HIG 3.x Meeting Log: 2010-11-04
Nov 04 10:01:12 <aday> calum, wers, andreasn, godbyk, godbyk-android: ok to start soon?
Nov 04 10:01:18 <wers> hello
Nov 04 10:01:21 <andreasn> yes
Nov 04 10:01:22 <wers> yep
Nov 04 10:01:24 <aday> no jan, kirk or mpt - let's give them a few minutes
Nov 04 10:01:38 <calum> aday: yep
Nov 04 10:01:42 <wers> ok
Nov 04 10:02:10 * calum grabs coffee
Nov 04 10:06:51 <hbons> weeeeee
Nov 04 10:06:54 * Kirk (~KirkBridg@bhh040.ad.students.ubc.ca) has joined #gnome-design
Nov 04 10:07:10 <lapo> hbons!
Nov 04 10:07:11 * mpt (~email@example.com) has joined #gnome-design
Nov 04 10:07:32 <hbons> lapo!
Nov 04 10:07:39 <lapo> thos!
Nov 04 10:08:01 <aday> mpt: here for the meeting?
Nov 04 10:08:01 <lapo> hbons: design meeting news?
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Nov 04 10:08:44 <hbons> nope
Nov 04 10:08:47 <aday> Kirk: hi, didn't notice you there. ready to start?
Nov 04 10:09:02 <Kirk> Just got here
Nov 04 10:09:10 <Kirk> All set!
Nov 04 10:09:37 <wers> ok
Nov 04 10:09:38 <aday> great. let's get going
Nov 04 10:09:47 <aday> shall i recap last week's meeting?
Nov 04 10:10:08 <Kirk> is someone logging this meeting?
Nov 04 10:10:09 <wers> yep
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Nov 04 10:10:28 <aday> i put the log from last week up here: http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/HIG3
Nov 04 10:10:39 <aday> Kirk: i'll do the same this week
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Nov 04 10:11:18 <wers> thanks again for organising this aday
Nov 04 10:11:24 <aday> so the main thing we talked about last week was what the structure of the new hig should be
Nov 04 10:11:29 <aday> wers: no problem
Nov 04 10:11:56 <aday> we covered 3 topics (feel free to interupt me here, btw)
Nov 04 10:12:29 <aday> 1 - what should our patterns look like?
Nov 04 10:12:50 <aday> the answer here seemed to be that they would be similar to standard definitions, but with added implementation details
Nov 04 10:13:34 <aday> 2 - we talked about the need for high level guidelines that might accompany the pattern library component of the new hig
Nov 04 10:13:42 <mpt> hi aday, yes, I lost my connection a bit
Nov 04 10:13:58 <aday> these would include generic advice for those creating interfaces, such as advice on configuration, handling errors, providing feedback
Nov 04 10:14:25 <aday> 3 - we started thinking about what the contents list of the hig might look like
Nov 04 10:15:01 <aday> we looked at a brainstorm list of topics and a few possible structures. but this part was left unfinished
Nov 04 10:15:25 <aday> does that sound about right to those who were here last week?
Nov 04 10:15:37 <Kirk> nicely summarized
Nov 04 10:15:45 <calum> yep
Nov 04 10:15:45 <godbyk-android> Sounds right to me.
Nov 04 10:16:14 <calum> (although we probably didn't really get to the bottom of exactly what our patterns should look like, either)
Nov 04 10:16:45 <wers> I don't know what you discussed last week, but that makes sense
Nov 04 10:17:17 <aday> wers: the one thing we didn't touch on a huge amount last week was the idea of a cross-desktop library...
Nov 04 10:17:32 <wers> now's a good time to discuss that
Nov 04 10:17:52 <wers> do we have a list of specific items to discuss today?
Nov 04 10:18:14 <aday> wers: the main thing was to try and plan a rough contents list
Nov 04 10:18:23 <wers> ok
Nov 04 10:18:28 <wers> can you define "contents list" for me?
