Task:Usability experiences


[edit] Introduction

This task aims to provide solutions for solving the lack of input from users to developers regarding usability. This task is not directly aimed at solving usability related problems. Instead, the focus is to bring users and developers in communication with each other, providing a system of either 1-way or 2-way feedback.

In order to understand this task it is recommended the reader educates him or herself about usability. See for example Wikipedia [1] for an introduction about usability. Also, please consider to recent analysis on free software/open source software and usability related problems. Why Free Software has poor usability, and how to improve it by Matthew Paul Thomas [2], and a rebuttal to this article Comments on Recent Open Source Usability Article by Celeste Lyn Paul [3].

If you are interested in usability in free software/open source software please consider to join the Season of Usability sponsored by Google and Nokia [4].

[edit] The problem

Nokia wishes to make the NIT more consumer-ready, for non-developers and non-technical inclined users. In order to achieve this, both Nokia developers and 3rd party developers need to make their programs better usable. Users must have a convenient way to inform developers not only about bugs but also about usability-related problems. There is currently no easy way for users to express their experience with a certain program or part of maemo; and there is no easy way for developers to learn about a user experiences.

[edit] Proposed solution(s)

Provide a platform on maemo.org where users are able to provide a usability experience with a program. A user would be able to add their experience to a Nokia or 3rd party program. Developers can easily these experiences using the maemo.org framework. An example of a usability experience of Maemo Mapper is quoted in this post by allnameswereout on Internet Tablet Talk [5]. It has to be taken into account that on one hand users want to express their feelings about a program, while on the other hand want to have their usability-related problem solved. Due to the subjective content of usability experiences the signal-to-noise might be lower than preferred. Therefore, it is important how maemo.org provides the framework for a user, to increase the signal-to-noise ratio by a set of guidelines. There was no set of guidelines used in earlier referred example post [5]. This important aspect has to be still worked out. Please use the talk page on this wiki entry for discussion concerning these guidelines.

[edit] Caveats

To be done.

[edit] Sources

The following sources are referred to by this wiki entry.

  1. wikipedia:Usability
  2. http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2008/08/01/free-software-usability
  3. http://weblog.obso1337.org/2008/comments-on-recent-open-source-usability-article
  4. http://season.openusability.org/
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209927&postcount=6