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Author Topic: interesting usability test videos for dif. linux desktop programs (gnome,etc.)  (Read 4194 times)

mouser

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Tons of usability test videos of people trying to use different linux desktops (gnome, etc.) to do different things.  Lots of giant video files.
Also find reports and data about linux desktop usability on the site.

note: videos seem down at the moment (or overwhelmed).

Quote
...
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!
...



from digg
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 04:44:21 PM by mouser »

Gothi[c]

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Re: usability test videos for linux desktop tasks - interesting
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 01:41:09 PM »
This doesn't show much about LINUX usability since it's a bunch of windows people not knowing what they are doing. If anything they are demonstrating how similar/unsimilar GNOME is to windows. Half of the things on that list I would have done through commandline anyway :p
Title of parent should be Windows to Gnome migration or something. Don't forget that there are countless other windowmanagers out there that have a completely different functionality. :)

Because someone who has used windows all his life, gets shoved infront of a box running gnome (which also runs on bsd, and other unixes and possix os'es not just linux.) and doesn't immidiatly find what he's looking for, doesn't mean that linux is more or less usable.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 01:42:45 PM by Gothi[c] »

JavaJones

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Re: usability test videos for linux desktop tasks - interesting
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 01:49:53 PM »
Considering the fact that Windows has a 95% desktop OS marketing share it may not mean that in concept, but in practice yes it does. :D In practice 95% of users will be migrating from Windows, so that is the single most important and fundamental metric for any desktop Linux solution to worry about if it's trying to gain market share. Not necessarily emulating Windows mind you, but doing things in a way that makes at least as much sense to Windows users as Windows does. This leaves a surprising amount of room for innovation though. MS does it themselves with their own OS. Their attrocious decisions to change the Start menu in XP are a great example. The very first thing I do on a new XP install is turn the "new, enhanced" start menu off and go back to the old, far more usable system. New ideas aren't always great but as long as there's a fallback it's ok. Linux can innovate on these things too, I just hope they do a better job of it than MS did. ;)

- Oshyan

Carol Haynes

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Re: usability test videos for linux desktop tasks - interesting
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 01:57:05 PM »
It read an interesting article the other day which included an interview with the CEO of Red Hat. The article was about the problems Linux is facing with the rise of webservices and how this will affect them in the future. Even the RH guy admitted that they are already seeing a reduction in Linux usage because of the growth of webservices - and it hasn't really started yet. Naturally MS's aggressive marketing got the blame because MS is pushing the idea of these services very hard. Sorry I can't give you a link 'cos I deleted the email - but I think it was on either ZDNet or TechRepublic.

Just found it on ZDNet ...

http://news.zdnet.co...3513_22-6078854.html
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 02:01:45 PM by Carol Haynes »

Gothi[c]

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Re: usability test videos for linux desktop tasks - interesting
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 01:59:39 PM »
You can't just say Linux instead of Gnome.
Linux, the operating system is just the kernel. It's not like in Windows where the GUI stuff is all part of the OS. People could be running anything, it doesn't have to be Gnome. And lots of people I know don't run Gnome or KDE (since they are a bit bloaty.)
All MS did with their start button is put a very ugly skin around it. Not much innovation if you ask me. A gnome panel can have something similar to a start button but it's removeable and moveable, so it can be placed anywhere, on any panel. It's optional. Even the entire panel is optional. Many other window managers (like fluxbox/blackbox) launch their 'start menu' by rightclicking on the desktop for example. Then there's many NextStep'ish windowmanagers out there that many people use, which have floating boxes on the edges of the screen which can be buttons to launch applications, or drawers containing a bunch of application launchers, or entire programs running in a tiny box (dockapps). Gnome may be most commonly pre-installed with many distributions but i'd say it's far from being "The Linux windowmanager" that would tick allot of people off. :D Calling video's like this Linux usability tests, is just more misinformation that can add to prejudgmental ideas non experienced linux users can have. (eg: I don't like linux, because I don't like gnome.)

mouser

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Re: usability test videos for linux desktop tasks - interesting
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2006, 04:42:53 PM »
you are right - it's really usability tests of different linux desktops, not linux itself.
in fact these people on the whole do very well in figuring out how to use stuff,
the linux desktop apps are getting quite good.

