[ubuntu-uk] Introducing Ubuntu & Unity to new people

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Sun Mar 11 18:32:59 UTC 2012

On 11/03/12 12:44, Alan Pope wrote:
> Lets suppose you're in a relaxed location, your home or business
> maybe, and a distant family member, friend or co-worker (someone you
> know but not very well) says "Hey, what's that on your computer?".
> Assume you only have a short while to demo Ubuntu to them - maybe 5 to
> 10 minutes - you don't want to spend all day boring them and you don't
> want to eat up your/their family/work time.
> Leaving aside the explanation of what Free Software is, and what the
> Ubuntu project does, but focussing for now on "What it does and how
> it's a cool, useful, productive tool", what would you show them? I am
> of course assuming Ubuntu and Unity here :)
> Here's a few things I'd consider showing them.
> * Dash/Launcher - showing how I search for and start apps, and how I
> switch between applications and files
> * Default apps - show that it comes with office, IM, graphics, CD/DVD
> burner, email etc pre-installed
> * Software centre - how I can find apps, read reviews and install new
> stuff
> What about you? What would you show and tell?

The thing that has actually been *first* noticed by a couple of novice
friends who saw a Unity display was (1 below)

1) the new look ('cool' 'swish') was immediately noticed, and they
wanted it. Regardless.
I have translated that into my many comments out to ubuntu novice
friends as
'Ubuntu now has a new look and feel, it is simpler, but different, ('a
bit more like the Mac'). It is coming out in April, and a good time to
upgrade your (PC) would be - say - in the summer. And I will take you
through it then, but it is pretty easy.'
My wife demanded Unity on her new meenee because it looked good, even
though I was reluctant in being a bit unfamiliar. Knowing what and
where her files are is often a problem, that is ongoing. (maybe 12.04
might assist??).
Someone at the PC fair today said they saw and used ubuntu 11.10 and
began to like unity, whereas when they first used ubuntu 11.04 they
did not like it at all and used gnome. They said 11.0 was 'better'. I
said I was using 12.04 beta1 and it was fatster, which they liked hearing.

2) When demonstrating unity (11.10) to interested people briefly and
for the first time (at the PC fair) The first thing I do is draw
attention to the launcher, and (before running apps)  particularly I
hold the cursor down on Libre office writer (being a common target for
ms word users) - say - and change its position. This is cute, and
immediately gives a sense of reassurance to them, they easily relate
to it (murmers of 'ok'), and it is attractively different from (XP,
vista whatever). I almost immediately then explain and click on a
launcher app, typically Firefox (because the internet is really key in
most lives).

One person has asked if the launcher icons can get moved to the
desktop (like their own xp pc) I said no, the idea was a clear
display, (and I think I then showed them the dash at that stage).

3) AFTER all this, if they are still  looking(!??) I use the dash. I
usually start with a mouse click dash (not keyboard, super), I am
forming the strategy that many xp vista win7 users will not be strong
keyboard shortcut users, so after the dash has been introduced from
mouse click I *then* show the key (super key).

4) (in 11.10 the dash search is not strong), *last* of all, I then use
the dash to search  for an app (one that starts up quickly). With xp
vista users I clearly show how they can list many or all installed
apps. Clunky, but they like, I think, (as I did at first) to know how
to visually see everything without having to remember names. Note: I
searched for gparted today on a slowish demo laptop and had to type
quite a lot of 'partition' in before it picked up 'gparted'. I guess
12.04 is improved.
Comment: although the dash is a modern powerful new feature it is one
of the most alien things to novice windows users. But by step (4) they
are already gaining confidence.

4a) an important item for new (previously windows) users is to be told
at least once that new apps are got from the ubuntu software centre,
not from random downloads or random CDs.
Important because the windows culture accepts a promiscuous approach
re downloads.

alan cocks

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