Finding a Purpose

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mirek2 mirek2
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Finding a Purpose

Hi everyone,
Recently, we've been talking about our workflow and, as part of that, we
came to the conclusion that we need to define a clear direction. The best
way to do that, IMHO, is defining a clear purpose for LibreOffice and its
components and continually striving to fulfill that purpose as well as
possible.

In our last IRC chat [1], Reda Lazri proposed "a 21st century suite that is
easy for new users and powerful for existing ones".

My original thought was that LibreOffice was too disparate to have a clear
purpose and wanted to define purposes for individual modules only. However,
since that time, I've come around to the idea of having a single purpose
for LibreOffice, and here's a rough draft I propose: to let the user
organize information and help them present it to others in a digestible
manner.

I should clarify that these are all just rough drafts, and that even when
this team decides on a purpose, it won't be binding. The idea here is to
not force a direction on devs and rather let the defined purposes stand
based on their merit.

I should also note that the goal derived from a purpose is basically to
provide the best user experience for fulfilling that purpose -- that means
things like ease of use, speed, great visual and interaction design, etc.
are all a given.

Post your thoughts on the purpose of LibreOffice in this thread and
hopefully we'll come to a firm conclusion at the next IRC meeting [2].

[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings/2014-06-29
[2] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings

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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: Finding a Purpose

Hello Mirek,

On 3 juillet 2014 00:43:19 CEST, "Mirek M." <[hidden email]> wrote:

>Hi everyone,
>Recently, we've been talking about our workflow and, as part of that,
>we
>came to the conclusion that we need to define a clear direction. The
>best
>way to do that, IMHO, is defining a clear purpose for LibreOffice and
>its
>components and continually striving to fulfill that purpose as well as
>possible.
>
>In our last IRC chat [1], Reda Lazri proposed "a 21st century suite
>that is
>easy for new users and powerful for existing ones".
>
>My original thought was that LibreOffice was too disparate to have a
>clear
>purpose and wanted to define purposes for individual modules only.
>However,
>since that time, I've come around to the idea of having a single
>purpose
>for LibreOffice, and here's a rough draft I propose: to let the user
>organize information and help them present it to others in a digestible
>manner.
>
>I should clarify that these are all just rough drafts, and that even
>when
>this team decides on a purpose, it won't be binding. The idea here is
>to
>not force a direction on devs and rather let the defined purposes stand
>based on their merit.
>
>I should also note that the goal derived from a purpose is basically to
>provide the best user experience for fulfilling that purpose -- that
>means
>things like ease of use, speed, great visual and interaction design,
>etc.
>are all a given.
>
>Post your thoughts on the purpose of LibreOffice in this thread and
>hopefully we'll come to a firm conclusion at the next IRC meeting [2].

I must admit I am unsure why you need to define a purpose now, however we did come up with pretty much your line 4 years ago albeit in a mpre elegant way: "LibreOffice strives to be the engine of your creation and the tool of your intelligence". Note however that a purpose is not the same as a slogan. The latter changes often.

Cheers,

Charles.




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Rosmaninho Rosmaninho
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Re: Finding a Purpose

I think that is a comendable effort but I think that it would be more
effective to define what is the purpose of each module individually. What
is it aimed at, so that UI design and dev work can be more focused in
improving the work torwards that purpose for each module.
Then also define a priority of what modules need to be improved first to
adjust to their defined purpose.


