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[GMG-Devel] Feature design

From: Christopher Allan Webber
Subject: [GMG-Devel] Feature design
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2012 18:15:37 -0500
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.9-dev3; emacs

Heya all,

So a few weeks ago I got an email from Aaron Williamson (who had just
implemented the collections feature at that time) about how we go about
designing features, basically asking if we shouldn't be taking a more
design-oriented approach to things.  To paraphrase, he observed that
lately we've been having a "someone picks a feature and implements it
and then afterwards Jef van Schendel runs in and tries to clean up the
look of things" approach.  Is this really the right way?  I told him I
was interested in discussing this, but I didn't want to interrupt the
campaign launch.  But given that the campaign is coming near a close, I
think it's a good time for this conversation to resurface.

In fact, we had a conversation in #mediagoblin on IRC today.  Roughly,
what Jef and I came to were the following points:
 - We want better planned out features, both design-wise and otherwise,
   while simultaneously not slowing or blocking people from developing
   things, to the extent that's possible.
 - We do want a more designed-first development process.  However that
   doesn't just mean graphic design, it's also technical design.
   Rushing into a design without thinking about the user experience is
   bad.  On the other hand, just throwing design up there without
   thinking about the technical end isn't great either.
 - Maybe we could add a ux-needed tag to the tracker?
 - So what we should be doing is, for larger things especially, having
   more conversation about how things should work beforehand.
 - We used to do more of this... at the very least, we used to write up
   more concrete lists of how to implement things, have ascii art mockups,
   then real mockups, and implementions, etc.  More of that!
 - Hopefully me coming on fulltime will help with this post-campaign:
   I think a lot of this is keeping conversations aligned and helping
   guide things.

Anyway, thoughts?  I'm happy to have more conversation about this here.
Otherwise, this is a good conversation for the meeting!
 - cwebb

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