[ubuntu-uk] Unity is not working.

James Morrissey morrissey.james1 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 13:55:00 UTC 2012

Also: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/02/stats-show-ubuntu-not-losing-ground-to-linux-mint/

On 22 February 2012 13:49, James Morrissey <morrissey.james1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Without stating any preferences on a thread which is likely to bring
> forth opinions: As i understand it, the current Unity Interface is (at
> least in part) the result of the sort of testing you are describing:
> http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/02/mark-shuttleworth-explains-dodge-ditch-decision-in-precise/
> https://lists.launchpad.net/unity-design/msg07682.html
> j
> On 22 February 2012 13:43, Kris Douglas <krisdouglas at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> Linux Mint is higher in the rankings than Ubuntu.
>> I have just come off the phone with a customer, we write web
>> applications and we prefer they use Google Chrome because we're
>> planning to write a plugin and all sorts, but that is irrelevant.
>> This customer called in, asked if he could install chrome on his new
>> Ubuntu desktop. I thought, "Great, another Ubuntu user in the world".
>> I got him to open Firefox and download TeamViewer (we have a premium
>> license) so I could show him how to install Chrome. We went through
>> the stages, got it installed and working, but then, he asked where to
>> open TeamViewer. He said "It's not on the desktop icons down the left"
>> and I directed him to open the applications menu "What applications
>> menu?".
>> This person is not stupid, however he did not know where the unity
>> menu (or whatever it's called) was located. We spent around 15 minutes
>> trying to get to the stage where he could open TeamViewer. It ended up
>> me asking to type "Ctrl+Alt+T" to which he replied "Oh a terminal,
>> ok".
>> We had TeamViewer running in seconds.
>> Now what is the problem with this? A user that doesn't know how to
>> open the applications menu must raise alarm bells somewhere. He has
>> has this machine for 6 weeks thinking it only had the icons down the
>> left installed on it. (i.e the Unity Dock). Now someone could say to
>> me "why didn't he read the manual?" The answer to that question is
>> "Why should he need to?". Not even my Nan when she got her new Windows
>> 7 laptop (after previously never using windows 7) read a manual, or
>> needed to.
>> Why is it that Unity requires the user to be an expert. A picture of
>> the ubuntu logo means a lot to us, but to someone who goes and buys a
>> cheap computer it means jack all. They wouldn't think to click there
>> there is no hit that explains it's existence.
>> So the question, I ask, is why is Linux Mint higher in the rankings
>> than Ubuntu. The answer is simple, no joe average can use Ubuntu with
>> ease now! You login to mint, you have a menu that says, believe it or
>> not, "MENU" and when you click it, again, believe it or not, it shows
>> you the program categories you can choose from (e.g "Oh, I want the
>> Internet, oh look Firefox, I know what that is."). It makes sense to
>> the user, it is what they are used to and it is a very friendly and
>> comfortable environment.
>> The electrician I work with on this software has been telling me for
>> two years now, meaning NO offence to anyone at all, but "The user is
>> stupid". I know this is not the most tactful way to put it, but after
>> hearing this for two years I know what he means. Basically the
>> principle is, the programmer is able to use the software, because he
>> made it, he is an expert. If you give that to a user, who has no idea,
>> he will have no idea how to use it. I am now writing software that
>> explains itself, that has buttons that are obvious to the user, and it
>> works. The number of phone calls we get are severely reduced, and the
>> customer satisfaction is up massively. Us geeks who are writing this
>> software have no idea how users think most of the time, this is
>> because we are in theory "more intelligent" which is not necessarily
>> true, but when it comes to the software we are, we understand the
>> terminology.
>> I could talk about this for hours, and I am going to write a blog post
>> about it, people will have a go at me because I'm bashing the "perfect
>> distribution". But seriously, think about what I have said, and test
>> it on people, and then tell me I am wrong. Turn of the "I am a geek I
>> know everything about Ubuntu" for a minute, and imagine you had no
>> idea what ubuntu was or how unity worked. You wouldn't have the
>> foggiest idea.
>> I would appreciate feedback, positive or negative on this. I don't
>> want another "Unity is better because it's better" or "gnome2 should
>> be brought back because it's what I like". That's not how it works.
>> Unity is honestly broken, someone must understand this, I will happily
>> speak to people in person or on email in more detail about this. I am
>> willing to help, but you have to understand first that Unity is not
>> quite there yet first.
>> --
>> Regards, Kris Douglas.
>>  www.krisd.eu
>> --
>> ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-uk
>> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UKTeam/

James Morrissey
Research Officer
Refugee Studies Centre | Department of International Development |
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road | Oxford, United Kingdom | OX1 3TB

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