This is the work blog for the KDE Visual Design Group a group of dedicated designers striving to improve community participation in design for KDE as well as design work in general for KDE applications and Plasma.

torsdag 23 januari 2014

The Time is Nigh!

In which the archaic title is talked about, a short recap of the work so far, a bold proposal is made and a time table is looming in the distance.

c, Martin Klapotek CC-SA

After a week and half of talking to people a Visual Design Crew is slowly emerging. Right now its about 5 people whom I've talked to who are all raring to go. All from vastly different backgrounds, experience and ages. Later this week we'll talk more, hopefully get a good sense of where we are and then introduce ourselves and the way this will start out.

In the beginning of this I made some assumptions about design in KDE that I later had to revisit and rethink. The interaction design group is solid - they keep churning out work of amazing quality and for some graphics dude to come in and try to edit things wouldn't be productive for anyone. They know what they want, how they want it and how they prefer it.
Thomas Pfeiffer wrote a little about his experience coming into interaction design with KDE and its well worth a read (the comments as well).
Ideas are popping up on how to merge all design work and make it more of a collaborative effort as well as how to invite new designers - a discussion I've been absent from simply because I want to invest the most amount of time on a graphics crew and get that aspect of design rolling.


Hopefully, if all goes well, at the end of the week the end result will this:

A visual design crew that is open and honest internally about limitations and individual availability and the main purpose of which is teaching each other about methods and techniques as well as backing each other up when time tables starts slipping.
It is supposed to be a positive experience for all designers present. The idea is that if or when they leave they will leave having learnt allot more about design, illustration and designing for a DE than they knew going in. I want this to be something you would write on a CV in the future. This is the MAIN goal. All other goals are second to this and I see this the part where I will invest the most amount of time. If a member feel neglected, unsupported or insecure about his or her role and work I've failed on a personal level.

Every member of the design crew having a pet project, one aspect of the KDE desktop which design they have main responsibility for. The lead dev for that project will act as mentor to that designer (so I'll try to contact devs as well and find out who wants to do that, with all that it entails being "mentor" and not "boss").
This is the secondary goal - to get every designer to not only feel invited and as appreciated as they are but give them a "go-to-project" something to do as well as a contact outside of the world of design and within the KDE developer community.

A solid and easily found "bug list". A place where any designer can go in, look through and tell the rest of us "Hey you guys, I'm doing this! It'll hopefully be done by next week". Most probably bugzilla but a secondary list updated regularly where the name and the contact information for the dev responsible as well as the designer responsible shall be present.
This is the third and trickier goal. The point for reposting it publicly is so other people who are not part of it can see the work done - the needs that exists and think "hmmm maybe I can help out".  

Practical perks for the Visual Design Crew. I have no idea how to get this going yet. I looked into scrounging up funds and make stuff an EU project to fund things like airplane-fair and hotel stays for things like Akademy for the design crew. Things like that so that even members who are young, studying or unemployed can physically meet devs and other members of the Design Crew at KDE meets.  
I'm going to keep looking into it but this is waaaay back in fourth place.


After this or during, depending on time tables, we will keep trying to connect up to the interactivity design group and the marketing group. Make it a team to be a member of instead of just something we all do individually. At that time, considering the second goal above, the Visual Design Crew will have a good interaction and relationship with devs so with a little luck and allot of work - KDE will have the best interaction between groups of any Open or Closed source project available.

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