The most unbelievable part in the current design process is the total lack of schedule !
On the opposite, if we look at the dev process, the schedule is very well defined : https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan/4.1 and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan/4.2
This explains the latest problems :
- the template manager was not completely designed, even 1 month before the release date
- the branding for LO4 was started just weeks before the release date
We absolutely need to define planning/schedule in order to greatly reduce working in hurry.
As the hard freeze is defined 2 or 3 months before a release, here is my proposal :
- UX and VI design should be complete at least 6 months before the release date
- branding should be complete 3 months before the release date
Each team must prepare their internal schedule to respect theses deadlines. For example, UX design should be done 12 to 6 months before a release date : today (april 2013), we should be working on LO4.2 UX design, until july 2013. And we should work on mid-term and long-term design for 4.3, 4.4 and even 5.x releases.
During the last 6 months before the release date, the UX team should only work on details/questions from devs, about problems that may appear during the finalization of features.