Making Design By Committee Work

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"Design by committee", "too many cooks in the kitchen" and other terms have been used as a derogative to imply the creative process breaks when it involves too many individuals. At the same time, the software world have been completely revolutionized by the open source networked collaborative process. The one field where the open source process lags behind the more conventional models involves graphic and interaction designs - two fields critical to software development that have not nourished similar collaboration models. What are the challenges of networked collaboration in the creative process? Can and how might they be solved? Or is it just that designers don't like to work together?

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Making Design By Committee Work

  1. 1. Making “Design By Committee” Work The Pros and Cons of Open Source Design @Mushon.com Oct 09 Thursday, October 15, 2009
  2. 2. Open source is great! What about Open source design? Thursday, October 15, 2009
  3. 3. 1. Scratch an itch Thursday, October 15, 2009
  4. 4. 1. Scratch an itch • OS motivation - personal interest in (and low costs for) collaboration Thursday, October 15, 2009
  5. 5. 1. Scratch an itch • OS motivation - personal interest in (and low costs for) collaboration • OSD motivation - not so straight-forward Thursday, October 15, 2009
  6. 6. 1. Scratch an itch • OS motivation - personal interest in (and low costs for) collaboration • OSD motivation - not so straight-forward • Chicken & Egg - Designers don’t use OSS Thursday, October 15, 2009
  7. 7. 2. Language Encoding/Decoding Stuart Hall 1980 Thursday, October 15, 2009
  8. 8. Encoding framework of knowledge A Thursday, October 15, 2009
  9. 9. Mutual Language Thursday, October 15, 2009
  10. 10. framework Decoding of knowledge B Thursday, October 15, 2009
  11. 11. Encoding A A Decoding Thursday, October 15, 2009
  12. 12. Encoding B A ERROR Decoding Thursday, October 15, 2009
  13. 13. A A A Thursday, October 15, 2009
  14. 14. A A A A A Thursday, October 15, 2009
  15. 15. Encoding Thursday, October 15, 2009
  16. 16. Encoding • Defining a language (code) is key in design (graphic, color, layout, animation, interaction...) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  17. 17. Encoding • Defining a language (code) is key in design (graphic, color, layout, animation, interaction...) • Coding without a shared language (code) is impossible Thursday, October 15, 2009
  18. 18. Encoding • Defining a language (code) is key in design (graphic, color, layout, animation, interaction...) • Coding without a shared language (code) is impossible • Setting collaboration standards is essential Thursday, October 15, 2009
  19. 19. Encoding • Defining a language (code) is key in design (graphic, color, layout, animation, interaction...) • Coding without a shared language (code) is impossible • Setting collaboration standards is essential • Standardization VS. Innovation Thursday, October 15, 2009
  20. 20. Decoding Thursday, October 15, 2009
  21. 21. Decoding • Code either executes or it doesn’t, but a message interpretation isn’t binary Thursday, October 15, 2009
  22. 22. Decoding • Code either executes or it doesn’t, but a message interpretation isn’t binary • Inconsistent design fragments the message (our brains can’t really multitask) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  23. 23. Decoding • Code either executes or it doesn’t, but a message interpretation isn’t binary • Inconsistent design fragments the message (our brains can’t really multitask) • Wikipedia’s has a largely rational guidelines for decision making, design’s doesn’t Thursday, October 15, 2009
  24. 24. 3. Granularity Thursday, October 15, 2009
  25. 25. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character Thursday, October 15, 2009
  26. 26. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character • Allows for varied contribution: Thursday, October 15, 2009
  27. 27. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character • Allows for varied contribution: • Accessible ladder of contribution Thursday, October 15, 2009
  28. 28. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character • Allows for varied contribution: • Accessible ladder of contribution • History Thursday, October 15, 2009
  29. 29. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character • Allows for varied contribution: • Accessible ladder of contribution • History • Moderation Thursday, October 15, 2009
  30. 30. 3. Granularity • In coding (software) and writing (wikis) the building block is granular - a character • Allows for varied contribution: • Accessible ladder of contribution • History • Moderation • Transparency Thursday, October 15, 2009
