[OSM-talk] Thoughts on OSM design, and looking forward and back

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Wed Feb 24 21:00:02 GMT 2010

On Feb 24, 2010, at 12:16, Jean-Guilhem Cailton <jgc at arkemie.com> wrote:
> Thanks a lot Steve, for underlining the need to improve the  
> experience of new visitors.

And thanks for such a positive response and all your work.

> This is right on spot with what we have been feeling regarding  
> Haiti. Now that OSM is indeed the best map in Haiti, there is a kind  
> of special responsibility that comes with this: let potential users  
> know about OSM, and actually use it, and then maybe for some of them  
> help improve it.

I guess you guys are at the sharp exposed end of usability, in an  
environment without the time for patiently figuring it all out? It  
should be said it's amazing we are this far along and evenyone should  
be proud of that, buy we've been static on usability for far far to  
long, and we'll fix it.

> (Just as an example (I don't mean that these specific points are  
> especially important), there was a few days ago a little discussion  
> about some Haiti thematic maps (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Haiti/Earthquake_map_resources#POI-Maps 
>  )
> and their coupling with OpenStreetBugs. See e.g.:
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-ht/2010-February/000244.html 
>  )
> I am thinking of two concrete ways we could contribute to this effort:
> - Localization. For instance, help adapting OpenStreetBugs and  
> translating it in Haitian Creole, and maybe also the front page and  
> a few others.
> (How do we do this ? For OSB, I see http://github.com/emka/openstreetbugs/tree/master/locale/ 
> . Is it enough to supply an osb.ht.json file ?)

Someone should be able to help here.

> - Get feedback from potential new users. Maybe, without going as far  
> as a formal study like the one you quoted for Wikipedia (http://usability.wikimedia.org/wiki/UX_and_Usability_Study 
>  ), by organizing one or several hand-on sessions with a few  
> potential users/contributors, possibly with a video recording of  
> their reactions, questions, etc...
> Do you think this would be useful ?

Yes, let's do it. We need to put some basic tasks and story lines  
together like "add a poi" and let people loose. QuickTime X lets you  
record the screen easily. Lots of ways to do it.

> Cheers,
> Jean-Guilhem
> Toulouse, France
> P.S.: also, thanks a lot for your article "OpenStreetMap - The Best  
> Map" (http://opengeodata.org/openstreetmap-the-best-map). I really  
> enjoyed reading it, and I think it makes a lot of sense.

Thanks! And thanks for braving the list!

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