To investigate tools that could enable collaborative design of a product, I have been searching around for ways to display designs, discuss, and iterate amongst a distributed team.
There are some closed source products and services out there, but my I feel kind of dirty looking at them. like I always feel the need to go home and have a shower afterwards.
There don’t seem to be any open source tools out there to do it. I could be wrong, so if I am missing something please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In part, I think the lack of open source tools for this kind of thing is in itself telling since open source projects itch their own scratch and many don’t see product design as very important.
It would be great if there was something out there that could live alongside GitLab (or the closed source GitHub) and there was a equal two-way integration of tools and processes, coupling technical development with product design.
So, I am making a first attempt with Julien Taquet (a designer) and Juan Gutierrez (a developer) to make a simple tool. We are calling it Increment and it is just a prototype in HTML at the moment. It lives here https://gitlab.coko.foundation/adam/increment
The idea is to develop a simple interface to present mocks (or links to prototypes, text descriptions, videos, etc) and then enable comments around the artefact. Then the discussion can be frozen, a new version posted and the comments can start again but refering to the new artefact.
Here is a screen shot of the ‘home’ page:
When clicking on an item you might see something lke this:
The idea being that if you click on a version on the left, you view that version and the associated discussion.
Of course, this blog post could really use Increment right now to show you this very concept and get your thoughts! 😉
For now, email me thoughts. We will hopefully have a basic prototype in a week (if you download the repo version and run under localhost then you can see something very basic in action). Later, if there is real utility, we will make a proper project out of it. For now this is a proof of concept.
Extra thoughts from Julien below: