Sakai UX Improvement Expansion

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I’m pleased to announce an important extension and expansion of the Sakai Foundation User Experience Improvement project. As you know, the Sakai Foundation initially contracted with Nathan Pearson to begin working on new user interaction designs for Sakai.  This work has made excellent progress and a variety of schools are assisting with implementation, including UC Berkeley, Cambridge University, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan and Indiana University. You can review the progress to date on the Sakai wiki.

This work has established significant momentum and we would like to accelerate the progress. To this end, I’m pleased to announce that the Sakai Foundation is establishing a UX Improvement Matching Funds program. For every $2 in funding provided by donors, the Sakai Foundation will provide an additional $1 in funds (up to $40,000).

I’m even more pleased to be able to publicly thank Stockholm University (Sweden) for its initial pledge of $20,000 and Indiana University (USA) for its initial pledges of $15,000! This means that we already have an additional $52,500 to continue the work that has been started. Our goal is a total of $80,000 in pledged funds plus the $40k from the Sakai Foundation for a total of $120,000.  Please join me in thanking Stockholm and Indiana for their leadership.

These funds will be used for both design and implementation work on the Sakai UX Improvement Initiative, ensuring that more of the design work that Nathan (and others) produces will find its way into the next Sakai release (after 2.6). While we will use the funds for multiple purposes related to this initiative, we expect a substantial portion of the funds to go towards HTML & JavaScript programming as well as Quality Assurance–the goal is to ensure the designs are usable in production as quickly as possible. And we’ll be establishing a demo server so you can concretely see the progress that is being made.

This method of Foundation-coordinated, community-funded development is a great way to leverage the strength of the community source model. We’ve all agreed that the Sakai user experience is a priority. Please consider making a contribution of $1000 or more before the end of November and make it clear that Sakai’s user experience is your priority. If you would like more information please contact Michael Korcuska (mkorcuska@sakaifoundation.org) or Mary Miles (mmiles@umich.edu). We would be happy to send you a contribution agreement and discuss the project with you in more detail.

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