  31. 31. So is it simply undoable? (would I be wasting your time if I thought so?) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  32. 32. Resource sharing / Open Culture Thursday, October 15, 2009
  33. 33. Wordpress 2.5 admin by HappyCog Wordpress 2.7 Modified by the Wordpress team Thursday, October 15, 2009
  34. 34. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  35. 35. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  36. 36. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  37. 37. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  38. 38. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  39. 39. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  40. 40. Thursday, October 15, 2009
  41. 41. Fixing it: 1. Scratch an itch Thursday, October 15, 2009
  42. 42. Fixing it: 1. Scratch an itch • Price is always itching, but it’s not enough Thursday, October 15, 2009
  43. 43. Fixing it: 1. Scratch an itch • Price is always itching, but it’s not enough • We can’t force the use of bad tools as an ideologic statement Thursday, October 15, 2009
  44. 44. Fixing it: 1. Scratch an itch • Price is always itching, but it’s not enough • We can’t force the use of bad tools as an ideologic statement • Some success in webdesign / Wordpress Thursday, October 15, 2009
  45. 45. Fixing it: 1. Scratch an itch • Price is always itching, but it’s not enough • We can’t force the use of bad tools as an ideologic statement • Some success in webdesign / Wordpress • Still very code-based Thursday, October 15, 2009
  46. 46. Fixing it: 2. Language Thursday, October 15, 2009
  47. 47. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Encoding: Thursday, October 15, 2009
  48. 48. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Encoding: • 1st step: Conduct a networked research (we already have collaborative tools for that) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  49. 49. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Encoding: • 1st step: Conduct a networked research (we already have collaborative tools for that) • 2nd step: Define a modular and extensible language * Support simple inheritance (like in CSS) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  50. 50. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Encoding: • 1st step: Conduct a networked research (we already have collaborative tools for that) • 2nd step: Define a modular and extensible language * Support simple inheritance (like in CSS) • 3rd step: Document the language (style guides) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  51. 51. Fixing it: 2. Language Thursday, October 15, 2009
  52. 52. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: Thursday, October 15, 2009
  53. 53. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: • Some design decisions are rational, and can achieve consensus, like: Thursday, October 15, 2009
  54. 54. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: • Some design decisions are rational, and can achieve consensus, like: • UX research Thursday, October 15, 2009
  55. 55. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: • Some design decisions are rational, and can achieve consensus, like: • UX research • Technical aspects of design Thursday, October 15, 2009
  56. 56. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: • Some design decisions are rational, and can achieve consensus, like: • UX research • Technical aspects of design • Design best practices (in typography, use of icons, interaction paradigms...) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  57. 57. Fixing it: 2. Language Collaborative Decoding: • Some design decisions are rational, and can achieve consensus, like: • UX research • Technical aspects of design • Design best practices (in typography, use of icons, interaction paradigms...) • Blogs share resources and documentation Thursday, October 15, 2009
  58. 58. Fixing it: 3. Granularity Thursday, October 15, 2009
  59. 59. Fixing it: 3. Granularity • When possible, use granular building blocks - namely: use code Thursday, October 15, 2009
  60. 60. Fixing it: 3. Granularity • When possible, use granular building blocks - namely: use code • Get designers on version control systems Thursday, October 15, 2009
  61. 61. Fixing it: 3. Granularity • When possible, use granular building blocks - namely: use code • Get designers on version control systems • Put all master files online Thursday, October 15, 2009
  62. 62. Fixing it: 3. Granularity • When possible, use granular building blocks - namely: use code • Get designers on version control systems • Put all master files online • Explore file non-code versioning (Dropbox?, Alienbrain?) Thursday, October 15, 2009
  63. 63. We can’t just sprinkle design with the magic pixie dust of “Open Source” @Mushon.com Oct 09 Thursday, October 15, 2009
  64. 64. Collaboration is hard! Let’s make it easier. Suggestions? @Mushon.com Oct 09 Thursday, October 15, 2009

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