We had a great design workshop at the Nextcloud Conference in Berlin! There we discussed the current design process and how to improve it even further.
Starting out we talked about how our process works currently, what we like about it, and what is happening at the moment:
- The process is already pretty open, a lot more advanced than other projects
- Everything looks very coherent, lots of apps are already properly designed
- Feedback from designers is quite helpful
- Good design issues, lots of interest
- Design label is very useful (also in other repositories)
- Cool new stuff happening in theming (by Julius)
- Calendar design work is coming along (by Raghu)
- Website redesign is in the works & awesome (by Paulo)
- New Android app improvements work nicely (by Andy & Tobias)
Then we continued with broader topics regarding the design process and general questions which are important to be clear on:
- Consistency with existing apps, components and interaction design
- Review of existing solutions, other software people use
- Input from designers and design-minded developers
- No decision bottlenecks! Sure there is Jan but don’t be blocked 😉
- Ideally involve design from the very beginning
- If it’s very small, feel free to already work on it
- Ideal is something visual: either a mockup or prototype
- Design also always happens in the respective repository issue tracker, no separate design repo
- Check out the design label in the repositories
- Also combined with the starter issue label for easy issues to get into Nextcloud
- And lastly the papercut label: for small issues which are often encountered but relatively easy to fix, hence providing a big UX improvement.
- All these tags are also available in the repositories of the individual apps like ? Mail, ? Calendar, ? Android app and others.
We identified two key areas where we need to do more regarding design: blogging & documentation!
This will make it easier for designers to get involved, as well as help developers and other contributors understand how we do design at Nextcloud. It also aims to clear up the general design process questions from above directly from the start for any new contributor.
We want to publish more design-focused blog posts and highlight contributors, for example:
- Design improvements to the Calendar by Raghu
- Awesome simple Theming by Julius
- Android app interface developments by Andy & Tobias
- Our new website by Paulo
- Your blog about a Nextcloud design enhancement? 🙂
- Goal is a nice nextcloud.com/design landing page
- It should explain some basics of how we handle design, similar to as we did on the old website at /contribute/design/
- We also need a proper styleguide, going from general practice down to components like #app-navigation, popovers and icon usage.
- In that respect we also need to improve our existing CSS & HTML documentation with proper title & structure and link to it
- Felix kicked off the collection and discussion at https://github.com/nextcloud/nextcloud.com/pull/140