Note: I have not been involved in the LO design project, and I’m not part of the LO community other than as a user. These are just the initial thoughts of an outside observer.
I just read the blog posts about picking a mascot for LibreOffice, and completed the survey:
I was really surprised and quite disappointed to see the process that was being used. I mean, maybe this whole mascot thing isn’t meant to be taken very seriously, it might just a fun community project for people to express themselves. But to me it’s frustrating to see one of the biggest open source projects reinforcing the idea that an open source design process has to be some amateurish combination of design-by-committee, crowdsourcing and majority voting.
Some of my concerns:
The case for needing a mascot doesn’t seem particularly clear to me, or at least, it wasnt presented clearly in either blog post. Yes, KDE has Konqi, and so on. Personally I find Krita’s Kiki really problematic, but that’s a discussion for another day. But what do those mascots do for those projects and their users? How will the new mascot be used by LibreOffice?
The survey itself had far too many options, and personally I felt that the overall quality was very low. I gave all but two mascots the thumbs down - and I felt that those remaining two were still pretty mediocre - but I was just hoping that my vote could help to avert complete disaster.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to give feedback in order to iterate and improve the designs, an absolutely necessary part of the design process (or did this already happen on another forum?)
It also seems like the board is somewhat trapped by the process - will the mascot go into production as is, are these more like first drafts which can be refined & improved for the final election process?
Maybe the LO team is happy with everything as-is, but I’m sure that with input from other designers, this decision-making process could be improved.
I know that some members of the LO design team are active here, so I would like to suggest that maybe @htietze (or somebody else) might like to get some feedback and suggestions from the the OSD community either here on the forum, or by running a brief session on this topic at the Summit in a couple of weeks, sharing what worked/didn’t work etc?