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Hi Narayan, *

To all: Please read the very last paragraph of this still quite long mail and comment with +1/-1 to the summary!

Narayan Aras schrieb:

Hi Bernhard,

First, thanks for the level-toned and opinion-free response.

[... first approach...]

But if he is interested in getting information about our needs,
wants to join a collaborative effort to improve the website and is
open to modifications caused by present community experience
(especially in iterative improvements rather than general
overhaul), he is more than welcome to propose his ideas.

The first approach is not viable (we NEVER work like that).
Approach#2 is how we routinely work.

In this case it's up to him to join our team for a certain time.

He doesn't need to contribute to any other topic, but it is necessary to
join us on our way to communicate - even if he doesn't like mailing
lists, this is our main tool.

Inputs from key stakeholders is essential (including marketing,
design, UX team AND  copywriters). After that, he would propose some
"seed" designs, so that all members can brainstorm. (Normally
designers do that to gauge the mood of their clients.)

Sorry - I don't think that anybody here will be able to provide him with
all the necessary inputs. Either you will have the time to tell him the
essentials or he will have to find out through our past and present
activities. Most of them have been collected by website team members,
when they followed the idea of Drupal implementation, but I don't know
if anybody has the time to provide your expert with their results.

Even if he might get a first collection of preconditions, people will
come and claim their needs afterwards: That's normal reaction to work on
the area where you have to do most of the work, until another area shows
possible drawbacks for future activities.

That's one of the reasons you normally need to have more than a slight
idea of the community you work with.

Based on the discussion, he would make the final design (HTML code,
icons). There may be one or more rounds of this.

Or the team decides to use his work as a basis for *our* final design.

This is an option he *will have to accept*. He is not the only expert in
this field, but his input is appreciated.


But there has to be a caveat: Everyone should respect what a
web-designer says about his field. Do not try to foist outside
concepts on web design.

Sorry, you don't see the central point:
The website is part of the community - and therefore it might be (not necessarily, but I can't preclude it) that there are needs not being able to be integrated in his concept.

It's the community who decides about the tools - and web design is one of the tools we use for our needs.

If there is a disagreement, we settle it by referring to reference
literature on UX and web design. (Like the link I quoted.) AGREED?


If there is a disagreement, every position has to be make understandable to the other side, so everybody has to find his way to an agreement or compromise.

If the community will not follow your expert's opinion, it's still the community to decide what to implement and what to leave.

But: The community doesn't consist of idiots only! So we are capable to see the advantages of a good web design.


With Pumbaa [1] there is already a staging site.

That page does not load! (connection times out)

Not for me - please ask Christian for help.


**** To sum up-

If we are clear about our workflow, I can request my colleague to
come in and help. I'd like a clarity and consensus on this point,

Tell your friend that his input is appreciated - but that the finally implemented design might be tweaked/improved by the design team (it might be replaced by another proposal too).

We would like it most, if he would take the chance to cooperate with us on this point (this would mean joining our group at least for a certain time), but we can do it on our own too.

We have skilled web designers in our team - like Nik - so he will not be the only "expert" (and he should avoid to behave so).

If he can stand discussion and proposals for improvement, leading to a collaborative work, he is more than welcome.

But the final result will be the communities web design - not his donation (or how he might call it).

I hope this is quite clear to you and to him.

And as this is my personal point of view (but based on years of experience in this community), I'd like others to add a short "+1" or "-1" to this summary showing if I met their point of prioritizing collaboration over single time donation.

Best regards


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