Our friends over at OpenUsability have just started a call for students of usability, user-interface design, and interaction design or related subjects for the Season of Usability. Season of Usability is a project that offers mentoring students that want to work on usability aspects of various projects, including KDE. Students are offered a stipend worth $US1000. KDE is involved in the Season of Usability with three possible stipends, two for students who want to work on the KDE 4 Human Interface Guidelines, another project aims for improving the toolbox and palette interaction KOffice.
KDE 4 Human Interface Guidelines
Working on the KDE 4 Human Interface Guidelines is actually a very exciting thing to do. You will be able to work with some of the world's most excellent programmers, embedded in the friendly community that is KDE. Your work will be very visible, in multiple applications for millions of users, worldwide. Where else can your work have this kind of impact?
Tasks within this stipend include providing content for the HIG, creating guideline checklists for developers, collecting examples, but also higher-level tasks such as identifying repeating interaction patterns and designing solutions for them.
KOffice Toolbox and Palette Interaction
KOffice 2.0 has been designed around a palette pattern where tools would be associated with shapes (e.g. text tool, rectangle tool, etc.). The documents are built up from those shapes and information about the shapes and settings for the tools are shown in palettes. The KOffice team has noticed that this design has not worked out quite satisfactorily and the common interaction elements in the applications need improvement.
This project introduces you into the world that is KOffice, the worlds most comprehensive office suite. KOffice has the necessary degrees of freedom to not copy other products, but to come up with innovative solutions supporting workflows that may be different from those people are squeezed into by traditional office suites. This is your chance to gain experience in the productivity software world, and of course become part of the community that is KDE and KOffice.
Applicants are expected to have some experience in interface and interaction design and/or usability analysis methods. Basic understanding of those topics is enough, however, as the project is meant to be a learning experience. The application deadline is set to the 14th of April, projects will be starting in May and run into July, maybe August. When applying, keep in mind that you do not need to be a KDE user. For your work you can use a KDE 4 Live CD or other means such as remote desktop access. See the Season of Usability webpage for more information.