New “Usability” Group in KDE Review Board
There are (loosely) three phases to fixing a design issue:
Phase 1: The issue is reported in a bug or brought up in IRC or the project mailing list
Phase 2: The issue is discussed and a solution is designed and agreed on
Phase 3: The solution is coded, reviewed, and committed
As a designer and someone who doesn’t code, I work in Phase 1 and mostly in Phase 2. However, that doesn’t mean I disappear in Phase 3. Often Phases 2 and 3 iterate because a proposed solution might not be possible or the developer thinks of a different way the problem could be solved.
Sometimes this communication happens over IRC or the mailing list as the developer is trying to figure out a solution, but it can also happen during code review with other developers of the project — especially if it is a patch from outside the core project.
KDE’s Review Board is a useful way for contributors inside and outside a project to submit patches and have them reviewed and approved by core developers. However, sometimes these patches specifically address design issues, or may introduce new design issues that a designer might need to review. If they are subscribed to the project mailing list or they regularly check Review Board, a designer might be able to notice requests they should comment on.
In order to help make this process more design-friendly, there is now a “usability” group on Review Board. I hope this new group will serve two purposes: