User Experience Advocates
UX Advocates work within individual GNOME sub-projects to improve the user experience they deliver. Their main role is to do UX-specific work and to bring a user-focused point of view to their projects. Being a UX Advocate is a great way to both contribute to the GNOME project and to develop as a usability and design expert. The GNOME Usability Project is actively promoting UX Advocates and is working to encourage more people working within this role. The activities of UX Advocates include:
- Researching usability bugs and problems
- Representing the needs and interests of users within development discussions
- Reporting, triaging and prioritising usability bugs
- Liasing between developers, usability and design experts
Becoming a UX Advocate
You don't need to be a developer, usability expert or designer to be a UX Advocate (though they might be on the way to becoming one), but you do need to be committed to improving GNOME user experience.
Like any FOSS role, becoming a UX Advocate requires doing work within a project to develop the trust and confidence of its other contributors, and you have to acquire the skills and knowledge to do the job effectively. Don't be intimated though! The GNOME Usability Project has a team of friendly UX experts who will help you on your way, and the first steps are easy and straightforward:
2. Hone your UX skillz.
Read the HIG.
Look at examples of existing usability reviews, such as this one.
Learn about usability principles and how to do heuristic evaluation.
Have a look at what's cool in the GNOME design world.
3. Pick a project that you care about or are interested in. Join their IRC channel and mailing list.
4. Start small. Grand designs are exciting, but the best way to learn is to pick small tasks. Focus on little issues to begin with: text labels, alignment, control grouping. Look at an alert dialog or a part of a preferences window.
5. Report any UX bugs that you find, and look at the bugs that are already in Bugzilla. These bugs will have the keyword 'usability'.
6. Research your UX bugs: refer to the relevant sections of the HIG and look at how other software solves the same or similar problems. (Talking to people on the usability and design channels will help here.) Present your findings (remember - short concise comments!) on bug reports, the project mailing list or IRC channel.
7. Once you've got some experience and confidence, you can start triaging UX bugs (see the Bug Squad triage guide) and proposing design solutions.
See the Participate for more general information on getting involved with the GNOME Usability Project.