Public Lab Research note

Keeping it easy, making it awesome: open source documentation

by warren | June 20, 2012 19:34 | 74 views | 1 comments | #2588 | 74 views | 1 comments | #2588 20 Jun 19:34

Thinking a lot about how to make documentation that helps the first-time user (can you do this in < 5 minutes with only what you have in your office/kitchen/garage?) and supporting the amazing advanced work so many people are doing in PLOTS.

We want to keep the barrier to entry low (use a rubber band! But if you want more control, try the CHDK!) while being able to do super advanced amazing stuff. High ceiling, low floor!

So -- thoughts, notes -- Blue Dot has a great video on how to assemble a nice foldable chair, where the main character is a guy in a squirrel suit -- friendly and exciting! Nobody thinking, "oh, well I bought this but I haven't gotten around to assembling it, too complicated" -- instead, the assembly is fun and part of the product experience!

Anyways the one takeaway I thought of was that any illustrated guide (or wiki page on this site) might have clearly marked sections for EASY -- the fastest and pretty-darn-good way -- and AWESOME -- the harder but totally rad way. Hence the above main image.


Maybe this categorization could be crowd sourced. Every hardware/technique wiki or research note could encourage voting on two questions:

Is it easy? No (1pt) Meh (2 pts) Very (3 pts)

Is it Awesome? Some (1 pt) More (2 pts) Wicked (3 pts)

Each note/wiki then gets a badge based on the score:

5-6 = You've got to try this! 3-4 = Probably worthwhile. 2 = A niche solution.

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

Login to comment.

Public Lab is open for anyone and will always be free. By signing up you'll join a diverse group of community researchers and tap into a lot of grassroots expertise.

Sign up