Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 19:34 UTC, submitted by Yogurth
Gnome BetterDesktop has published its research results concerning ease of use and usability on GNOME. "Below are videos that we have taken of user tests. Please consider when watching the videos, that they may touch on many parts of the desktop. For example, a test that deals with changing the background may involve Nautilus or GNOME Control Center. In other words, there is a lot to learn from these videos! In addition to providing the videos, we have also aggregated some of the Data Results to see stats on specific tests. We have also created some Research Reports on this data."
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Old news?
by ziggamon on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 20:07 UTC
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Ehm? isn't this like almost a year old?

Or what am I not getting?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Old news?
by dylansmrjones on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 20:43 UTC in reply to "Old news?"
dylansmrjones Member since:

Well, this is what it says at the bottom of the page:

This page was last modified 14:57, 24 May 2006.

Reply Score: 1

Pretty Fascinating
by ThawkTH on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 20:42 UTC
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I have to say, as someone who's spent many years learning many programs from scratch it's interesting to see how different groups of people fare in these tests. How some people seem able to pick things up so easily, others seem to take so long.

I'd almost forgotten what it's like to be new.

On another note, I guess people simply think differently, some can pick software programs up quickly and intuitively, others simply have issues with how things are laid out.

I highly recommend you check out a few videos and see what experiences are (were) like. Very important for the FOSS world...more studies like this should be done!


Reply Score: 3

Woah...Woah..Wait a minute
by ThawkTH on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 20:51 UTC
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Why is it the desktops used are different? Is this supposed to be valid in any way?

For instance, under adding a contact to the address book just watching the two videos the desktops are VERY different. Actually, the second desktop is KDE!

While I understand they may just want to test gnome apps, this doesn't strike me as wise. The apps often mimic/are similar to the look and feel of the DE itself. If a person's impression is KDE, perhaps they will attempt to use Evolution as if it were a KDE app?

I'm going to watch a few more to see how different people's experiences are...

Reply Score: 1

Invaluable in my opinion
by Yogurth on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 20:59 UTC
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I find these test invaluable, Linux certanly could use more unbiased testing like this one. After all User is the most important part of every operating system and this research can/will make User feel more comfortable when dealing with Linux desktop, if developers have a look at it.

Reply Score: 2

I'm pretty sure
by spikeb on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 00:59 UTC
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that the GNOME folks will be all over this in terms of trying to learn from it

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm pretty sure
by elsewhere on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 02:52 UTC in reply to "I'm pretty sure"
elsewhere Member since:

that the GNOME folks will be all over this in terms of trying to learn from it

Doubtful. Much of the feedback, limited as it was, implied the interface was unintuitive or didn't act like Windows. That will go over like a lead balloon with the Gnome camp and offend their collective HIGness. ;)

Although this research could explain why Novell appears to be softening the edges in Gnome for SLED.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I'm pretty sure
by spikeb on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm pretty sure"
spikeb Member since:

well, if it's not intuitive, then they should change that (and want to). they got where they are in terms of higness due to testing like this sponsored by sun et al

Reply Score: 1

Liked it
by pilotgi on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 01:17 UTC
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I think these types of tests are great.

Reply Score: 1

v gnome have a poor Usability
by collinm on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 02:36 UTC
Ultimatebadass Member since:

I use it everyday and it's pretty "usable" to me so please don't say "everybody".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: gnome have a poor Usability
by ceo1 on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE: gnome have a poor Usability"
ceo1 Member since:

>I use it everyday and it's pretty "usable" to me so please don't say "everybody".

Yeah, I'm in the same category as you are - the only challenge I have is that I'd have to put "pretty" in quotes rather than usable (sic). Although I have fallen madly and deeply in love with Gnome (I've switched entirely from XP to Gnome as of the OpenSuse 10.1 release) I still see plenty of opportunity for improvement:

- I can't stand the lack of interoperability between KDE and Gnome.
- Gnome's disrespect for customization & "Advanced Settings"
- Network drives .. One would imagine that Linux would be the tool of the trade to connect to anything that can hold data, and that may be true at the kernel/driver level. At the user level, it's a different story. (An example: Gnome will allow you to browse SMB shares, but you can't right click on a folder or in any easy way mount that share so that every program can read/write to it..)
- Don't even get me started about syncing PDAs. Nobody can figure that out.

That said - I'm madly & deeply in love and there's not a chance in ##ll that Vista or anyone will get me back in bed.


Reply Score: 2

RE: gnome have a poor Usability
by elmore on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 02:47 UTC
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Reply Score: 1

by mojavelinux on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 19:45 UTC
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I believe that tests like this are a wonderful idea for improving the quality and intuitiveness of the linux desktop. There is no better way to learn than to watch people try to use the system. Granted, over time people can be trained how to us it, but the whole idea of computer applications is that they should be easy to learn and easy to REMEMBER how to use.

If there is one point I got loud and clear from watching these videos, it is that "My Computer" or "Computer" on the Gnome desktop should provide a link to (or just present) the control panel. Showing the filesystem and media devices is almost worthless to most users. Additionally, "Search" should be located in that control panel.

The second important point is that whenever the user is going to "Browse..." to locate an application, it should most certainly not give them a filesystem browser initially, but rather a list of registered applications. Even I have serious issues with this interface.

Reply Score: 1