JavaJones

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For destop purposes Linux is meaningless without a desktop shell, so while saying "Linux" in this case instead of the specific shell may be inaccurate, it's not unreasonably by any means. As you yourself said Gnome is the most commonly used desktop shell, followed by KDE. Tests of both those shells should be highly instructive IMO and should not be discounted just because "there are other options" or "the default configuration is easily changed". 99% of people aren't going to look beyond their first desktop environment to even find out there are options. They're not looking for something they can tweak endlessly until it's how they like it, they want something that "just works". If they don't like it to begin with then they won't use it. So while your objections are certainly valid they are still largely irrelevant unfortunately. That's just the way the market works it seems.

- Oshyan

Gothi[c]

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Maybe people that want something that just "works" shouldn't get into computers ;)
Software rarely just works. :D Even on Windows.
And maybe people that don't want to tweak should stick to Windows.
I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the idea that everyone in the world should be using Linux, since it clearly has a different audience. No matter how fluffybunny-easy the wm/user interface gets,
I don't see your average AOL joe user using Linux without ever running into any issues that require greater computer understanding. (or understanding what's under the hood of all that fluffy gui, rather.)

JavaJones

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Well, I'm certainly not one clamoring for a good alternative to Windows. Windows works fine for me. :D But there are a lot of people out there who want to see the Windows reign end. So the above is primarily directed at them. ;) I do think Linux has a very appropriate place in the computing world and right now I believe its market share is increasing in that area, so it's doing just fine on its "core comptetency". If people want it to do other things, like be a good desktop replacement, it's just a fact that it still has a ways to come. People trying to put their grandma on Linux are fooling themselves - no matter how many geek success stories there are about it. ;)

- Oshyan

gjehle

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geez, people should just stop comparing apples and pears
considering the fact that the linux desktops are customizable to a high degree...
take this eg:
ever started a default suse installation? or knoppix?
you notice in the blink of an eye that what you look at is KDE
i have people coming up to me asking me what desktop i use, since they do not fucking notice that it's in fact.. KDE ;)
screenshot, see for yourself

i'm not saying that the usuablity test is crap, i see there are tons of problems with the usablity for all kinds of linux desktops
but well, remember back in the days when you first sat down in front of that windows machine?
maybe all those people are just totally biased and expect everything to work like their beloved windows box
give em a mac, or a sun, whatever ;)

Gothi[c]

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gjehle: my point exactly ;)

JavaJones

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OK, so maybe everyone is "totally biased and expects everything to work like their beloved Windows box" and maybe that's "wrong" in some sense. But which is more likely to succeed: trying to convince 95% of desktop computer users that their way of doing things is flawed and that they should learn a whole new system *or* closely emulating the existing system *while* introducing new features and functionality unobtrusively? One is almost certainly a losing proposition and thus is hardly worth considering for any serious advocate, *regardless* of the "righteousness" of the position. Being right doesn't make the world go around and it doesn't always get things done.

The point is the statistics/studies are not useless, in fact quite the opposite, they are just not useful *to everyone*.

If Linux does what you want then that's great and if you don't care if anyone else uses it then you needn't worry about such studies or their validity. As long as it works for you then hoorah! :D This ignores the fact that the level of platform support is directly influences how much software is available, how many hardware devices have driver support, etc. - you clearly need some critical mass. But Linux does very well even as a desktop OS despite the comparatively small installed user base.

In any case many people do not share the personally-focused perspective. They want Linux to succeed and to succeed big. Whether that just means "beating Micro$oft" (sic) or if they really think Linux could be a better desktop OS for the average user doesn't matter too much - in general the steps to get to the end goal are similar, at least for now: Make Linux a better *replacement for Windows*.

Why does a successful desktop OS for the average person need to replace Windows? Because Windows has ~95% market share and that's what everyone is used to, even if they don't like it. Those that really don't like it can move to a Mac if they want. So although Apple's numbers are rising, I think the still extreme dominance of the Windows platform says that there is *something* about it that makes it successful. *That* is what the Linux community needs to emulate if they hope to succeed in challenging Windows for the desktop.

Again not everyone shares that goal and if that's not you then this study isn't of interest. But it does have validity and could be useful to anyone trying to make Linux a better desktop solution. Arguments about whether a GUI(s) tested in this particular case are "standard" or "the best one" only lend weight to the argument that Linux just isn't ready for the average user - 99% people don't want to have to choose.

- Oshyan