Forwarding users’ response to developers

During Libre Graphics Meeting I had a conversation with Richard Hughes, which at some point touched the topic of feedback.  I don’t quite know if this applies to all developers, but to some, it appears that the feedback you receive as developer is not so varied as could be. Mostly, users who take straight contact to the developer either has a serious complaint or a bug in the software to talk about. Similarly, much of the mail on the mailing lists and on the bug tracker is about crash reports, bugs and general problems in the software. 

But there is positive feedback out there. In many cases the thank you‘s and I love App X is left by users in vast amounts on social media. Mostly because these places are social where it is more accepted that you simply say whatever you want to say. This very well explains why the GNOME 3.12 release video currently has over 350 comments. Every time a new comment arrives, I receive an e-mail and I read every one of them. However this feedback only reaches the engagement team and or maybe only me. This definitely is a problem as that means a lot of contributors are missing out on all the positive words being said out there about their hard work.

How do we fix this?

In an ideal world, I think that it should be GNOME engagement‘s responsbility that feedback reaches its person who was meant to hear it. Short-term I will take responsibility for making sure that the comments received on the 3.12 video is distributed among the modules. This I will do either by quoting the comments and organize them, or by summarizing the feedback received per application.

For the future, a similar effort could be done in other aspects of communication that GNOME performs, be it on the comments section of the status updates on Facebook, replies to GNOME tweets – basically any platform where users is given the opportunity to reply to your post.
Thanks to everyone who remember to give feedback, whether you are a developer using a library to make your app awesome, or a user using an app to make your life awesome. I think it helps keeping the spirit up and helps thrive the community.

Libre Graphics Meeting 2014

LGM this year can best be described for me as a spontaneous trip that ended up very worthwhile. It was my first and probably not my last, with talks ranging from Blender Animation to Scribus Desktop Publishing.

What made it even better was all the familiar nicknames that I now can put a face on. I had a lot of great conversations with Allan Day, Jakub Steiner, Tobias Mueller, Mathieu Duponchelle, Thibault Saunier and the list goes on.

Prior to the conference, I had set up some goals for myself:

  • Create usable template animations based on the GNOME 3.12 release video, to be used in future relase videos.
  • Write guidelines for future release videos elaborating on the animation style and clarifying technical specifications.
  • Attend Blender talks and related workshops to improve skills in animation and editing.
  • Talk to people face-to-face from the blender community to aquire new knowledge that can improve the workflow.

Suffice to say, I managed to reach many of these goals and more importantly, gained even more. Libre Graphics Meeting has revealed some interesting areas of GNOME where I think I can help:

  • Forwarding the feedback given on the release video and from news sites to the actual developers in GNOME.
  • Give usability feedback to PiTiVi and try to integrate it into the release video pipeline.
  • Play with Design, specificially trying to mockup Geolocation Privacy Setttings.
  • Continue helping Commons Machinery to find a solution for preserving RDF/XMP metadata when writing images using gdk-pixbuf.
  • Help users communicate with the developers to ensure mutual understanding and perceivance of user experience problems.

In the blog posts to come I will try to go through each of these goals to explain my intentions in further depth. In conclusion I had a great time at LGM. If you could not attend LGM, hopefully we’ll meet at GUADEC this summer instead.

Lastly, thanks to Tobias Mueller for splitting the costs of the accomodation. The Space Hotel sure was an interesting place to stay in Leipzig.

Introduction

Hello there. I am Bastian Ilso Hougaard, going by the nickname “bastianilso” on GimpNet IRC. It is also the name of a student from Denmark, studying for a Medialogy bachelor at Aalborg University. Don’t worry, this is not a common education, so I probably wouldn’t expect anyone to know what that is right away. Medialogy is about designing from both sides of the screen whether it be designing the interaction, sound, graphics or even the physical aspects. After the bachelor I intend to specialize in just one of these areas  – which one, is yet to be decided, though. I have a portfolio! So throw http://portfolio.rvzt.net into your destination field if you want to see something concrete I have created.

This blog is not about that side of me, though. I will mainly use it to blabber about my contributions to the GNOME project. And I will let you, dear reader, be my assistant on these GNOME adventures of epic proportions. With a splash of free software and technology topics in between, of course.

So GNOME?

At the moment I am most active in GNOMEs engagement team. I participate in meetings and discussions and I contribute with things like release videos and marketing materials. I intend to poke around with the GNOME Design team as well. I also attend Free Software conferences from time to time. So if you see this face, then don’t be afraid to greet!

bastian

And that shall mark my introduction. Have fun!

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