Investigate the needs of normal users

Sebastian Heinlein glatzor at
Sat Aug 26 21:56:29 BST 2006

Am Freitag, den 25.08.2006, 22:31 +0200 schrieb Erik Jan Philippo:

> We should make a survey with a lot of questions like: what's the main 
> purpose of your computer?, which other thinks do you like to do?, what 
> is the biggest problem with your computer? etc.... We should brainstorm 
> on it. If it's finished we make a website where people can answer them, 
> off course multiple chose. We ask all the ubuntu users to gave it to 
> their parents, family and neighbors. After it we have a lot of 
> information about normal users. Maybe a lot of people like to see a 
> photo manager which support easy e-mail functionality, generating html 
> pages for the Internet, easy resize tools in it.... It's just an 
> example. A lot of people are doing the same (mainstream) things on the 
> computer. Making documents, have contact with friend, manage and edit 
> photo's. Those tasks should be as easy as possible. The main reason why 
> ubuntu is so popular is because it's easy. Just like win98 years ago.

I am not sure if this is the best approach. The problem could be the
language. How should a non geek express his needs correctly? Since I do
small support stuff and "computer" training, I can say that you
sometimes need quite a lot of empathy to understand which task a non
geek wants to perform. Often they have vague ideas about how a computer
works and you have to first find the root of their problem.

A photo management application is an abstract concept and already part
of the solution.

Multiple choice questions only provide answers that you already knew

If you introduce an untrained translator, the geek who tests and
interviews his family, the results perhaps won't be as reliable as you
would expect them.


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