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Nov 04 10:18:58 <godbyk-android> Table of contents or outline.
Nov 04 10:19:13 <wers> the cross-platform subject could be interesting to shorlander
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Nov 04 10:19:53 <wers> ok. so we're defining what exactly the HIG will contain, correct?
Nov 04 10:20:01 <Kirk> I think some of the contents will be platform independent really, while some will be Gnome-specific. But I believe both should exist in the HIG
Nov 04 10:20:01 <aday> wers: correct
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Nov 04 10:20:32 <wers> right now, it's clear that we want a UI Pattern Library. let's discuss what else to add
Nov 04 10:20:46 <Kirk> The HIG will define a design approach - and so it should contain some things that are principles, guidelines, ideas, directions etc that could be applied to XFCE, Unity, KDE, etc
Nov 04 10:21:16 <wers> I propose having a list of UX Principles
Nov 04 10:21:24 <wers> similar to Google's http://www.google.com/corporate/ux.html
Nov 04 10:21:38 <wers> they should be powerful high level guidelines
Nov 04 10:21:44 <aday> wers: i think that would basically be what we've been calling guiderlines - the fairly high level stuff
Nov 04 10:21:48 <Kirk> great idea
Nov 04 10:22:08 <wers> I recommend checking out http://www.google.com/corporate/ux.html if you haven't yet
Nov 04 10:22:34 <calum> and then try to forget all the horrid UIs Google have devised recently
Nov 04 10:22:37 <aday> wers: or even an introduction - i've got some draft content there
Nov 04 10:22:53 <wers> aday, is it up on the wiki?
Nov 04 10:23:23 <aday> wers: no, sorry - it's extremely raw
Nov 04 10:23:43 <wers> it's nice to start with high level stuff like UX Principles to focus on striking the root of the problem
Nov 04 10:24:30 <aday> my concern is that this could be a tar pit. i want to get writing
Nov 04 10:24:59 <Kirk> I suspect that the contributors to the HIG may not all be able to contribute to the same section, or at the same level
Nov 04 10:25:19 <Kirk> We may find people who want to write up Gnome Design principles, but can't really help with the pattern-level stuff
Nov 04 10:25:35 <wers> Kirk, +1
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Nov 04 10:26:06 <Kirk> So we come back to a table of contents, and then we can begin looking at who can contribute to which section
Nov 04 10:26:17 <wers> different people are inclined to do different things. the different "levels" on the HIG require different knowledge, skills, and attitude
Nov 04 10:26:18 <aday> Kirk: cool
Nov 04 10:26:40 <aday> so this is one possible structure we could go with - http://openetherpad.org/IAWZip4Ruf
Nov 04 10:27:49 <aday> any reactions to that?
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Nov 04 10:28:04 <calum> stunned silence
Nov 04 10:28:13 <Kirk> reading
Nov 04 10:28:13 <wers> looks good. do we have a reference?
Nov 04 10:28:40 <aday> wers: reference?
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Nov 04 10:28:50 <wers> a complete peg
Nov 04 10:28:53 <wers> to compare notes
Nov 04 10:29:07 <Kirk> aday: so where would the Gnome-specific things be found? What about this would allow someone to look at it and say it applies to Gnome? I know Gnome has a design-nazi reputation, and I think we need to address taht somewhere for example.
Nov 04 10:29:55 <aday> Kirk: well that depends where you draw the line between gnome and good design
Nov 04 10:30:02 <wers> I mean, an existing HIG that we can use as a reference for our HIG's format
Nov 04 10:30:19 <aday> the configuration section would probably want to say 'keep it to a minimum'. is that gnome-specific?
Nov 04 10:30:45 <aday> wers: there is draft content for the new hig on this page http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/HIG3
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Nov 04 10:31:06 * mclasen doesn't think it makes a lot of sense to mark gnome-specific stuff in a gnome hig
Nov 04 10:31:07 <wers> ah probably this one http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/AppleHIGuidelines/XHIGIntro/XHIGIntro.html
Nov 04 10:31:41 <aday> Kirk: i can imagine kde not liking that, for instance
Nov 04 10:31:49 <calum> mclasen: Agree, but I think we're still semi-discussing the idea of making this cross-platform...
