These guidelines are to help all of us make UI reviews as straight-forward as possible.
UI review process
Currently one of the following is required to land a branch with UI changes:
- a ui review by a graduated ui reviewer.
- two ui reviews by ungraduated ui reviewers (marked with an asterisk below).
For a detailed process for 3.0 UI changes: VersionThreeDotO/UI/Conversion
Current UI reviewers
- Martin Albisetti (beuno)
- Maris Fogels (mars)
- Paul Hummer (rockstar)
- Michael Nelson (noodles)
Edwin Grubbs (EdwinGrubbs)
- Tom Berger (intellectronica)
- Curtis Hovey (sinzui)
- Barry Warsaw (barry)
- Matthew Revell (mrevell)
- Jonathan Lange (jml)
Starting your UI branch
Identify the page purpose(s)
The purpose of the page, target audience and primary user stories will help guide all your work. If possible, document these on the wiki so that other people who work on the page at a later date can easily understand the purpose of the page. You can use the PPA index page documentation as a template.
10 questions to ask yourself before starting a branch
- Why are we doing this feature? And why now?
- Is the page necessary? Or is it small enough to be an expandable section of another page?
- Is there any other page in Launchpad that does something similar?
- What value will this add to users?
- Will this make it harder for other users to complete tasks?
- How would you "tweet" this change? (i.e. describe in 140 characters)?
- Are there any other pages that should change their behavior/look with this change?
- Have you had a pre-implementation call with someone outside your team?
- If this changes the users' workflow significantly, what does the transition look like?
- How are we going to introduce this feature to its users?
- Think about the entire life of the data / object, not just how it's entered.
- Try to break it.
- Every error should have a way out.
- Talk to an actual user.
- Remember that different users have different access levels.
- Have pictures of what it actually looks like, don't just cover "the happy case".
What is this page trying to tell me
Although it may be out of the scope of the current branch that you are working on, it is always worthwhile getting the big-picture... and there might be small improvements outside the scope of your bug that will make a huge difference to the user experience. (Maris' to add notes)
Submitting your branch for review
10 questions to ask yourself before submitting
Is the <title> appropriate and context-sensitive? If the page is the Overview of an independent entity (e.g. a person or a package), does the <title> end with "in Launchpad"? (copied from mpt's old notes - do we still do do this?)
- After finishing with the page, is there anywhere you'll very likely want to go next? Is that destination linked to?
- Will your changes make it easier to complete the page's defined tasks?
- Does this behave differently than other pages in Launchpad? Why are those exceptions there?
- Imagine you're in the target audience for the page, but you've never seen it before. Reading it, would you understand what's going on? Does it need embedded help?
- How many more knobs and buttons have I added?
- In any form, what happens if you skip a compulsory field? What happens if you enter disallowed characters? What happens if you enter 200 KB of text?
- What can I do to make it explaining it easier, or even unnecessary?
- Is it fun to use?
- Does the page look elegant and well-balanced?
Check your choice of words
Check through the User interface wording guidelines to ensure that you are using the recommended wording and capitalization etc.
Did you consider in-line help?
We all agree that the user interface should be self-explanatory but there are some terms and concepts that will not be familiar to everyone using Launchpad. If you feel there's room for confusion, you should either:
use pop-up help to explain a term, concept or short process
or link to the relevant page on the help wiki to explain a more involved process or workflow.
Check your template code
Review the quick checklist for template code to ensure that your template code is consistent and therefore more maintainable.
Make it easy to demonstrate your UI
If it is difficult to setup the sample data required to demonstrate your changes, consider pasting a harness script that can be used by the reviewer to setup the relevant data.
It is always worth creating a single before/after screenshot and attaching it to the bug - this allows those people following the bug to provide input too. Or if your change involves some behavioral changes, consider creating a brief screen-cast using gtkRecordMyDesktop and attaching it to the bug. Again, other interested people to comment on your UI without having to merge your branch.
UI-reviewing a branch
Tips for reviewers
Don't read the merge proposal. Branch, fire up the page(s) that where changed, and write down your initial impressions. Sometimes a change causes other parts of the page to look out of place, so knowing what to look at may make you miss that.
Make mistakes. When going through a work flow, make as many mistakes on purpose. This will help you feel what a frustration scenario would look like.
What's the transition story? When we make significant changes to existing UI, or add new things, what's the transition story for people who just see that pop up one day?