On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Charles-H. Schulz <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Mirek,
>
> On 3 juillet 2014 00:43:19 CEST, "Mirek M." <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >Hi everyone,
> >Recently, we've been talking about our workflow and, as part of that,
> >we
> >came to the conclusion that we need to define a clear direction. The
> >best
> >way to do that, IMHO, is defining a clear purpose for LibreOffice and
> >its
> >components and continually striving to fulfill that purpose as well as
> >possible.
> >
> >In our last IRC chat [1], Reda Lazri proposed "a 21st century suite
> >that is
> >easy for new users and powerful for existing ones".
> >
> >My original thought was that LibreOffice was too disparate to have a
> >clear
> >purpose and wanted to define purposes for individual modules only.
> >However,
> >since that time, I've come around to the idea of having a single
> >purpose
> >for LibreOffice, and here's a rough draft I propose: to let the user
> >organize information and help them present it to others in a digestible
> >manner.
> >
> >I should clarify that these are all just rough drafts, and that even
> >when
> >this team decides on a purpose, it won't be binding. The idea here is
> >to
> >not force a direction on devs and rather let the defined purposes stand
> >based on their merit.
> >
> >I should also note that the goal derived from a purpose is basically to
> >provide the best user experience for fulfilling that purpose -- that
> >means
> >things like ease of use, speed, great visual and interaction design,
> >etc.
> >are all a given.
> >
> >Post your thoughts on the purpose of LibreOffice in this thread and
> >hopefully we'll come to a firm conclusion at the next IRC meeting [2].
>
> I must admit I am unsure why you need to define a purpose now, however we
> did come up with pretty much your line 4 years ago albeit in a mpre elegant
> way: "LibreOffice strives to be the engine of your creation and the tool of
> your intelligence". Note however that a purpose is not the same as a
> slogan. The latter changes often.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Charles.
>
>
>
>
> >
> >[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings/2014-06-29
> >[2] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings
> >
> >--
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> >Problems?
> >http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >Posting guidelines + more:
> >http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >List archive: http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/
> >All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be
> >deleted
>
> --
> Envoyé de mon téléphone avec Kaiten Mail. Excusez la brièveté.
>
> --
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> Problems?
> http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
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> deleted
>

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Finding a Purpose

2014-07-03 14:38 GMT+02:00 Pedro Rosmaninho <[hidden email]>:

> I think that is a comendable effort but I think that it would be more
> effective to define what is the purpose of each module individually. What
> is it aimed at, so that UI design and dev work can be more focused in
> improving the work torwards that purpose for each module.
>

We should definitely define a purpose for each module as well.
Defining a purpose for the whole suite shouldn't take away from that.


> Then also define a priority of what modules need to be improved first to
> adjust to their defined purpose.
>
> The purpose definitions would be there to steer future design decisions.
Developers would continue to work on what they want/are paid to work on --
there will be no revolutionary redesigns. If a dev wants to redesign any
part of a module, the new design should reflect the chosen purpose.

>
> On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Charles-H. Schulz <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hello Mirek,
>>
>> On 3 juillet 2014 00:43:19 CEST, "Mirek M." <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >Hi everyone,
>> >Recently, we've been talking about our workflow and, as part of that,
>> >we
>> >came to the conclusion that we need to define a clear direction. The
>> >best
>> >way to do that, IMHO, is defining a clear purpose for LibreOffice and
>> >its
>> >components and continually striving to fulfill that purpose as well as
>> >possible.
>> >
>> >In our last IRC chat [1], Reda Lazri proposed "a 21st century suite
>> >that is
>> >easy for new users and powerful for existing ones".
>> >
>> >My original thought was that LibreOffice was too disparate to have a
>> >clear
>> >purpose and wanted to define purposes for individual modules only.
>> >However,
>> >since that time, I've come around to the idea of having a single
>> >purpose
>> >for LibreOffice, and here's a rough draft I propose: to let the user
>> >organize information and help them present it to others in a digestible
>> >manner.
>> >
>> >I should clarify that these are all just rough drafts, and that even
>> >when
>> >this team decides on a purpose, it won't be binding. The idea here is
>> >to
>> >not force a direction on devs and rather let the defined purposes stand
>> >based on their merit.
>> >
>> >I should also note that the goal derived from a purpose is basically to
>> >provide the best user experience for fulfilling that purpose -- that
>> >means
>> >things like ease of use, speed, great visual and interaction design,
>> >etc.
>> >are all a given.
>> >
>> >Post your thoughts on the purpose of LibreOffice in this thread and
>> >hopefully we'll come to a firm conclusion at the next IRC meeting [2].
>>
>> I must admit I am unsure why you need to define a purpose now, however we
>> did come up with pretty much your line 4 years ago albeit in a mpre elegant
>> way: "LibreOffice strives to be the engine of your creation and the tool of
>> your intelligence". Note however that a purpose is not the same as a
>> slogan. The latter changes often.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> >
>> >[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings/2014-06-29
>> >[2] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Meetings
>> >
>> >--
>> >To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>> >Problems?
>> >http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>> >Posting guidelines + more:
>> >http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
>> >List archive: http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/
>> >All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be
>> >deleted
>>
>> --
>> Envoyé de mon téléphone avec Kaiten Mail. Excusez la brièveté.
>>
>> --
>> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>> Problems?
>> http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>> Posting guidelines + more: http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
>> List archive: http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/
>> All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be
>> deleted
>>
>
>