Nov 04 10:32:01 * mclasen not a fan
Nov 04 10:32:45 <andreasn> so making it cross-platform is possibly a lot of work, so focusing on the GNOME HIG for April might be a good idea
Nov 04 10:32:54 * calum inclined to agree
Nov 04 10:32:57 <andreasn> and then add the cross-platform stuff in a future version
Nov 04 10:33:45 <hbons> 'cross-platform'?
Nov 04 10:33:49 <aday> andreasn: agreed. it'll be a lot easier to do once we know what we exactly want in a gnome hig
Nov 04 10:35:08 <aday> i would like to move on to talk about structure
Nov 04 10:35:27 <wers> aday, +1 let's determine first what's going to be in this HIG
Nov 04 10:35:28 <calum> hbons: KDE, XFCE etc., if they're interested in co-operating.
Nov 04 10:36:09 <hbons> sounds like a really bad idea to me
Nov 04 10:36:22 <wers> Mozilla seems to be interested in using the document as well, though it's not along the same line as DE projects
Nov 04 10:36:41 <wers> but that would help improve consistency in the Linux desktop
Nov 04 10:36:54 <hbons> there is no one linux desktop
Nov 04 10:37:05 <aday> so going back to http://openetherpad.org/IAWZip4Ruf - what do people think?
Nov 04 10:37:28 <hbons> trying to make comprimises, like we've done over the years, will only result in several bad desktops
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Nov 04 10:39:56 <aday> calum: could you give some examples of some task focused patterns?
Nov 04 10:40:36 <calum> aday: well, Search is one that's in there already...
Nov 04 10:40:46 <calum> (which is probably three or four different ones in itself)
Nov 04 10:41:21 <calum> but yes, it is quite hard to think of others without thinking of specific implementations
Nov 04 10:41:40 <calum> Undo/Redo might be another
Nov 04 10:41:55 <aday> zooming too
Nov 04 10:41:59 <calum> right
Nov 04 10:42:23 <calum> opening/saving/printing, perhaps...
Nov 04 10:43:02 <calum> although they should be fairly standard, but things always get confusing in tabbed apps
Nov 04 10:43:18 <calum> I can never remember whether to press Ctrl+T or Ctrl+N
Nov 04 10:46:36 <andreasn> so, what patterns needs writing?
Nov 04 10:46:45 <godbyk> The table of contents of About Face 3 may be helpful: http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780470084113
Nov 04 10:46:49 <aday> i can see a task orientated approach being advantageous. brainstorming a list of those kinds of patterns would be a good step
Nov 04 10:48:09 <wers> godbyk, that's interesting. thanks. fresh way to look at the HIG
Nov 04 10:48:38 <godbyk> wers: It may provide some ideas on organization and patterns.
Nov 04 10:49:57 * calum really misses access to safaribooksonline since Oracle took over :/
Nov 04 10:50:26 <godbyk> A couple definitions that they have in About Face:
Nov 04 10:50:53 <godbyk> Design principles are guidelines for design of useful and desirable products, systems, and services, as well as guidelines for successful and ethical practice of design.
Nov 04 10:51:05 <godbyk> Design patterns are exemplary, generalizable solutions to specific classes of design problems.
Nov 04 10:51:43 <calum> sounds about right...
Nov 04 10:52:04 <aday> i'm going to start listing some patterns here - http://etherpad.mozilla.org:9000/ID9ZLdcMqM
Nov 04 10:52:14 <godbyk> They have a couple pages on creating/discovering interaction design patterns, too.
Nov 04 10:52:32 <godbyk> I'll type of a summary for everyone today.
Nov 04 10:53:03 <calum> aday: that URL gives me a 404...
