GTK3 UI Template for Inkscape

Suchakra asked me today if I had a GTK3 template for doing UI mockups in Inkscape, and I realized even though I had put one together some months ago, I never posted it. So here it is, enjoy (if you need a license, let’s say it is GPL+, attribute the GNOME project; the icons are GPL+): GTK3 UI Template for Inkscape (SVG.GZ Inkscape file) Architect’s Daughter font (used in the template, OFL licensed)

Charline's Icon Usability Study

On Friday at the GNOME London UX Hackfest, Charline from Canonical gave us some details on an icon usability study she had run recently for the Launchpad icon set. Here’s my notes from the session: Methodology The study was done as a surveymonkey.com survey. The study was for Launchpad, so a link to the survey was posted to Launchpad’s blog to attract Launchpad users. After 3 days, the survey had gathered 125 respondents. The icons were presented in context, since the context would inform the user’s interpretation of the icon in real usage Then users were asked to help interpret what each icon meant First question: “this icon means….” and asked the user to fill out, free-form Second question: “i have the following percentage of confidence in my answer” so we can tell how much of a guess it was on the user’s part or how sure they were of their interpretation. Third: “when do you expect to find this icon?” Then, users were asked to provide a second / alternate interpretation of the icon, filling out the same three fields for it: this icon means… percentage certainty/confidence…. where do you expect to find Lessons Learned You can’t do more …

The one where the designers ask for a pony

One of the topics Garrett made sure to bring up at the GNOME London UX Hackfest was how us designers could continue to collaborate after the hackfest was over. This has been a recurring issue, as us designers meet every year or so, at GUADEC, at UX hackfests, or at GNOME Boston Summits (or even other FLOSS events like LinuxTag) and we get some great collaborate work done during the events – but it peters off after we get settled in back home after the events. On Friday morning Hylke, Garrett, jimmac, and myself had a discussion with the developers in the room to explain the kinds of FLOSS tools we felt we’d need to be able to collaborate on designs more effectively when we’re remote from each other. This broke down into two main sets of needs: Challenge A: Designer <=> Designer collaboration tools Jimmac, Garrett, and Hylke have been using DropBox as a method of sharing design work (SVGs, PNGs for icons and UI mockups) for a whlie now. It’s been a quite effective tool for them to use, but as they pointed out, it is not open source and they would prefer to use a FLOSS tool. …

Adding Chapters to Totem

Ivanka and I had a great discussion on Monday at the GNOME London UX Hackfest about how what free & open source tools / integration we need for a good FLOSS usability data capture workflow. While I still have to document them properly, you can get a sneak peek at our notes from this discussion in a whiteboard photo I took: One of the wishlist items that came up is if there was a way we could set marker points within our large and long usability test video files, in order to be able to document and skip to points of interest within the file quickly, and also so that we would be able to export small and short clips of video to be able to share widely. You see, not only is it timely to view an entire usability test video – they are very large and unwieldy, and expensive to host which makes it tougher for us to share the great data we’re gathering. For example, the markers I’d love to set up in a usability test video file would be to indicate where test task 1 started, where test task 2 started, so on and so forth. …

Happy Blog vs. Misery Blog

This is how I’m used to blog posting and receiving comments on said posts operating, for the most part: This is how I feel like my blog has been working out lately: I don’t think I can be as diligent in responding to comments to my blog anymore. It’s making me feel really unhappy and constantly attacked. I do not understand what outcome people who post comments like this expect. I am really quite unaccustomed to this kind of behavior at this scale. I am really against censorship in principle, but I think I’m probably going to have to put all comments on my blog under moderations because of this. I really wish I didn’t have to though. Please be more thoughtful when you post comments to people’s blogs.

Charline's Empathy Usability Report

This morning Charline from Canonical presented a report on an empathy usability test she’s completed. These are rough notes split into topics: Usability reports in general There was some discussion of the usage of user quotes in usability reports and their utility Audiences for test: People who report bugs, developers Some confusion over how testing on Ubuntu would have effected the test results – e.g. how did notify-osd behave to the user… Usability folks Consider referencing products / screenshots that show a solution to the problems presented as inspiration When users fail to do a task, it would be useful to document the paths they tried / the mental model they had that failed. Even things they wanted to do that could never work in the current implementation – could be good ideas for a way the UI could work. Indicate how many users said something. If only one user suggested something, that should be clear from what all or most users said. We need help to get these filed as bugs. Would community members be willing to support usability by splitting reports like these into actual bug reports? On-Board Experience The on-board experience in empathy confusing. There’s one status …

Misc. Notes from GNOME UX Hackfest, Tuesday

Here’s just a quick summary of notes from the discussions I was in yesterday at the GNOME London UX Hackfest: OSD & Panel Icons Yesterday jimmac and hbons worked on Moblin icons, with the idea we could use the style for GNOME OSD (on-screen display, e.g., when you change your system volume, the big speaker icon pops up) and possibly the panel / applet icons. Why use the moblin style? It’s much quicker to put together than the high-res icons (it can take 15 hours straight to do one of these); the Moblin style requires much simpler artwork. The style, because of its simplicity, could potentially be good high-contrast / accessible icons as well. How do you get the Moblin icons? git clone git://git.moblin.org/moblin-icon-theme Challenges We’d like complete coverage but won’t have it immediately. We should have a fallback – the Ubuntu folks suggested using a suffix for naming/calling icons from apps. E.g, if an application that wants to use this style they need to explicitly ask for it, if it doesn’t exist it falls back to the normal icon. (I’m not 100% sure how accurate my notes are here.) One issue with the style is that it doesn’t work …

GNOME Vision Brainstorm

This is just a brainstorm, no hard and fast rules being set here. A bunch of the designers here at the GNOME London UX Hackfest got together yesterday to talk about Nautilus, and after talking about Nautilus those of us left had a bit of bigger-picture view discussion (mostly Garrett and I at the whiteboard with hbons & jimmac listening as they worked on awesome icon stuff). Us GNOME designers see each other on pretty much an annual basis for the past few years either at usability hackfests, GUADECs, or GNOME Boston Summits, and we end up having variations on the same ‘big-picture’ vision for GNOME. Somehow, we never end up really fulfilling that vision, and the climate changes slightly every time (for example, microblogging I think is a big difference this go-around that wasn’t as much of a consideration in previous iterations of the discussion). Why does this keep happening? I think we go back home and work in individual silos again – and when we meet next it’s difficult work I think to resolve the different perspectives behind the progress we’ve made over the past year. It seems we then keep trying to redo the vision, maybe with …

Painless accessibility tips for GNOME designers and developers

This morning at the GNOME 3 UX Hackfest in London, Willie Walker gave us some tips for ‘painless’ accessibility. First he reviewed the three main types of access users need us to support: 1: Some people can’t use the keyboard These users use devices such as: head tracking eye tracking switch-based access (they press buttons on a switch – the accessibility layer translates these to keyboard stroke) For head-tracking and eye-tracking, they hover over an area to cause a click. Some of these users can’t use keyboard or mouse at all. They may use a button/switch to interact and translate to keyboard. You need to think about users who cannot use the keyboard at all. 2: Some people can’t use the mouse These users use devices such as: switch-based access (they press buttons on a switch use joystick instead of mouse A big category of users who cannot use the mouse are users who are completely blind. Since they cannot tell where on the screen the mouse is, they can’t use it. These users rely on keyboard access To make sure you’re accounting for these users, try unplugging your mouse and see if you can use your interface: Can you …