Last night a Brompton saved my life*


To give context to this story you need to know two things about me: 1) I am a commuter. I live in Brighton and work in London which means that I have a one hour train journey at the start and end of each working day. 2) I like cycling. I have used a bicycle as my main mode of transport (where reasonable) since I was about 17. I love the freedom of getting around on a bicycle, especially in a city...

Those pesky buttons


Many of you have been asking for some correspondence regarding the button position in the window manager. Here it is. At Ubuntu we have a golden opportunity not only to make our OS as good as the competition but to make it better. The button position discussion and analysis started with: – Why do Mac OS and Windows have the buttons where they do? – What was the functional reason...

Reasons to celebrate: 4th March 2010


My first year working for Canonical draws to a close with my team delivering a new identity for Ubuntu. I am very proud of the result and would like to thank them for all their hard work. I also want to thank Mark Shuttleworth and Jane Silber for setting out the challenge and for being part of the team. Ubuntu has a great engineering heritage. It is fast and efficient. Ubuntu gives the world an...

A bug in two parts


I finally got round to going through the photos on my camera this morning – I still haven’t got round to putting my holiday (August holiday!) photos on Flickr so I thought this could be the way to spend a chilly Saturday morning. As is obvious from the image, something went wrong. In fact two things went wrong: 1) The error message itself: an f-spot bug? 2) The dialog box is too wide...

The most beautiful blog post ever*


Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to share with you the short-list for the Ubuntu Karmic Koala Wallpaper’s Competition. We had so many fantastic entries and so little space on the final CD. At last count, 19 fabulous wallpapers made it onto the final image! I can’t thank everyone enough for their fantastic contributions. I wish there had been space for more and maybe, with a little...

Seriously though, why would anyone do this?


I tweeted (twittered? Will I never know?) a link to this article on how to run Ubuntu on a mac. Within moments I got a direct tweet back from a former colleague who is a UX/Design person: Seriously with OSx as good as it is… Why would anyone do this? I don’t get it. Why run Ubuntu on a mac? The article I linked to provides some suggestions but here are a few of my own: Because a basic...

First 10 Papercuts are healed!


OK, so my headline isn’t strictly true but it is cheering on a Monday morning 🙂 Thank you to everyone for their efforts. David Siegel has the full details on his blog. In addition to the people David mentions – who have put in a sterling effort –  I would also like to thank all the UX people who are building up the courage to get publicly involved but who were happy to...

Zip, archive, package or compress? Help!


As part of the 100 paper cuts project that we are running for the next Ubuntu release we are focussing on small usability problems that, if fixed, will make the Ubuntu desktop experience feel smoother, safer, better. The developers are helping us fix them but we could do with usability and design input to help suggest the fixes. Here is an example: A new user thinks “I need to create a zip...

My new job


I have the most exciting job in design right now! What’s my job? I lead a team of designers who follow user-centred design methodologies to help inform the design of Ubuntu; we lend our skills to a huge range of Open Source applications. It is our job to add our skills, knowledge of user behaviour and user data we gather to the ‘re-use and improve’ ethos of Free and Open Source Software. Of...

About Author


Ivanka Majic works in technology. She was Head of Design for Ubuntu, service managed Digital Marketplace through to beta, was acting director of digital for the Labour Party. She lives and works in Brighton where she works with the council’s digital first team, does a bit of teaching at Sussex University, and works with her husband on projects like restaurantsbrighton.co.uk and the BRAVOs. She has also started a podcast with her friend Michael which you can listen to at grandpodcast.com.