Nov 04 10:53:20 <aday> calum: me too :/
Nov 04 10:53:27 <wers> hey sorry. something came up.gtg
Nov 04 10:53:29 * wers has quit (OMG. I was beamed up. Baiiii)
Nov 04 10:53:30 <aday> oh no, it's back
Nov 04 10:53:36 <godbyk> It worked okay for me.
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Nov 04 10:56:51 <Kirk> rather than re-creating a pattern list, can we jsut take a list from one of the more robust pattern libraries out there? Or perhaps I'l just throw a link or two in there for reference?
Nov 04 10:58:43 <calum> Sure, if you can find any that don't mostly focus on web stuff... I couldn't, really...
Nov 04 10:59:15 <aday> http://quince.infragistics.com/UX-Design-Patterns.aspx <- this claims to be a pattern library, but many of the patterns are in fact components
Nov 04 11:00:01 <aday> http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/everything.html <- same with this
Nov 04 11:00:59 <Kirk> I'll throw them in as refs - good to look through briefly for ideas
Nov 04 11:02:07 <Kirk> I'm not clear on how these are anything other than just tasks, vs patterns
Nov 04 11:02:53 <Kirk> You're looking for tasks that are repeatable, such that they can be generalized to a pattern?
Nov 04 11:05:08 <aday> Kirk: calum said that the first list was "too 'control' rather than 'task' focused"
Nov 04 11:05:25 <aday> but now i'm struggling to imagine what that might look like :/
Nov 04 11:06:21 <aday> the problem with task focused patterns is that you end up banging your head against our 'high-level' guidelines
Nov 04 11:09:35 <aday> calum: any suggestions? i'd really like to get some kind of provisional list together
Nov 04 11:09:47 <calum> So maybe here's another way of looking at it: our current pattern template (which we may yet change of course) has a 'when to use' section in it-- how would we answer that for the Patterns that are currently on the list? Maybe that will give us more idea of the tasks/functions that we're trying to address.
Nov 04 11:11:01 <Kirk> that's an interesting approach
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Nov 04 11:11:54 <aday> mmm
Nov 04 11:12:16 * JanCBorchardt (~JanCBorch@server.nowhere-else.org) has joined #gnome-design
Nov 04 11:12:22 <aday> so, for toolbars, i'd put that under 'advertising or prioritising functionality'
Nov 04 11:12:53 <Kirk> toolbars might fall under something like "grouping functionality" too
Nov 04 11:13:02 <Kirk> or that might be menu bars
Nov 04 11:13:05 <aday> and for configuration, you could have 'personalisation', or 'catering to different user groups'
Nov 04 11:13:05 <calum> I guess customization might come into toolbars as well, if we allow users to customize them...
Nov 04 11:14:01 <godbyk> Here's the excerpt from About Face 3: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5067756/on-interaction-design-patterns.pdf
Nov 04 11:14:03 <Kirk> that might be an example of customization
Nov 04 11:14:07 <godbyk> Typos are mine.
Nov 04 11:14:28 <calum> godbyk: cool, thanks.
Nov 04 11:15:13 <aday> i can't hang around much longer, i'm afraid
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Nov 04 11:16:20 <Kirk> any thoughts on the levels of patterns in Cooper's book?
Nov 04 11:16:32 <Kirk> do they help us?
Nov 04 11:16:36 <Kirk> or could they?
Nov 04 11:16:47 <Kirk> aday: how much more time do you think?
Nov 04 11:17:11 <aday> Kirk: i've got 5/10 minutes
Nov 04 11:17:15 <calum> I think we can certainly categorize ours into structural and behavioural, at least... not sure about postural...
Nov 04 11:17:25 <godbyk> Most of the patterns we've listed so far fall under the category of behavioral patterns.
