In the Wikimedia Commons project, we had @lozanaross involved as a designer, to propose workflows and wireframes for the integration. Towards the end of the project, we have been wondering how to better involve designers in our development processes beyond this particular project, and I would like to make some progress on this.
My impression is that GitHub issues were not so well suited to have design discussions: intuitively, it feels like a GitHub issue is better adapted to write a fairly focused and well-defined implementation task, after the design phase.
So I am wondering if we could have a Design category in the forum. We could start some threads there around various aspects of OpenRefine worth re-designing, exposing which use cases prompt that re-design. The problems could be of any size and flavour, for instance:
- a better preferences page
- column statistics
- the reconciliation configuration dialog
- error reporting for Wikibase upload
- the records mode.
The hope would then be that design-minded people could come in and propose new workflows for those areas. To make that more likely, it would be nice to have (in our technical docs, for instance):
- some general design guidelines that codify the current practices in the tool (how should a dialog be organized, what colors to use, and so on)
- some pointers to easy to use tools to make rough wireframes.
Once a design proposal is supported by the community, we could create a GitHub issue about implementing that design. There is no guarantee that someone picks it up immediately of course, but it would make it much more likely that it gets worked on, I would say. In some cases, the implementation could be handed over to interns or newcomers who have less familiarity with the tool.