Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Open source usability is a *technical* problem...

... that we can solve on our own.

So says this clue-deprived dude:

http://programming.newsforge.com/programming/04/07/07/1640244.shtml?tid=25&tid=26&tid=2&tid=31

<quote>

Here's an example: Konqueror, KDE's file and web browser, has a menu entry called "smbUmount." I don't need a laboratory with video gear to figure out that this is nearly impossible for non-hacker users to understand.

All it takes is to think once about each little item like smbUmount. If the changes to this and other items that are obviously not user-friendly are made, most of our usability work will be done. We don't need usability reports. We need each developer to devote as little as one single thought to usability.

</quote>

He makes it sound as if usability is a "one size fits all" thing. That all projects are interchangeable. If it works for one, it will work for the other.

Is it any wonder open source products have such low usability?

Otto Octavius
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Good treatment of this at OK/Cancel:

http://www.ok-cancel.com/archives/post/2004/07/oss_sos_how_hci_killed_open_source.html

Thom Lawrence
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Usability isn't something that you "spray on" after a project is completed - it must be very carefully considered right from the beginning. If the project meets all the functional requirements but users hate the thing, it's useless.

MT Heart
Sunday, August 22, 2004

write the help file first.
then the spec.
then the code.

trollop
Sunday, August 22, 2004

"We need each developer to devote as little as one single thought to usability."

Which is the complete opposite of saying "one size fits all".

Why don't you try to criticise poeple for what they say instead of whatever you want your enemies to say?

Andres
Sunday, August 22, 2004



It's these obtuse menu options that tick me off more than anything...  they are *BY FAR* the easiest things to change.

If the option said "Disconnect Network Share (smbUmount)", it would be useful for everyone.

Arg.

KC
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Apart from people who don't know what a 'Network Share' is, and what disconnecting the one called 'smbMount' would achieve. :)

Thom Lawrence
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Mount and unmout are Unix terms and thus obscure to the Windows user.

However to a non-windows user, espccially a Mac user, the equivalent Windoes terms might well be equally obscure.

Stephen Jones
Monday, August 23, 2004

Open source usability is a religious problem in that it won't be solved until the coming of a usability messiah.

Paul Sharples
Monday, August 23, 2004

Open source usability is a problem of incompetence, which sums up open source generally.


Monday, August 23, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home