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For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working with Jon McCann, Jeremy Perry, and Owen Taylor on developing a usability testing plan for GNOME Shell. It’s a work-in-progress, and I wanted to make a quick posting about the effort and where it’s going.
A video and its making of, about some utilities and tips to improve usability of a Gnu/Linux desktop: tilda, compiz, easystroke, gnome-globalmenu, keyboard layout, gnome-do, and keynav. Do you know all of them?
For years usability languished in the FOSS world due to a combination of elitism and the belief that it was just a theme-pack away. As a result most FOSS projects are riddled with massive usability problems.
Ever since last summer, when Mark Shuttleworth called on Ubuntu to surpass Mac OS X in desktop design within two years, Ubuntu mailing lists and blogs have become one of the main places to go for detailed discussions about GNU/Linux usability.
We recently conducted usability testing to see how users respond to Ubuntu on their first encounter.
Overall, first impressions are good. Typical remarks include:
“It is bold and different.”
“Ubuntu is fresh and accessible ….”
“This is good. People are getting tired of Windows.”