There are many reasons why I am tremendously excited about being involved in the redesign project for Drupal.org, not the least of which is that – for a change – I’m actually allowed to talk to you all about the project as we go. Afterall, it’s an open source project – we don’t care so much for confidentiality and Intellectual Property, what we care about here is being open and being part of the community.
Exciting yes? but also somewhat terrifying! What an amazing (and enormous!) community to try to become a part of! As Mark said in our keynote at Drupalcon – it feels like being the new kid at school – will we make friends?! But one of the things I’m really thinking hard about is how to harness their amazingness in the best way for this project?
Back in the olden days I was a project manager, so I have a great appreciation for an approach that works to limit the amount of feedback that you take into a project – how much, how often etc. Trying to get ‘consolidated’ feedback has traditionally been the goal, so that we can move through the design process as efficiently and calmly as possible.
As a part of our plan we have already factored in ‘community feedback’ to the iterations of the prototype that we’ll be releasing from very early in the design lifecycle – the community *will* be involved in this project, albeit in a somewhat structured way.
But, against all of my project management instincts, I am itching to get as much community involvement in this project as I possibly can! To encourage the entire community to think about things like experience strategies, and information architecture and user centred design.
I am tempted to set up a Twitter group (@drupalredesign perhaps) where we can all tweet little brainbursts we have about the redesign. To set up a Flickr group where we can all post annotated screenshots of stuff we like, stuff that’s broken. To blog about half finished ideas I’m having about strategies and solutions we’re working on.
This is all ridiculously dangerous from a expectation management perspective – there is no way on earth that we could make any assurances about taking everything into consideration, answering every suggestion or issue raised, solving all of the problems…. (don’t let me start coining a project management buzzword that involves ambiance!)
And yet… it’s also ridiculously exciting.
Already, from blogging about the gaming / karma issue, I’m now talking to someone out in Drupal land who is already working on a module we might be able to use. I wonder whether we would have made that connection otherwise.
Eh. I almost feel as though it is inevitable. We have to open up completely, and just see what happens.
I’m almost certain some expectation management/ community disasters will ensue, but hopefully also some amazingness. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it as we go!
What say you? Am I having a moment of insanity? Or shall we open the floodgates and see what happens?