[DC LoCo] Looking for guinea pigs for usability testing...

Celeste Lyn Paul celeste at kde.org
Wed Oct 1 17:57:41 BST 2008

On Wednesday 01 October 2008 12:50:31 Mackenzie Morgan wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-10-01 at 10:08 -0400, Celeste Lyn Paul wrote:
> > We are hoping to do a pilot activity on Saturday October 10 in the
> > afternoon.
> You're jumping the gun, Celeste.  October 10 won't be a Saturday til
> *next* year ;)

Oops, I mean October 11 :)

> So is this usability testing for just Kubuntu/KDE, or will it be open
> other apps?  I can't come anyway, because of Ohio Linux Fest, but
> someone else might be wondering too.

No, it is for Ubuntu and GNOME apps, AFAIK no one else has an interest in KDE 
but me and Canonical is expecting feedback on Ubuntu.

> I kind of wish usability testing wasn't limited to inexperienced people.

It's not, it can cover all user types.  The problem is that inexperienced 
people aren't represented in the floss development cycle and so those users 
aren't considered in the design and development of software.  That is why we 
mostly focus on inexperienced users (to Linux, not necessarily to computing 
in general) to figure out what we missed.

> While there are some bad UIs that I've just gotten used to (Compiz's

Sure, but that's because you have problem solving skills and probably spent 
hours looking up forums and HOWTOs.  That is an unacceptable requirement for 
products which should be easily figured out.  Also, just because you've 
gotten used to it doesn't mean it couldnt be better :)

> settings thing...oy...I've got an idea for making that a bit less
> umm....*brain kersplode!*...oh, and the size (and repetition) of the
> Preferences menu in GNOME), there are others that I just don't use.
> Even if they're better in some way (more features, expected behaviour
> being better....ahem...Rhythmbox, I don't care if it's a "play queue" I
> still want Shuffle...and Evolution, why can't you send GMail trash to
> [GMail]/Trash instead of your own?), sometimes the *brain kersplode*
> feeling is triggered.  By "brain kersplode!" I mean UIs that have so
> much stuff and so many words that you can't scan/parse them easily and
> instead have to resort to reading *everything*.  I get *why* it's
> usually inexperienced people: no pre-conceived notions.  That doesn't
> mean experienced people are used to, expect, or are unable to recognize
> designs that are bad. I think we're more likely to just give up on the
> application than put up with it if we're experienced enough to know the
> alternatives.  Heck, how do you think I figured GNOME would be easier
> for my mom than Windows?  I knew she couldn't parse the
> Start->Applications menu, but XDG menus are generally pretty clean and
> well-organized, so it seemed she'd have a better shot.

Celeste Lyn Paul
KDE Usability Project

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