Nov 04 11:17:36 <Kirk> postural sounds like what we've bene calling principles
Nov 04 11:17:51 <godbyk> A bit more on the posture stuff:
Nov 04 11:18:54 <godbyk> Quoting again, "Desktop applications fir into four categories of posture: sovereign, transient, and daemonic."
Nov 04 11:19:00 <godbyk> [Apparently they miscounted.]
Nov 04 11:19:50 <godbyk> "Programs that monopolize users' attention for long periods of time are sovereign posture applications."
Nov 04 11:20:29 <godbyk> They go on to say that users of sovereign applications are typically intermediates.
Nov 04 11:20:39 <godbyk> You should be generous with screen real estate.
Nov 04 11:20:51 <godbyk> Optimize them for full-screen use.
Nov 04 11:21:00 <godbyk> Use a minimal visual style.
Nov 04 11:21:06 <godbyk> Rich visual feedback; rich input.
Nov 04 11:21:16 <godbyk> Documen-centric applications.
Nov 04 11:21:37 <godbyk> "A product with a transient posture comes and goes, presenting a single function with a constrained set of accompanying controls."
Nov 04 11:21:47 <godbyk> Transient applications must be simple, clear, and to the point.
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Nov 04 11:21:54 * Kirk still thinks they sound like design principles - just categorized into user-specific or use-specific situations
Nov 04 11:22:14 <godbyk> They should be limited to to a single window.
Nov 04 11:22:22 <godbyk> They should launch to their previous position and configuration.
Nov 04 11:22:34 <godbyk> "Programs that do no tnormally interact with the user are daemonic posture applications."
Nov 04 11:22:51 <godbyk> Kirk: I think that the design principles and postures are different.
Nov 04 11:23:40 <godbyk> The postures are more of an application-level pattern.
Nov 04 11:24:03 <godbyk> So a word processor would have a sovereign posture.
Nov 04 11:24:12 <godbyk> A game would have a sovereign posture.
Nov 04 11:24:24 <godbyk> A calculator would have a transient posture.
Nov 04 11:24:51 <Kirk> godbyk: agreed, but then the next level (that you've pasted so I don't know if there is more) goes into design principles for those specific types of applications
Nov 04 11:25:20 <Kirk> it might just be symantics
Nov 04 11:25:28 <Kirk> aday has to go - do we want to wrap up and plan for next emeting?
Nov 04 11:25:33 <godbyk> Kirk: There's a page or so in here about how they define design principles.
Nov 04 11:26:00 * Kirk is going to check the library for the book
Nov 04 11:26:22 <godbyk> Kirk: The stuff I've been quoting so far is from chapters 8 and 9.
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Nov 04 11:27:59 <Kirk> seems we only have 2.0
Nov 04 11:28:08 * calum only has 1.0
Nov 04 11:29:07 <godbyk> I have 2.0 and 3.
Nov 04 11:29:21 <godbyk> I haven't read through 3 in its entirety yet, though.
Nov 04 11:30:04 <godbyk> Btw, is someone keeping track of all these pads and wiki pages we've started now?
Nov 04 11:30:46 <Kirk> the IRC log is posted
Nov 04 11:30:51 <godbyk> (Did I scare everyone off with my wall of text?)
Nov 04 11:30:56 <Kirk> so they're available that way
Nov 04 11:30:57 <aday> so what are we saying? where are we up to, where are we headed?
Nov 04 11:31:01 <godbyk> Do we want to meet at the same time next week?
Nov 04 11:32:24 <calum> Sounds like it might help if somebody takes an action to work on the pattern list a bit more based on what we've discussed... any volunteers?
Nov 04 11:32:59 <godbyk> calum: I can spend some time on the pattern list. It'd be good if we do it on an Etherpad so others can join in.
Nov 04 11:33:04 * aday isn't sure what our pattern list is supposed to look like any more
Nov 04 11:34:22 <godbyk> Along with the list, we should probably write a couple exemplar patterns so we're all on the same page as to what we mean by 'pattern' and all that.
