Ideas for Sakai U-Camp & Programmer's Cafe

Colin Clark colin.clark at
Tue Oct 9 22:05:49 UTC 2007

Hi everyone,

Aaron Zeckoski and I have been chatting about some new ideas for the 
Sakai U-Camp and Programmer's Cafe at the upcoming Newport Beach conference.

We've been talking about the prospect of having a small collaboration 
where developers in the advanced Cafe stream will implement 
functionality in Sakai based on wireframes by real designers.

I'd like to solicit wider feedback and suggestions on these ideas. The 
initial still very drafty suggestion is:

* 9 am - 11 am: Design, accessibility, and testing talks and discussions
This session will largely be focussed on topics of interest to 
experienced UX folks as well as those interested in learning more. The 
familiar U-Camp format.

* After lunch - 2 pm: U-Camp collaboration with the Programmer's Cafe. 
based on a design problem we work out and design for in advance of the 
conference, we'll work with the advanced Cafe developers to implement 
our designs.

This will require us to organize well in advance so we have time to put 
together a relatively small project, do the user research, and come up 
with a design. Perhaps there is some bite-size work from the Fluid 
summit that we could work on for this project.

UI designer/developer types will likely want to stay in the Cafe for the 
afternoon to help with the implementation work.

* 2 pm - 4:30 pm: Back in the U-Camp, more UX-specific activities. 
Perhaps something intersecting with teaching and learning? Or UX 
walkthroughs of Sakai? Other ideas?

* 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm: Combined session demonstrating the results of the 
implementation. Identifying next steps and people to carry this work 
forward if desired.

I think that we still need to work out a lot of the details for this 
sort of plan. It's hard to do any sizable amount of implementation work 
in an afternoon, so the design problem would have to be very small and 
worked out ahead of time.

More importantly, we've found in Fluid that the most productive way to 
work on UX issues tends to be a close collaboration amongst a small 
group of designers and developers who work as a team. Unfortunately this 
initial idea for a U-Camp/Cafe collaboration doesn't really take this 
approach into account, and I'm a bit troubled by the process.

Thoughts? Suggestions?


Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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