Hey Ubuntu One and Design fans! This is my first post here, and I have to say I feel priveledged to be able to write to you all. Recently I’ve been working with the Ubuntu One team on the desktop syncing apps, and trying to give them some special attention. I feel like these apps have the potential to be such an important part of not only the Ubuntu experience, but also the experience of users who may not have converted over to Ubuntu yet. As such, these are some of my personal motivations for my design work on Ubuntu One:
1. Make a good first impression
Ubuntu One has a great opportunity (as a cross-platform application and service) to be a bit of an evangelist for Ubuntu. Just like iTunes and Safari have been evangelists for the Mac experience on Windows, the Ubuntu One desktop app should introduce people to all the best things about Ubuntu. I want users under Windows to see and experience this amazing application and be hungry for more. I want them asking how to get more of our software on their computers. And with that, have an expectation that all the software we ship is going to be better than what they’re used to. Which is why I think it’s important that we…
2. Set a good example
Ubuntu One is one of only a couple of applications that users will see that was actually built from the ground up by Canonical. In this way, it should set a good example for others to follow. If we can’t provide applications with great design, we can’t expect our partners and community to. It has been said by Mahatma Gandhi that, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.” In this way, I want to set a positive example with this small part of the desktop that every other application is going to be envious of and strive to acheive. This leads right into my next goal:
3. Offer a Superior experience
Above all, Ubuntu One should (as all of our work should) offer a superior experience simply for the intrinsic value of making our users happy. The Ubuntu One team firmly believes that the best way to attract more users and developers is to build something so great that people naturally want to be a part of it. As we heard from MPT (in his now quite infamous talk at UDS Natty), Ubuntu needs to be Useable and Keepable. That means providing a specific kind of desktop experience. Not only one that “gets the job done”, but one that people are going to prefer over any other available experience.
With those things in mind, let’s make this rock ;)