Nov 04 11:34:47 <godbyk> Is the gnome-usability list the best place to discuss this (aside from IRC)?
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Nov 04 11:35:45 <Kirk> godbyk: I think so, it's archived, already setup, tpoical
Nov 04 11:35:57 <calum> There are a couple of example patterns we wrote before on http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/HIG3, which we could potentially tweak... probably need to discuss what template we want to use going forward though, e.g. the current one or the much simpler Quince one.
Nov 04 11:36:07 <Kirk> I agree with aday though, it feels like we're not sure how to template our patterns right now
Nov 04 11:37:22 <godbyk> It may be helpful to take our example patterns to some developers and see how they interpret them. What questions are they left with after reading the pattern?
Nov 04 11:37:39 <godbyk> Do they think the patterns are too wordy? Do they seem useful? etc.
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Nov 04 11:38:26 <Kirk> godbyk: agreed, valiadation will be important.
Nov 04 11:38:47 <Kirk> aday: so let's schedule another meeting next week, with the pre-req that a few patterns are fleshed out for discussion
Nov 04 11:39:01 <godbyk> We'd hate to spend a bunch of time writing patterns only to later discover that developers don't find them useful.
Nov 04 11:39:04 <Kirk> the patterns might look different, feel differnt etc - and we can figure out the right way to go forward
Nov 04 11:39:18 <Kirk> by looking over examples
Nov 04 11:39:33 <aday> i'm happy to organise another meeting
Nov 04 11:39:59 <Kirk> will just need to make sure we get some patterns written. I'll put it on my claendar so I don't forget - I'll work on one
Nov 04 11:40:21 <calum> Certainly worth doing, although none of our examples have the 'source code' section complete, which is possibly going to be the bit most developers care about
Nov 04 11:40:21 <aday> but i don't have a huge amount of time to prepare material
Nov 04 11:40:57 <aday> godbyk, Kirk, calum: you seem to have a better idea of where this is going that i do. you ok to produce something for next week?
Nov 04 11:41:51 <Kirk> oh hang on
Nov 04 11:41:55 <Kirk> can't attend next Thurs
Nov 04 11:42:08 <Kirk> Wed/Fri is OK though
Nov 04 11:42:31 <godbyk> Ooh, next Thursday is World Usability Day.
Nov 04 11:42:37 <aday> let's go for wednesday
Nov 04 11:42:55 <godbyk> aday: Oh, sure, give us less time to finish our homework!
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Nov 04 11:43:14 <Kirk> Does Fri work? It's better for me
Nov 04 11:43:32 <Kirk> Wed is a bit iffy, might be pulled into work meetings
Nov 04 11:43:38 <godbyk> I have a bunch of other meetings on Wednesday at this time.
Nov 04 11:43:49 <calum> Friday's fine for me.
Nov 04 11:43:52 <aday> ok, friday then
Nov 04 11:43:55 <godbyk> Friday is open for me at the moment.
Nov 04 11:44:05 <aday> 15:00 UTC?
Nov 04 11:44:30 <godbyk> That works for me.
Nov 04 11:44:36 <calum> yep
Nov 04 11:44:52 <Kirk> time change this weekend, let me figure out when that is local time
Nov 04 11:45:09 <JanCBorchardt> sorry I was not able to participate ? I read backlog and Friday from 15 UTC on works for me
Nov 04 11:45:26 <godbyk> Hey, JanCBorchardt.
Nov 04 11:46:24 <Kirk> is it at all possible to bup that to 16 UTC? 15 might be tight
Nov 04 11:47:13 <godbyk> Either time is okay with me.
Nov 04 11:47:20 <calum> same here
Nov 04 11:47:53 <aday> Kirk: okay for me, though i might slink off to the pub at 17:00
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Nov 04 11:48:40 <Kirk> perfectly understandable - so 16:00 UTC next Friday
Nov 04 11:48:41 <JanCBorchardt> aday:
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Nov 04 11:49:41 <aday> thanks for your input everyone