Home > Gnome > Take the Gnome Desktop Survey Take the Gnome Desktop Survey Eugenia Loli 2005-03-28 Gnome 42 Comments HASE is investigating parts of the usability of GNOME. You can participate on the survey here. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 42 Comments 2005-03-28 9:33 am No way I’ll be wasting my time on that 2005-03-28 10:08 am Even more than big, this survey is quite the opposite from usable. 2005-03-28 10:15 am This was posted to many kde mailing lists: Dear KDE Users/Developers: We are currently investigating the usability of the KDE desktop software. For that, we would highly appreciate it if you could follow the link below and fill out a short survey we created titled the KDE Desktop Usability Survey (DESKUS): http://umbc.edu/hase/kde-deskus-survey.html Many thanks for your help. We sincerely apologize if you receive more than one copy of this announcement. HASE HUMAN ASPECTS of SOFTWARE ENGINEERING 2005-03-28 10:17 am That’s probably why they made it that big. Turns off people from messing with the votes since it will involve too much effort. 2005-03-28 10:35 am Just watsed 10 minutes of my life for this. Hope it would count. They made it way to long. 2005-03-28 10:35 am in usability of the page and in strings it uses [like the one that the default panel is in the bottom!] they mean Fedora’s GNOME or *OFFICIAL* GNOME? I took it anyways, but next time write some documentation than writing surveys 2005-03-28 10:41 am Most questions were poorly formulated. Questions B3 and B6 are the same. Most of it is computer generated, they used the same template for the KDE and Gnome versions (they ask Gnome users about Konquerer, where they clearly mean Nautilus). etc. Very sloppy work. Not scientific at all. Is this from a University? These people should read something like Babbie’s ‘The practice of social research’ before wasting people’s time. 2005-03-28 11:07 am This survey needs some work. Not useable in this state. 2005-03-28 12:05 pm “B.2. Viewing and browsing files and directories (e.g. thumbnails, tiles, icons, and details) using Konqueror. ” Makes no sense, structurally or syntactically, as already pointed out by “douwet” Konqueror in Gnome and KDE? After reaching this question and scrolling down to witness the mass of radio buttons, I ducked out. You too? …and you? …and you? …and you? 2005-03-28 12:37 pm Most questions were poorly formulated. Questions B3 and B6 are the same. That means that it is the question that they are curious about, the rest are ‘fillers’ – probably with the exception of a few. “… has good match between the system and the real world” – wtf? No desktop has, and the question doesn’t make any sense. One of the not so recent recognition in interface design is that emulating the real world is not the holy grail of usability – in fact, more often than not, it can be just the opposite. Metaphors can help of course, and are already deeply engrained in computer lingo – library, root, etc, b/c that’s how language works, but I’m not sure if walking in a ‘realistic’ 3d environment to a bookshelf to read some stuff is more efficient than clicking on an icon. Or another example: clicking on icon that has a text ‘eject cdrom’ under it has less to do with reality than dragging the cdrom icon to the Trash yet it is just as easy and less confusing. 2005-03-28 12:59 pm Most questions were poorly formulated. Questions B3 and B6 are the same. You probably don’t know much about scientific research and surveys. So let me give you a hint: every serious survey asks the same thing in many questions, in different ways. That’s the best way to get a “real” response from who’s answering it. Victor. 2005-03-28 1:33 pm You probably don’t know much about scientific research and surveys. So let me give you a hint: every serious survey asks the same thing in many questions, in different ways You probably don’t know much about manners, so let me give you a hint: read douwets comment properly before being so condescending … the questions are the same. 2005-03-28 1:36 pm Asking how often you use it and how important it is to you, seems somewhat redundant. How are you meant to differentiate between those? And they don’t give any examples what “sometimes” or “high” are supposed to mean, so every participant will make up their own scale and the result will be useless. 