Making Fedora easier to use & the Installer UX redesign

(Inkscape SVGZ source)
If you want people to try Fedora so they can use it and so they can eventually become a FLOSS contributor, they need to be able to find and download it in the first place. The Fedora websites team and design team, with the website redesign project, hopefully made it easier for our user base to find the right download and to obtain it via our website.
Helping our user base access the installation media isn’t enough, though. They have to be able to make it through the installer to the other side! Those gaps in the diagram – each of those is a bail-out point. If they can’t make it easily through the installer, a member of our user base may well give up on Fedora.

Design team imageboard test server and WE NEED Fedora 16 theme artists!

Fedora Imageboard Test Server Yesterday with some help from smooge and nb, I set up a Danbooru-style image board to test out, and I am hoping that Fedora artists and designers might play with it and see if it’d be a useful resource. It’s an application called Shimmie. What is an imageboard? It’s a bulletin board or forum type of website that focuses much more heavily on images rather than text. You can read more about them in Wikipedia’s article. Traditionally they are used for ‘found’ images, and I don’t know if they are used much by folks who are generating original artwork, but it seems as if they would be a useful tool for collaborative image production, as they would keep discussion focused on visuals. Anyway, if you are so artistically inclined, please feel free to try it out. It is a test server and it is not backed up, so make sure you keep local copies of your drawings or also copy them to your account. Fedora 16: Verne I think maybe this imageboard it might be a cool opportunity to start sketching, sharing, and collaborating some Jules Verne and/or steampunk artwork ideas for Fedora 16 …

Preparing for Fedora's SXSW Debut

Fedora is going to have a booth at the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) music, film, and interactive conference expo in Austin, TX in just a little over a couple of weeks now. Why are we going? Well, our plan is on the Fedora wiki, but my main goal in attending is to promote free software to all of the designers (and developers, too!) that will be attending for the interactive conference, and hopefully even drum up in them some interest in getting involved themselves and help them get started. We do not have enough designers in the free software community, and I believe we desperately need them. Are we going to find them at the Linux and free software-centric conferences we attend every year? Unless they’re already a member of our community – no, probably not. Are we going to find them at SXSW? I believe so – a show like SXSW is a far more natural habitat for the folks we need! So this is a little pilot foray into seeking out a certain skillset we need, on their turf! We’ll see how it goes. In preparation, myself and Emily have been spending a lot quality time with Inkscape and Scribus …

Third Fedora Design Bounty Ninja identified!

The Fedora Design Team Bi-weekly Bounty is a bi-weekly (well, at least monthly! 😉 ) blog post where we’ll outline a quick-and-easy design project that needs doing for the Fedora Community, outlining all the tools, files, and other resources you’ll need to complete the project. If you’re a designer and are interested in getting involved in the free and open source community, this is a good opportunity to get your feet wet! I am quite happy to report that we have identified our third Fedora Design Bounty Ninja: Christian Brassat!! Christian responded to our third Fedora Design Bi-Weekly Bounty – a t-shirt design for the Fedora Students Contributing program. Christian put together a most excellent T-shirt design for the program, using Inkscape and Nicu’s Open Clip Art T-shirt template, collaborating with the Fedora Design Team throughout the process, then prepping the final design for print using Scribus. He came up with a very nice concept for the T-shirt – it’s summery and fun with its tropical flowers, and relates to free software and mentorship with its sprouting-seed design – and carefully adhered to all of the Fedora branding guidelines. He also provided all of his source work! The original design … redesign update

So it’s been a while, a month really, since I’ve given you an update on the Fedora website redesign. Well, in the past month Fedora design ninja Jef van Schendel and I have been cranking out mockups and Sijis Aviles has been doing an awesome job making the mockups a reality and getting things into staging and building things out. So we’ve got quite a few things to go over here. 🙂 Too professional? One piece of feedback we heard from several of you about the last mockup for the front page of looked a little too professional. “This looks like it’s trying to sell me something,” one of my colleagues told me about it recently, “this doesn’t primarily say community or freedom to me at all first glance.” Well, crap. Freedom & friends are two main values of Fedora. If folks don’t get a feeling about community and freedom from looking at our website, we’ve got issues. How did this happen? Well, when designing the first mockup and even when iterating through the header designs, I was reviewing many application websites for general formatting & conventions for some inspiration and to make sure that our website didn’t violate …

Fedora 14 Artwork Progressing!

