Recent Doc Team meeting - Poll idea (Do people really use computer-based help?)

Tom Davies tomcecf at
Wed Jun 11 11:13:16 UTC 2014

Hi :)
I tend to "google it" or "duck duck go it" when i need to find something
but i put
"Community Documentation"
in quotes jic  that wouldn't otherwise appear high enough in the results.
That is usually only when looking for pages i already know of though.

Is "Search Engine Optimisation" worth looking into?  I suspect that more
than enough work has already gone into all that and that it's outside our
expertise anyway but is it something that might have slipped passed us

Regards from
Tom :)

On 11 June 2014 06:50, Gunnar Hjalmarsson <gunnarhj at> wrote:

> 2014-05-10 15:33, Penelope Stowe wrote:
> > On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM, Peter Matulis
> > <peter.matulis at <mailto:peter.matulis at>>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> I think polling Ubuntu users is good enough since there are former
> >> Windows/Mac users among them.  But you raise an interesting point:  do
> >> we want to know whether a user will even *look* for in-computer help?
> >> My original idea was to determine to what degree Ubuntu users first
> >> *know* about it and, if so, whether they *use* it.
> To the extent people don't know about the existence of Ubuntu Help, I'd
> say that the first step to take ought to be to make them aware of it,
> which I suppose would be a desktop design thing.
> Personally, even if I - like many other Ubuntu users - have the habit of
> looking for help on the web, I find Ubuntu Help to be a well-structured
> resource with a useful search feature.
> Let me remind of Martin's message:
> Possibly we have a situation where few people know about Ubuntu Help,
> but if they did, they would use it to a large extent.
> > My concern with limiting to current Ubuntu users in such a poll is that
> > in my experience, the more tech savvy the user, the less likely they are
> > to use in-computer help. Among the people I know, it's the non-technical
> > users who use the in-computer help. They are also people who tend to
> > currently not use Ubuntu, but would if it was something installed for
> > them. My concern is that if we were to only poll current Ubuntu users,
> > we'd likely end up removing in-computer help which would then make it
> > harder to "sell" Ubuntu to non-technical users. That's fine if we're
> > okay with not expanding to a less technical user base, but one of the
> > things that has been said for the entire time I've been involved with
> > the project is that one of the goals is to make Ubuntu accessible to
> > everyone regardless of technical ability.
> I share that concern 100%.
> Also, the poll idea was initially brought up by Peter on the latest docs
> team meeting under the topic "Find a driver" when we were talking about
> the lack of desktop guide contributors.
> If I understood it correctly, Peter's underlying thought was that if
> people don't use the installed Ubuntu Help feature, but rather look for
> help on the web, we might drop the ubuntu-docs package and with that
> free the desktop guide subteam from the burden of meeting release
> schedule deadlines.
> However, personally I don't think that deadlines are bad. On the
> contrary, a deadline may make people wake up and do things that else
> would not have been done. Consequently I don't believe in dropping the
> package as a response to the problem with a lack of contributors.
> So, getting to know about user behavior and expectations is generally a
> good thing. But a poll ought to be preceeded by an in depth discussion
> about what it is we want to know. We haven't had such a discussion yet,
> have we?
> --
> Gunnar Hjalmarsson
> --
> ubuntu-doc mailing list
> ubuntu-doc at
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