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Revision 30 as of 2010-02-23 14:26:14

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UI review process

These guidelines are to help all of us make UI reviews as straight-forward as possible.

Currently one of the following is required to land a branch with UI changes:

Current UI reviewers

Reminder: Before starting a UI change

  1. Consult the ReadyToCode checklist.

  2. If necessary create a LaunchpadEnhancementProposalProcess to clarify the feature scope.

  3. Create and discuss the mockups.

Submitting your branch for review

10 questions to ask yourself before submitting

  1. 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?)

  2. After finishing with the page, is there anywhere you'll very likely want to go next? Is that destination linked to?
  3. Will your changes make it easier to complete the page's defined tasks?
  4. Does this behave differently than other pages in Launchpad? Why are those exceptions there?
  5. 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?
  6. How many more knobs and buttons have I added?
  7. 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?
  8. What can I do to make it explaining it easier, or even unnecessary?
  9. Is it fun to use?
  10. 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:

Check your template code

Review the quick checklist for template code to ensure that your template code is consistent and therefore more maintainable.

Check your URLs

Have you added or changed any URLs in this branch? If so, look at our URL Style Guide.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?