Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Are Usability Studies Hurting the Free Desktop?

Filed under
Software

The recent history of new interfaces on the free desktop is not a happy one. Three years ago, the release of KDE 4.0 resulted in a user revolt whose like had never been seen. This year, the releases of GNOME 3 and Ubuntu's Unity have produced similar revolts, but on a smaller scale.

Looking at these reactions, I am starting to wonder: Are the developers of free desktops become obsessed with design principles at the expense of what users actually want?

Not too many years ago, the question would have been absurd. Built on the free and open source software (FOSS) principle that developers worked on whatever interested them, the free desktop used to be a hodgepodge in which just getting a dialog to have the same name when it was opened from different places was a major achievement. Back then, the idea that too much attention could be paid to usability would have been unthinkable.

But, beginning with Sun Microsystem's detailed user study of the GNOME desktop in 2001, free desktop developers have been becoming increasingly aware of usability issues. Almost always, the result has been interfaces that are easier to use, more efficient, and more aesthetic.

rest here




re: Free Desktops

Shouldn't that be the LACK OF usability studies?

Cause it's pretty obvious none of the current GUI developers are doing anything close to UI studies.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Add-on board expands i.MX6 UL SBC

MYIR released an add-on board for its Linux-driven, i.MX6 UL-based MYS-6ULX SBC that adds a second LAN port, plus CAN, RS485, camera, audio, and RTC. In April, MYIR released a Linux-powered MYS-6ULX SBC, which was notable for being available in two different versions using NXP’s low power, Cortex-A7 i.MX6 UltraLite (UL) or the more affordable, and almost identical i.MX6 ULL SoC. Now, MYIR has released an “MYB-6ULX Expansion Board” designed to stack onto either model. The $21.20 accessory adds a second 10/100 Ethernet port to the MYS-6ULX, as well as new CAN, RS485, audio, micro-USB, RTC, and camera functions. Read more

Hardware: PocketBeagle, Purism Librem 5, Aaeon Embedded PCs

Finding the Mainframers of the Future Through Open Source Ecosystem Development

Speak the word “mainframe” to many millennial techies, and the first things that likely come to mind are in the form of grainy sepia photos of floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall computers with big spinning tapes. But that’s far from the reality of the modern mainframe. Imagine instead up to 240 10-core, 5.2ghz processors, 32TB of RAIM (redundant array of independent memory), hardware-based encryption, and fully hot-swappable hardware components. Those are the specs of the newly released IBM z14 – a single machine that could replace the computing resources of an average corporate data center with room to spare. Read more

Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Days and KDE's Randa

  • Introducing The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Days
    One of my primary goals at The Linux Foundation is to foster innovation across the entire open source networking ecosystem. This involves coordinating across multiple open source projects and initiatives and identifying key areas for collaboration to create an open source networking stack. We are working across the entire ecosystem with industry-leading partners — from developers to service providers to vendors — to unify various open source components and create solutions that will accelerate network transformation. As part of this journey, I am pleased to introduce Open Source Networking Days (OSN Days), a series of free events that are hosted and organized by local user groups and The Linux Foundation members, with support from our projects, including DPDK, FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight, OPNFV, PNDA, and others.
  • Randa news, release update
    Last week, from wednesday to saturday I attended KDE’s annual Randa sprint organized by wonderful people. This was an occasion to work fulltime on Kdenlive.