Other Disciplines Getting Involved


#1

How can other disciplines interconnect with team leads and discern if there is work that they can offer their skills & time for in exchange for safecoins as well? For instance, I’m a visual and UX designer who’s been in the industry for a decade… and I would love to help. But since I’m not a developer I’m not sure where to go to offer my assistance. Suggestions? I know some might say “we don’t need that part yet” but if I’ve learned anything from my decade in this industry, you should get indivuals who focus strictly on UX involved as soon as possible.


#2

What is a visual and UX designer? What do you do?


#3

Any user- and even admin-facing MaidSafe client needs a UX, so there’s plenty of things you can do.


#4

UX = user experience = how the user interacts with the application in all respects. Very important. Getting this right completely transforms an application. Example: pkzip -> WinZip


#5

@viv would be the best one to speak to about this!


#6

I think we see UX the same way as you. I’d even take it to the extent that if you don’t factor in UX from get-go, you’re doing it wrong when it comes to anything to do with client apps or functionality.

We see UX as very much the key factor in anything to do with client-apps, there isn’t much point of having a killer networking layer if users are not having a great experience using the network via their apps/sites/…

That’s great and we’d very much like your help. The more heads in UX the better. Currently Shona/Myself mainly end up dealing with UX for our examples/stand-alone apps that get planned(desktop/mobile). Quite a few other people also pitch in to design meetings when we have a new example/app we think of publishing. Everything that gets agreed on gets iterated over illustrator/sketch/ other artwork docs. In any of the UI related sections in github you’d normally find a “_design” folder that has illustrator documents related to the design for the same app/site. UX has a big impact in the API designs as well as there are features that UX requests that might need to be exposed from the core libs. These meetings are always a lot of fun :smile:

While stuff with safecoin is getting worked on in the core-libs, the current testnet’s attention has been on things such as drive(vfs/nfs-api), messaging(mpid) and so on. You can always reach us on mumble/maidsafe.slack.com and we’ll be more than happy to integrate any input you have relating to these examples/apps that we put out.


#7

#8

Good to hear @Viv. I worked on products which paid a lot of attention to UX and our teams produced some very intuitive UI’s.

One element I’m not sure you are benefiting from yet is user input, particularly “dumb” users. The latter are the best resource you’ll have for testing and refining, but making good use of their experience is hard. When they bother to tell you, they’ll do so in ways that are not obvious, seemingly unhelpful etc. I recommend treating their input like gold dust, compared to those who “understand” the apps, software, computers etc. Capturing “dumb” input is hard work, but very important.

Input from folk who understand and value UX is precious too of course! So I welcome @Shivian’s help, and hope to contribute myself.

The other side of this coin is users’ ingenuity. I’ve seen users take an application and bend it to their will, getting it to do tasks we never anticipated. Our job was to recognise the value to them, such that they’d go to incredible lengths, painstaking labor, to achieve a goal - and then find ways of meeting that need without them having to work so hard. Seeing, or rather hearing, their reactions (in those days devs often took support calls where I worked - and very useful too) was very rewarding. But they’d soon be stretching the application yet again. These were people who had never sat at a computer until they were provided with our application - the ideal “dumb” user - and the result was a range of products all with an incredible UX/UI, and much success. They were not constrained by our ideas of how software was supposed to work, or our ideas of what it could and should be used to achieve.

The are loads of people chomping at the bit here waiting for the first apps, so when they’re released you’ll get a whole lot of questions asked and, erm, feedback. I hope our feedback can help, but right now I’m wondering how to help you and your team tap into the gold dust of “dumb” user experience.

You may well know this already, but no harm in me putting it out there in case it’s useful. :slight_smile:


#9

I agree with every point you just mentioned @happybeing :smile: They are all very valid.

When they bother to tell you, they’ll do so in ways that are not obvious, seemingly unhelpful etc.

is very true. Think designers/programmers are finally starting to get the hang of this being important. You can see it in places like ux.stackexchange. Even HIG/UX-Droid/UX-Win suggest along the lines of, when your end user doesn’t like your UX, the feedback(app-store-rating most likely) you receive is that “app just doesnt feel nice - 2 stars” and not “I spent too long looking for a share button”

That’s also exactly why I really like open source projects as a front end dev, cos it gives me the ability to tweak an existing app to be creative in a slightly different way to the original app that would suit me better or my target users better.

As I’ve always said, feedback is very valuable. No feedback is what a dev/project needs to be scared about cos it’s as good as you designing blind without any idea. Being open sourced based, it also gives app devs all the tools they should possibly need to take the fundamental concepts and put their own hallmark spins to it to achieve completely different experiences.


#10

I think we really should look into all the skills people in the community have, not just programming but everything. Like I’m a writer, an artist and people organizer and leader. I’m good with organizing non profit volunteer organizations of various shapes and sizes. I also write stories, essays, poems and such and as you’ve seen do digital art and pencil drawing. I also do some web design work. Like our UX design friend here @Shivian I’m sure that my skills can be applied to the project even though I don’t code. And my point here is that there are others in the community like us, that may not code but have transferable skills that can be applied and put to use.


#11

I can’t seem to join unless I have a maidsafe.com email address?


#12

Oh yeh sorry slack does restrict it to @maidsafe.net for self sign-ups. You should be able to reach us on mumble though while we’re in the office at office.maidsafe.net and port: 64738. We all do check the forum quite often, so this right here is also a great way of reaching us btw :smile:


#13

one more designer / ux guy here :slight_smile: also logo’s / illustrations and some moderate 3d stuff :smile:
should we make a new page for this?