So about a month ago I blogged a preview of the Fedora 14 theme, which was designed fo Fedora 14 Alpha. Based on your feedback (mostly that the initial wallpaper was too dark), Kyle Baker came up with a modified version of the wallpaper that is much lighter in color: Kyle B Since then, Federico Cáceres, a new member to the Fedora Design team, has put together some iterations on Kyle’s latest iteration: Federico A Federico B Federico C You can also find them on the Fedora project wiki’s F14 Artwork page. Time is running short for us to iterate this wallpaper for Fedora 14 Beta! Want to try your hand? All of the sources are available, and it’s a great excuse to try out Blender if you haven’t gotten a chance to yet. 🙂 Not up for working on the design, but have some feedback you’d like to share? Join the conversation on the design-team mailing list, or drop your feedback in the wiki or in this blog post’s comments.

Creating UI Mockups in Inkscape Video Tutorial

Tonight I received an email from Eduardo Villagrán Morales, a Fedora ambassador from Chile. He wrote, I read your post “Some www.fpo header mockups.” I want know what tools you use to create mockups. As I told Eduardo, I use Inkscape running on Fedora as my primary mockup tool, with some help from Gimp for bitmap processing. I realized while writing my response to him that I actually gave a ~50-minute tutorial on how to use Inkscape specifically to create UI mockups, and I have video of it!. Actually, I spent hours trying to make the video available immediately following FUDcon, but I experienced issue after issue: The camera, the Kodak zi8, encodes in .mov format. I wanted to post Ogg Theora video. I wrote a gstreamer pipeline in hopes of accomplishing this but several runs and many hours later, did not have usable video (it seemed to only play keyframes and nothing inbetween – very jerky.) The audio on the video was very low. I decided to give up on Ogg and ran the video through some gstreamer pipelines to boost the audio, keeping it in .mov format. This worked great. I attempted to upload the video to …

Some www.fpo header mockups

I worked through these redesign header mockups today with Sijis’ feedback. I’m really liking the last one, #7. 🙂 Sometimes you just have to keep trying, keep experimenting, until you discover something that works. The problem we were trying to solve here was having two competing navigation bars, and placing the navbar in such a manner that I felt it wouldn’t necessitate an awkward non-front page layout. In #6 and #7 you can see the two navbars have been collapsed into one, and it’s above the main banner / slideshow area. Sijis suggested moving it above the banner and I think it works really well. The problem with it on the bottom is that if you have a subpage that doesn’t have a banner, it makes the nav bar move up and down the page making it much more complicated to move between pages via that navbar (when the navbar itself jumps around the page you have to refind your place on the page to click on a nav item.) Anyway, I hope these are at least nice eye candy, if not a more interesting study of how to solve a design problem through iteration. 🙂 #1 #2 #3 … front page redesign mockup #1

So as part of the ongoing website redesign project, I’ve been working on mockups for a new front page. Here’s the rough sitemap I’ve drawn up for the work: As you can see, a lot of thought has been put into the home page and articles features on it (sections 1-5). I haven’t had much opportunity to flesh out the Get Help and Join Fedora sections yet, although I know Diana Harrelson’s anthropological study of the Fedora community is chock-full of useful data and recommendations, especially for the Join Fedora section. If you have any ideas or suggestions for either Join Fedora or Get Help please let me know, since we’re still in the process of fleshing out those sections. Now, before I type out those img tags for the mockups themselves, a few caveats: These are very rough mockups. I’ve been working out the navigation scheme with Sijis – I’m not happy with it right now so he’s been helping me figure out a better way – so it will probably change. So yeah, we know it kind of sucks, we’re working on it. 🙂 The position of individual elements on the screens will probably change. The … redesign post-mortem

On Post-Mortems “Post-mortem!” you exclaim, “how ghoulish!” Well, yeah. The term is usually used for meetings and discussions about how well a software release went after it’s out the door, at least on som of the teams I’ve worked on (greets to my tacos!) So, anyway, here is a post-mortem examination of the new design. A little background on the Fedora website design So I’ve already given you the story behind why we decided to re-do the pages on The redesign work was completed as part of Phase 2 and was released with Fedora 13 this past May. If you’re curious as to the why and how we got here, you can read up on it on another blog post. Run-down of the redesign The design is documented on the get.fpo design wiki page and was also shared several months before release on this blog. As mentioned in the history of this project, we decided to split out into two main sections: The first section, presented by default, would be aimed at fulfilling the Board’s requirements – a single simple download button prominently placed, a promo for, and clear links to support & help. …