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UDS-M: Design, design, design!

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.
Design. The word on everyones lips after the release of Lucid Lynx, at least around these parts!
The Canonical design team has only been around for one year, that is, two releases. They’re a very new team and they have copped perhaps the largest amount of flak from the community than any other Canonical team. But why? Many people suggest it’s a lack of transparency, not communicating with the community. There has been disappointment at the breaking of UI freezes, and landing changes or releasing files a day before release. There has also been talk about controversial changes, such as the infamous window button debacle which seemingly had no reasoning at the time they were moved.
Ivanka Majic, the Canonical design team manager, held a design team plenary in the auditorium at the Ubuntu Developer Summit where she talked about the design team as a whole, what they do and how they do it. As this is the first UDS that has a dedicated design track, many people in the community haven’t had a lot to do with the design team and perhaps are unsure of their inner workings.
Ivanka talked about some results from user research the team has been conducting, focusing on the importance of wording, as well as improving the “first use” experience.
She went on to suggest it’s the little things that count, like the Me Menu, and the Show Desktop icon.
Unfortunately, Ivanka didn’t talk about working on the design team itself, and fixing some of the issues I mentioned above. There are developments in the team in this area and they are working on collaboration with the community – with a bit of luck more will be revealed this week and you’ll be the first to know!