[Freedombox-discuss] Initial comment on UI
Now that I've gotten the basic FBX set up right (thanks Nick), I'd like to make a quick comment on a UI metaphor:
Whether or not it's reflected in the actual design, I think the most important metaphor for the UI is a vault.? Whether the owner is configuring it to store data-- in which case its a bank vault-- or to primarily send data-- in which case it's an armored van-- the underlying concept is the same.? Adjectives that come to mind are: ascetic, solid, conservative, tidy, and straightforward.
With this in mind, please consider the baggage of the word "app"-- of course technically it's a nickname for "application", but in the real world it is basically a package that's part of a company's re-implementation of yum/aptitude, but without all that pesky web-of-trust infrastructure and boring publicly available source code.? (On the plus side, it introduces fun new viruses and insecurity surprises.)? Notice the metaphors for apps: candy, stickers, toys, etc.? Now please compare those metaphors to the one I suggested above for the FBX UI.
Also, note that the metaphors for apps have a direct influence on the way people use those devices.? One of the first things someone does when they get a new iphone is start downloading the newest toys so they can share their data with even more people they don't know (from the UI devs point of view).? That's the wrong model for FBX, so at the very least I think this word should be changed (and I'm still not sure why there is Apps _and_ Services, but I know it's still early to tell how this will all come together).
I don't mean to suggest that the UI can't be fun and easy to use-- people evidently have a lot of fun on Craigslist and look at that UI.? I just mean that the vault should be a vault.? Let people have their toy metaphor apps on other devices so that when those devices break their valuables are still safely locked away in the vault.
Just a thought.
 That doesn't necessarily apply to the visual metaphor of the UI.? I have no opinion on that at this point.