Stab in the dark?

Story: Novell Conducts Linux Desktop Usability TestsTotal Replies: 3
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Oct 12, 2005
5:59 AM EDT
Maybe I'm being too negative... afterall, it's nice to see somebody doing some usability testing.

I'm guessing these tests were started way before the SUSE acquisition too.

1. It took arbitrary test points and tested against them... out of a huge data space.

2. It seems to be very Gnome specific (thus helping Red Hat more than Novell/SUSE).

Anyone else confused on this? Maybe this is how testing is done now?

Oct 12, 2005
6:25 AM EDT
Well, I guess someone has to start somewhere, but..... lolrof.... Says a lot about the intended audience.

Oct 12, 2005
7:55 AM EDT
The moral is that there is no room for the NIH syndrome in our user interface designs. If MS does something in a good way, we can't eschew that simply because it is the way MS does it. If we can actually do something in a better, more intuitive way, by all means we should implement the better way. But if we can't do better, it makes sense to do it in the way that is already familiar to most desktop users.

Look closely at what the test subjects do. They look to see if they can do it the Windows way. These people represent 95%+ of potential desktop Linux users. Sure, some of the users are probably pretty helpless on their Windows boxes, too. But some of these users seem quite sharp.

On a side note I have been amused at the gender related differences. The men don't do any better or worse at the tasks than the women, but they do *try* to appear more confident. :-)

That's not intended as a swipe at anyone, btw. Just an amusing observation.

Oct 13, 2005
7:06 PM EDT
sbergman27, yes... I was thinking the same thing. No room for improvement... interface is tested against what is perceived to be familiar and not necessarily something that could actually be better.

Interesting that one of the most praised desktop distributions, SUSE, is centered on KDE, yet NLD went the Gnome way. Perhaps a telling sign of things to come.

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