[Desktop_printing] Suggestion: invite OpenUsability.org representative(s) to Printing Summit

Kurt Pfeifle k1pfeifle at gmx.net
Tue Jan 31 17:42:53 PST 2006


given the amount of "printing + usability" discussion that has taken 
place on the desktop_printing list in preparation for the summit, I'd
like to propose that one or two representatives from OpenUsability.org
be invited to the Atlanta meeting. (I believe there was already someone
from OU.o at the Portland meeting too?). And hopefully we can find 
sponsoring for travel and hotel too...

I spent the evening reading some of the recent threads (I was offline
for a while) -- also the one on gtk-devel-list -- and was very pleased 
to see the newly-energized initiative to bring better printing support 
to Gtk+ and Gnome.

www.OpenUsability.org is a platform that has assembled quite a few 
expert usability people and professionals behind it -- and they that
has successfully established working relationships with quite a few
(more than 100, maybe?) open source projects already, giving continuous 
feedback during the development process. They cooperate with KDE and 
with Gnome developers likewise (depending on the fact if the developers 
themselves want it), as well as with groups that belong to neither 
"camp". Prominent KDE apps coached by OU.o mentors are amaroK, Krita 
and KPDF; prominent Gnome apps are Inkscape and Gimp; prominent 
non-desktop projects are Wikipedia, Wordpress and TYPO3.

Since I am involved with KDEPrint to a degree, I know how good some
of their feedback already has been for us. :)  

One of their recently drafted reports originates back from our attempts 
to improve the "WhatsThis" integrated help hints in kprinter:


This report now outlines a general idea for improvment: the KDE4 "looking 
for immediate help" user experience. From that report you can see how much
substance is behind their suggestions, and how much attention to detail
they give once they adopt a project.

One of the methods they use when discussing "GUI design and usability"
is "paper prototyping". All you need to start designing an initial UI, 
and then refining it more and more, is: paper, scissors, pens and some 
transparent adhesive tape. See f.e. this article:


I've seen them doing it at various events -- and participants (users +
developers) *always* had lots of fun with it and reported very useful
insights and designs coming from those sessions:

  (Sven Neumann, a Gimp developer, reports about one such event)

It struck me that here is another field where KDE and Gnome developers
could cooperate on very practical terms to make the Linux and FOSS
desktop better.

Myself, being one of the guys who helped to "GUI-design" the current 
kprinter appearance (man, that is already 4 years since then... phew!):
I would certainly be glad to cooperate with anyone from the Gnome
printing camp, especially if it is under the guidance of a person from 
OpenUsability.org, to come up with a better UI for printing tasks and 
workflows. And I'll be glad to share my "expert" and the common knowlege 
we accumulated so far with kprinter with anyone else who wants to 
participate  :-)

It would be simply great if we could agree on some common dialog design, 
UI layouts and workflow logic on that field that could be shared between
KDE and Gnome (and implemented by each one for his own platform in a way
that lets users, admins and suppport staff work with each one the same
way once they have learned to use one of them).

So -- how about inviting one or two OpenUsability.org professional to 
the summit and to hold a "printing dialog" paper prototyping session 
under their guidance?


More information about the Printing-summit mailing list