Ubuntu Linux to hire UI designers

11 Sep 2008 - 2:44pm
6 years ago
3 replies
684 reads
Dave Cortright
2005

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-canonical-to-fund-upstream-linux-usability-improvements.html

"Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced Wednesday that his company,
Canonical, will hire professional designers and interaction experts to
improve the usability of the Linux desktop software ecosystem. They will
work closely with upstream developers to bring a better experience to users
of the open source operating system... He emphasizes the importance of
making usability enhancement a community-driven effort. He acknowledges that
improving usability across the entire scope of the desktop software
ecosystem is a daunting challenge, but he believes that the collaborative
spirit of the open software development model can get the job done."

A necessary step in getting open source software ready for a more mainstream
market. Is anyone here working on this?

Comments

11 Sep 2008 - 2:56pm
seele@obso1337.org
2005

On Thursday 11 September 2008 16:44:39 David Cortright wrote:
> http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-canonical-to-fund-upstream-li
>nux-usability-improvements.html
>
> "Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced Wednesday that his company,
> Canonical, will hire professional designers and interaction experts to
> improve the usability of the Linux desktop software ecosystem. They will
> work closely with upstream developers to bring a better experience to users
> of the open source operating system... He emphasizes the importance of
> making usability enhancement a community-driven effort. He acknowledges
> that improving usability across the entire scope of the desktop software
> ecosystem is a daunting challenge, but he believes that the collaborative
> spirit of the open software development model can get the job done."
>
> A necessary step in getting open source software ready for a more
> mainstream market. Is anyone here working on this?

I've been working on the Kubuntu project (KDE Ubuntu) for the past 2 years and
KDE for over 4 years. I don't work for Canonical but I am on the Kubuntu
council and I attend the Ubuntu Developer Summits. If you closely read his
blog article, it is unclear if he is going to hire more designers, or if he
has already hired more designers and if those designers are going to be
artists or "interaction designers". Currently there are a handful of artists
and a UI designer.

Canonical is not the first FLOSS-centered company to invest in UX. Others,
such as Redhat, Sun, and Novell have had staff designers for years. How much
this has effected FLOSS is hard to tell. Canonical has vision, but I don't
believe they have anyone to guide it yet. If they manage to get someone in
there who knows what they are doing in terms of design, and also understands
FLOSS, then I will be more optimistic that this effort will make a
difference. It is hard for a software company to make the necessary cultural
change to truly integrate UX in to their processes -- especially one centered
in a FLOSS culture.

Until then, I will be watching with baited breath.

~ C

--
Celeste Paul (seele)
obso1337.org

11 Sep 2008 - 3:25pm
Angel Marquez
2008

I would like to be a part of this. I dual boot my mac with fedora and
my PC with ubuntu and have some feedback on this initiative.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 11, 2008, at 1:56 PM, "Celeste Paul (seele)"
<seele at obso1337.org> wrote:

> On Thursday 11 September 2008 16:44:39 David Cortright wrote:
>> http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-canonical-to-fund-upstream-li
>> nux-usability-improvements.html
>>
>> "Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced Wednesday that his
>> company,
>> Canonical, will hire professional designers and interaction experts
>> to
>> improve the usability of the Linux desktop software ecosystem. They
>> will
>> work closely with upstream developers to bring a better experience
>> to users
>> of the open source operating system... He emphasizes the importance
>> of
>> making usability enhancement a community-driven effort. He
>> acknowledges
>> that improving usability across the entire scope of the desktop
>> software
>> ecosystem is a daunting challenge, but he believes that the
>> collaborative
>> spirit of the open software development model can get the job done."
>>
>> A necessary step in getting open source software ready for a more
>> mainstream market. Is anyone here working on this?
>
> I've been working on the Kubuntu project (KDE Ubuntu) for the past 2
> years and
> KDE for over 4 years. I don't work for Canonical but I am on the
> Kubuntu
> council and I attend the Ubuntu Developer Summits. If you closely
> read his
> blog article, it is unclear if he is going to hire more designers,
> or if he
> has already hired more designers and if those designers are going to
> be
> artists or "interaction designers". Currently there are a handful
> of artists
> and a UI designer.
>
> Canonical is not the first FLOSS-centered company to invest in UX.
> Others,
> such as Redhat, Sun, and Novell have had staff designers for years.
> How much
> this has effected FLOSS is hard to tell. Canonical has vision, but I
> don't
> believe they have anyone to guide it yet. If they manage to get
> someone in
> there who knows what they are doing in terms of design, and also
> understands
> FLOSS, then I will be more optimistic that this effort will make a
> difference. It is hard for a software company to make the necessary
> cultural
> change to truly integrate UX in to their processes -- especially one
> centered
> in a FLOSS culture.
>
> Until then, I will be watching with baited breath.
>
> ~ C
>
> --
> Celeste Paul (seele)
> obso1337.org
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12 Sep 2008 - 6:09am
Ronald The
2008

I also think this is a very interesting project to which I would like to contribute to.

I think it would be good to develop guidelines, to ensure a consistent user experience, not only with the operating system, but also with the applications. I believe this is the key to be successful on the desktop. Still, the question is, if FOSS developers would accept to align to these guidelines.

Greets from Germany
Ron

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