Re: New panel layout for GNOME 2.18?

This kind of testing annoys me a bit. I'm sure any user who becomes
naturally used to GNOME would be "confused" by Mac OS or Windows layout.

I'm not saying it's perfect, but I don't feel the need to mimic the
style of another desktop for the sake of transitioning users' comfort.

Have there ever been any unbiased usability studies involving people who
have never actually used a computer? I'm thinking young children as well
as your grandmas and grandpas.

On Tue, 2006-08-22 at 16:26 -0300, theblues gnr wrote:
> Will Novell's new 'slab'[1] menu be included in GNOME 2.18, maybe as the 
> default option?
> I know the many providers of GNOME have a different target user, and each 
> provides a different panel setup for them. However, I think it would be the 
> best for the GNOME project if that default was as close as possible to the 
> upstream version. Right now both Sun and Novell use a 1-panel layout, while 
> Red Hat and Ubuntu use something that is closer to the default 2-panel 
> layout, but with modifications. In a perfect world, these 4[2] would make 
> little or no modification to the default panel setup. Maybe it's time to 
> discuss if we can achieve that?
> The current layout first appeared in Ximian GNOME Desktop, and I don't think 
> it ever went through any usability testing until years later, when the same 
> Ximian (well, Novell) did some. Below was posted by Alan Horkan on 
> usability@ on May:
> Linux Format magazine June 2006 (LXF80) reported on comments Nat
> Friedman[1] made in Paris:
> ... we developed an extension to Gnome that put a bar at the top, which
> looked a little like Macintosh.  In our usability tests that we did last
> year we discovered that the bar was a really bad idea.  It was confusing
> to Windows users who were used to having just one bar at the bottom, and
> confusing to Macintosh users who ere used to having one bar at the top and
> it behaving completely differently.  So we'd written this thing that was
> confusing to everyone, and hundreds of [usability test] videos later we
> said, "Let's not do that!"
> I'd be great if Novell people could report more of their experiences on 
> this.
> IMO the GNOME default panel layout should:
> 1) try to not confuse Windows and Mac OS users;
> 2) be different enough from the two systems mentioned above, ie. have an 
> identity;
> 3) if possible, consider the major GNOME distributors so they'll use 
> something as close as possible to the new default.
> Thanks for reading. :D
> [1] the code is in GNOME cvs, 'slab' module.
> [2] as well as other vendors that ship GNOME, but do fewer changes.
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Alex Jones <alex weej com>

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