[UbuntuWomen] Ubuntu4girls projetc

Louisa Parry louisa at louisaparry.co.uk
Fri Sep 28 17:31:00 BST 2007

On Fri, 2007-09-28 at 11:49 -0400, Catherine Devlin wrote:

> You know, the thing that a great many girls have in common may be not
> any particular decorative scheme, but the desire to customize.  Look
> at the (physical, paper) notebooks they carry in school; they may have
> drawn on unicorns or pasted photos of their friends or wrapped it in
> aluminum foil or glued on origami swans, but they've almost always
> So maybe one good way to add girl appeal is to make it really, really
> obvious how they can customize their systems' look.

This great idea - and Miriam's equally good idea of sharing these
customisations - is more than just about making it look nice and
avoiding gender stereotyping.  Customisation creates a greater sense of
ownership and pride in the system - it isn't just the boring old
computer, it's MY computer (or user account at least) and look what I've
done with it!

On XP (home edition at least), users select an icon to represent them at
the log-in screen and of course they can (and do) change the desktop
background - the freer nature of Ubuntu could let them do this and more.
The key would be doing it as simply as possible - maybe a customisation
guide run on first time log-in?  ("What would you like your background
to be? What colour would you like for the tops of windows? Where do you
want your tool bars? And don't forget you can change any of this at a
later date if you change your mind or fancy something new.")

This ownership might encourage the young girls and boys to promote
Ubuntu to their friends - "look how cool my computer looks!" - and the
sharing aspect could start to build communities of young Ubuntu users -
both of which are obviously good things (building the advocacy community
of tomorrow).

As Caroline pointed out though, we shouldn't forget about Edubuntu -
they're already doing quite a bit for making Ubuntu more suitable for
younger users.

-Louisa :)

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