Microprojects – Dip your toe in Open Source Design

There’s been a lot of talk about Open Source Design & User Experience lately. Here is a great opportunity to dip your toe in Open Source Design, see what it’s like and work on a small but important project for the Drupal 7 User Experience Project (D7UX).

What is this?

An opportunity for UX people to work with Drupal developers to solve specific, finite and modular user interface issues. No previous experience or knowledge of Drupal is required.

A UX volunteer will be paired with module developer(s) to work on the interface and UX aspects of a module, create wireframes that capture UX recommendations which may then be implemented by the developer(s).

A Drupal UX Mentor will provide guidance and support as required. We’re estimating that each microproject will require no more than 12 hours of a UX Volunteer’s time and those hours can be spread, flexibly, over a 3 week period.

Why are we doing this?

  • to give UX professionals an opportunity to ‘try out’ designing in an Open Source Community (and hopefully love it so much they stay!)
  • to give developers the opportunity and framework to engage with designers/UX professionals to maximise the usability of their module
  • to get feedback and insight into how we can help designers and developers to engage in a much more holistic way on an ongoing basis
  • to spread the UX workload and maximise the improvements available for inclusion in D7
  • to help make Drupal 7 an amazing user experience!

How will it work?

This is a brand new and somewhat experimental initiative so your involvement will be instrumental in shaping the way the process works, but this is what we have in mind:

  • 26 May – 1 June 09 – Call for participation: see ‘Get Involved’ below.
  • 2 – 10 June 09 – Cross Matching: We’ll assign UX volunteers to modules and introduce the teams!
  • 10 June – 1 July 09 – Engagement
    A three week period will be assigned for the participants to work together to improve the UX of their assigned module.The work involves
    o Developers briefing the UX people on how the module works and anything they need to know about how Drupal works
    o UX people creating wireframes or prototypes (your call!)
    o UX people and developers collaborate to finetune the user interface and perhaps do a little guerilla usability testing (if possible/appropriate).
  • 1 – 8 July 09 – Evaluation
    Each participant will be asked to submit a brief evaluation of their experience (what was good, what was challenging, how they’d do things differently next time, how things could be better) so that we can learn more about how to foster the engagement between Designers/UX people and Module Developers throughout the open source development lifecycle.

What kind of projects?

We would love to sign up around half a dozen microprojects. Here are some examples of projects we think would be perfect as a microproject:

  • design a great WYSIWIG Editor interface for Drupal 7
  • design the interface for a great media library for Drupal 7
  • design some great dashboard widgets for Drupal 7

There will be opportunities to get involved in more complex UI projects for D7UX and we’re working closely with the Drupal Usability team to define and collaborate on these.

Get involved!

Want to get involved? Yay! We’d love to have you aboard!

  • If you’re a UX person who’s interested in participating, leave a note in the comments below (and use your real email address in the comment form so we can contact you!)
  • If you’re a Drupal developer and you’d like some UX love for your module, add a link to your module project page or even the specific issue if there is one and give a quick summary of what the module does and what the main user interface challenges are.
  • If you’ve got some ideas for what needs UX attention (task ideas) even if you’re not a designer or developer – feel free to post your suggestions in the comments below

We’re really looking forward to working with you all on these projects and seeing what we can achieve in the coming weeks!

ps. want to find out more about how you can get involved in the Drupal Usability Community? Come say hello here and see what we’re up to!

59 thoughts on “Microprojects – Dip your toe in Open Source Design”

  1. Hello, I would like to get involved. I’m not a coder, but I’m good at usability, accessibility and ergonomics.

    I wrote a thourough examination on how I suggest improving installation from a usability point of view. You can read it here – “My vision of usability for Drupal” – http://drupal.org/node/516878.

    Thank you for contacting me back.

  2. Hi,

    Please add me for the next round of microprojects!

    I’m an avid drupal user and user experience designer. In fact, I liked it so much I set it up for use at work for our UX group. After demonstrating its benefits with collaborative design and development we are implementing it for use department wide.


  3. It is not clear from this page whether you are still recruiting volunteers, but I will bite. I have done basic html (ugly) sites for about a decade. I am now trying to make up for lost time by learning Drupal in a serious way.

    I recently converted a client site to Drupal (cocojams.com). The client loves it. I used a theme from ThemeGarden.

    I am always looking for ways to learn more about Drupal development. I would be happy to help on a little project, if needed.

    I recently installed Drupal 7 successfully on my local host. I tried to install it on a public site to replace a Drupal 6 site and I got a blank page (http://communitystreetjams.com). Obviously, I need to learn a bit more.

    Thanks in advance for any opportunity to participate.

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