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Hi Bjorn,

I do share your concerns, but would like to present a somewhat even more
radical position.

As I understand it, you advocate for an evidence-based decision-making for
design questions.
Anyone can come up with his/her design alternative.
Eventually all the alternatives will be tested by actual users, in one
survey or another, and may the most popular alternative win!

I would like to ask why not have a preliminary set of surveys, to identify
the needs and likes of actual users and of potential users,
and then come up with design alternatives that address these likes and

What do you say?


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I'm with you on the warning about premature GUI design proposals. My 
experience is that Use Cases are amongst the premier means to capture 
requirements. (I'm not convinced Agile, with user stories would work in a 
Libre Ofice context)

I operate a UCD process that iteratively gathers requirements in Use Case 
form, validating them with stakeholders. When I have sufficient confidence 
about a use case or related set, I  start paper and pen architectural designs 
and wireframes and again, iteratively validate them. As the iterations proceed 
towards higher fidelity prototypes, including some that test interaction 
behaviour design, I again make the call and if I'm confident the design is 
sufficiently coherant and addresses the original validated use case, the 
prototype gets hardened to implementation, which is once again validated with 
the stakeholders and their use case(s)

As I said, in my reply to Scott's Design Tennets Proposal,

"I couldn't agree more with the proposal that we should be guided by 
What I have found a little frustrating, by way of comparison to the 
developement of commercial software is the disconnect between genuine user 
requirements and development. What I think is consistently missing here is the 
next layer down from your excellent 'tennets'; user validated  requirements 
(not personal opinion or anecdotal observations). A corpus of well structured 
use cases, including those for the product architecture, will help us set a 
strategic direction. We should research requirements before too many folk 
pitch in with alternative designs and prototypes that may or may 
not be any kind of solution to users' real needs. It is precisely this which 
will make or break Libre Office and will set it apart from other office 

If we know what users want then we can stage implementation in deliverable 
chunks over several releases. There's no need to implement the whole deal in 
one hit. 

One final thought. If the current implementation or architecture is part of an 
impediment to realising a long term roadmap to a redesign, then that too 
should  appear as one of the tennets." 



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