2005-03-28 1:40 pm I started filling out the survey, but canned it when they incorrectly stated Konqueror instead of Nautilus. No way I could take such a survey seriously with such a large error. On a sidenote, the survey was overly complicated, and certainly should they use the results to condemn Gnome’s interface, there would be much pot, kettle, blackness. 2005-03-28 1:53 pm B.2. Viewing and browsing files and directories (e.g. thumbnails, tiles, icons, and details) using Konqueror. Really, did they mean to ask this question? 2005-03-28 2:10 pm You should know that this also happens due to the same reasons… And btw…the participants usually are one of the last to know what’s the real subject of research… 2005-03-28 2:26 pm Poor interface, boring and repeating questions… First make a better question page with more elaborated questions and then I might consider answering the stuff 2005-03-28 2:34 pm B.2. Viewing and browsing files and directories (e.g. thumbnails, tiles, icons, and details) using Konqueror. Really, did they mean to ask this question? Hear, hear, well, Gnome-guy’s talkin’. 2005-03-28 2:41 pm I started to take the survey, got half way through it but then closed it out. I just don’t have the time to take a survey that long while I’m at work. So I’ll do it when I get home. Surveys can be informative, so all of you that are denouncing this survey should think twice before making the comments. They need to do a survey on how to make the interface of gnome better, not just “how does this compare to windows: windows is much better, better, worse….”. 2005-03-28 2:52 pm after surveying all the comments i came to the conclusion that most people do not like surveys… 2005-03-28 2:59 pm It’s not as if the Gnome devs are going to pay attention anyway… 2005-03-28 3:26 pm Someone should do a usability study on the survey rather than GNOME. It’s very poorly designed. I doubt many will spend the time to complete it. 2005-03-28 3:27 pm These guys should sit down w/ their Psych or Soc. department and learn how to write a decent survey. The sheer length, verbosity, and poor design of this thing will drastically weaken its reliability/validity. I have enough trouble giving college students a 10-question likert scale survery. If you ask for this much data of *ANYONE*, it shouldn’t be done in one sitting. 2005-03-28 3:52 pm The questions are so repetitive it’s hard to get through it; put as much time into the survey as it takes to complete it! 2005-03-28 4:14 pm “Only a total idiot takes the results of an online survey seriously. ” Never been in a KDE vs Gnome flame thread, have you? 2005-03-28 4:20 pm Really, what usability group creates a survey page that opens too large for my screen (and couldn’t be resized in any obvious way, thus making it impossible for me to acually submit the thing), that uses thin black text on a dark blue background, and which includes all sorts of confusing questions that you answer with a row of radio buttons that is so long it has to wrap around when it hits the edge of the browser window. Someone tell these guys they are three days early. . . 2005-03-28 4:54 pm As others commented: – Way too long – Badly structured and wrong questions – Question repetition I don’t think that doing mediocre surveys will improve Gnome (or any other project, by the way). There exist forums, where people discuss what they like / don’t like. Not just check “Gnome slightly better” without explaining exactly what is good or bad. The only good point the survey has is the commentary field at the end, where you can point how bad it was. 2005-03-28 5:11 pm Instead of complaining, I actually completed the survey 2005-03-28 5:21 pm It is “by-design” to rule out mindless answers. Could someone with expertise on surveying/statistics confirm this? 2005-03-28 6:20 pm From the surveys that I have done, people normally include similarly worded questions, that almost mean the same thing, so that they can compare the results. Normally these similarly worded questisons are the real aim of the survey (but not always). In this case, they had an identicle question, to me that would suggest a mistake on their part. Personally I just ticked n/a in the second repetition, all of these questions are “feelings” so I may vary my response by one either side. Personaly I didn’t think much of it, and I’m not sure why they bothered. 