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Daniel Hulse Daniel Hulse
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Re: Finding a Purpose

One thing I can think of that would be important to defining this purpose is audience. Who is LibreOffice for? Sure, anyone can use if if they want, but who are we targeting? LibreOffice is used by students, businesses, and governments, but that's not really helpful in terms of design. One insight that might be helpful is the fact that many of the people who use office software aren't very good at using and understanding computers--they know how to check their email, use a web browser, and do some things in their office software, but that's it--they aren't very good at changing settings or preferences, learning how to use new programs, or installing software. These people have to be taken into account, because if something is understandable to them, then it should be understandable to everyone--they are the lowest common denominator.
At the same time, people should be able to use LibreoOffice for real work--we shouldn't be getting rid of advanced functionality in terms of what can be done with the programs, because often LibreOffice is the easiest tool that can be used for that task (for example, it is much easier to make an ANOVA table in Calc than it is to learn R to make one)

I suppose, taking this into account, the purpose of LibreOffice would be, broadly, "To make complex tasks easy for everyone." At the same time, LibreOffice isn't and probably shouldn't be in the business of making web browsers, file managers, or 3d modeling tools. So what kind of tasks is LibreOffice meant to perform? Creating and editing documents is one (Writer, Impress, Math, Draw), and organizing and analyzing data is another (Calc, Base)--fairly general tasks that need to be done in a variety of settings and workplaces. Documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and the like are used everywhere for a variety of purposes, so we can't get too specific with the purpose, either.

I suppose that would make the purpose of LibreOffice something like: "To make work easy for everyone, by providing an easy-to-use set of tools for making documents and presentations and for organizing and editing data."  

Then again, thinking this is making me question why we bundle up each of the modules and call it LibreOffice. Sure, it's good to have tools that work well together, but doing so in our case seems to rob the project of a clear focus. Then again, this is how people expect to get their office software, and it would be impractical for LibreOffice to not be this way, since this project is seen as a drop-in replacement to Microsoft Office.

-Daniel
Rosmaninho Rosmaninho
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Re: Finding a Purpose

"To make complex office tasks easy to everyone" - concise, short and to the
point. Love that Daniel!


On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 7:52 AM, Daniel Hulse <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> One thing I can think of that would be important to defining this purpose
> is
> audience. Who is LibreOffice for? Sure, anyone can use if if they want, but
> who are we targeting? LibreOffice is used by students, businesses, and
> governments, but that's not really helpful in terms of design. One insight
> that might be helpful is the fact that many of the people who use office
> software aren't very good at using and understanding computers--they know
> how to check their email, use a web browser, and do some things in their
> office software, but that's it--they aren't very good at changing settings
> or preferences, learning how to use new programs, or installing software.
> These people have to be taken into account, because if something is
> understandable to them, then it should be understandable to everyone--they
> are the lowest common denominator.
> At the same time, people should be able to use LibreoOffice for real
> work--we shouldn't be getting rid of advanced functionality in terms of
> what
> can be done with the programs, because often LibreOffice is the easiest
> tool
> that can be used for that task (for example, it is much easier to make an
> ANOVA table in Calc than it is to learn R to make one)
>
> I suppose, taking this into account, the purpose of LibreOffice would be,
> broadly, "To make complex tasks easy for everyone." At the same time,
> LibreOffice isn't and probably shouldn't be in the business of making web
> browsers, file managers, or 3d modeling tools. So what kind of tasks is
> LibreOffice meant to perform? Creating and editing documents is one
> (Writer,
> Impress, Math, Draw), and organizing and analyzing data is another (Calc,
> Base)--fairly general tasks that need to be done in a variety of settings
> and workplaces. Documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and the like are
> used everywhere for a variety of purposes, so we can't get too specific
> with
> the purpose, either.
>
> I suppose that would make the purpose of LibreOffice something like: "To
> make work easy for everyone, by providing an easy-to-use set of tools for
> making documents and presentations and for organizing and editing data."
>
> Then again, thinking this is making me question why we bundle up each of
> the
> modules and call it LibreOffice. Sure, it's good to have tools that work
> well together, but doing so in our case seems to rob the project of a clear
> focus. Then again, this is how people expect to get their office software,
> and it would be impractical for LibreOffice to not be this way, since this
> project is seen as a drop-in replacement to Microsoft Office.
>
> -Daniel
>
>
>
> --
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> http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Finding-a-Purpose-tp4114430p4116775.html
> Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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>
>

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