousand flowers bloom
> To: ubuntu-art at lists.ubuntu.com
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