2005-03-28 6:34 pm that survey had nothing to do with usability, but rather customizing the desktop compared to Windows and KDE… 2005-03-28 6:44 pm The posters here whining about the survey being too long or hard are just lazy, stupid and hypocritical. I filled out both surveys in less than 10 minutes. It was no big deal. I also think it’s good for Gnome to have this usability survey, especially considering Eugenia did a couple of long, boring blogs whining about how Gnome devs don’t care about their users, and 200+ posts flame wars that ensued, many agreeing with her. Well, people who whine about Gnome’s deficiencies, here is your chance to give your feedback. It’s totally hypocritical and ridiculous for users to whine about what they prerceive as Gnome’s deficiencies, and expect Gnome devs to perform mind-reading programming miracles for free, and at the same time whine about filling out a 10 minute survey that might give the Gnome devs some of the information that would be useful for them help to improve Gnome. It’s disgusting, laughable, and pathetic. 2005-03-28 6:57 pm OK, it took me 5 mins, I hope this helps. 2005-03-28 7:18 pm I don’t think they will have many victims. Furthermore, it wants too much info, like what I’m majoring in, my age, my degrees, etc. None of your business! 2005-03-28 7:22 pm That is the WRONG way to ask for feedback. One look at that survey and it completely turned me off. It’s not the length that turned me off, it’s the presentation (all on one page!) and horribly formatted too! 2005-03-28 9:06 pm “The posters here whining about the survey being too long or hard are just lazy, stupid and hypocritical” Heh heh. Welcome to OSnews.com. 2005-03-29 12:12 am They should do a usability study on the usability of the Gnome Desktop Usability Survey. I give it an F. 2005-03-29 12:17 am I started to take the survey, but when I got to the question about configuring menus in Gnome, I balked. I wasn’t sure which release of Gnome this was for. If it was for 2.8, the current stable release, I would have given Gnome high marks, since you can simply right-click in the menu and edit away, or you can open the menu in Nautilus and use drag-and-drop. However, what I have seen of the upcoming 2.10 via Ubuntu Hoary suggests that menu editing through either method will be disabled. I decided not to take a chance that the survey was for 2.10 and therefore giving props to a broken system. 2005-03-29 4:53 am can’t do crap survey would love to help otherwise. i worked with market-research before designing surveys questions. there is a whole methodology to it. most humans gets bored easily – it is important to grab and retain their interest as they answer the question. it is fundamental to avoid redundancies, or robot-like templates. Now with X .. do you often A, B or C. Now with Y .. do you often A, B or C. Now this is OTT, I would even say that by splitting a questionaire with different pages, different themed section (use different background colors or wallpaper) helps retain interest – provides comfort. Imagery is very important, are we talking about menu? Put a snapshot of one – damn it. It will make the person flashback his experience better. But nevertheless – its a crap survey – so please someone be kind and courteous and email them, let them know how horrid it is. I would if I wasn’t so late now, and still haven’t packed for travelling! 2005-03-29 6:01 am I actually got pointed to the KDE survey from another site and I’m late here, but it still applies: Alex – exactly – way too much irrelevant data asked for. Morgan – bingo. It is absolutely *critical* to ask the *version* you are using. All the stupid personal questions and they don’t care if I’m using Gnome 1.4? Related to this, I question the merit of usability surveys in general. One question (on the KDE form) involved quick access to programs. Do they mean the *default* ‘most frequently used’ doohickey on the start menu or the *default* ‘quick launch’ type thing or do they mean how I had the ability to configure my own quick-launch thing? There is a box at the end to expand, but each question needs a ‘explanation’ field and, even then, it’s too simple to yield anything useful even if well-designed and worded. And I agree with everyone else: this manifestly was not. No good data can result from this – GIGO. (Disclaimer – I’m an ice user who’s been playing with Gnome 2.10 recently and KDE 3.4 now.) 2005-03-29 10:00 am ..even though some of the questions didn’t make sense. I wasn’t terribly kind to GNOME, I’m afraid.. 2005-03-29 1:16 pm Sorry i’m currently employed.