[hoary] initial usability reactions
mailing-lists at interfacethis.com
Wed Nov 17 02:15:45 UTC 2004
Just got Hoary working on my PowerBook, thanks to some speedy
bug-fixing by the Ubuntu team. Neat.
Some initial usability-related reactions from a UI designer who can't
help butting in:
- Particularly for those switching from Windows or Mac, the desktop
itself is a bit bare. I'd like to see the various options that put
Trash, Computer, and Home icons on the desktop enabled by default, to
increase familiarity and provide a few extra "oh, I can click on that!"
sorts of things. They would also serve as a handy indication to new
users that everything has loaded up properly. It would be cool to have
a Network icon as well.
- Some Linux distros have a handy feature wherein readable partitions
other than those in /etc/fstab are automatically displayed on the
desktop the same way removable media is. It would be extremely cool if
Ubuntu did that, and again a great thing for non-technical users to
have. (The average computer user probably shouldn't be editing
/etc/fstab and may not realize, coming from Windows or Mac, that other
partitions need to be explicitly mounted...and, ideally, they shouldn't
have to be.)
- I've mentioned these before, but I would love to see a more unified
(and perhaps slicker) collection of icons than the GNOME defaults. I
suppose that's less a usability comment and more an aesthetic one, but
there you go. Bridging the usability-aesthetics gap, I'd also still
like to see the default theme provide a little more of a 3D effect on
controls to help users recognize their "clickability".
- It would be cool to see more GUI admin tools available, either
through Synaptic or installed by default. Fedora does a pretty nice job
of this with its various config tools for enabling and disabling
services, configuring Samba, etc.
Just my two cents. Hope it's helpful.
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