Re: Where is the data?

Hey Giovanni,

I'm being selective in my responses here...

Giovanni Campagna <scampa giovanni gmail com> wrote:
> I'm sorry I couldn't read through the whole GNOME Survey v4 thread, but
> it was just too long. What I read though is that data was collected and
> extists.
> Now I'd like to simply ask: where is it?
> Where we developers can find real cold numbers backing out the designs
> we're asked to implement?

I wrote that we already have lots of data on peoples' experiences with
GNOME 3. Is that what you mean? There's a brief summary of that in the
final paragraph of my previous email to the list [1].

I never found the time to do a proper write up of the user testing I
did on the shell. It was brief and ad hoc; I can tell you that the
five participants in my study were all able to complete the tasks that
were set for them though, which included basic things like launching
applications, switching windows, changing the desktop background,
responding to notifications and changing the volume via the system
settings area. They obviously found some things trickier than others,
but they could do everything I asked them to do.

> Where we developers can find hard facts proving the NOTABUG and the
> WONTFIX we mark in the most questioned and hot issues?

You can always mark a bug with the ui-review keyword if you want a
second opinion.

> I'm not a designer, so I may not understand all the papers you provide
> in your support, and I may not understand what are the rules and laws of
> Human Computer Interaction, as you call it. But I understand numbers,
> and would be convinced by seeing that 66% percent of people find this
> method of working more productive, or 3 out 5 tested users where able to
> discover the functionality without guidance, or all 8 people interviewed
> did not use the feature just removed.

More user testing would be a good thing, and that might provide some
of the numbers that you crave. In the mean time, we're not operating
in the dark however: we can tell a lot from a combination of the UX
literature, dog fooding, feed back from users and comparison with what
other OSs/DEs/whatever are doing. It's not numerical data but it is
data all the same.

> I know that what I write, following the guidelines and the mockups, is
> right. But people providing feedback don't always agree with that, and
> if myself cannot understand the reason, how can I explain to them?

The basic features of the shell design are explained on the wiki [2].
It's helpful to have a more thorough explanation for more
controversial design decisions though, such as the ones that Owen [3]
and me [4] provided for window buttons. Just ask if you want more
information on a particular issue.

> I understand that some features in 3.0 were like "design experiments",
> because we have the whole 3.* cycle to improve. But if the results of
> those experiments (that is, people's feedback) is not analyzed
> thoroughly, how can we be sure that the design is right?

Feedback does get read and gets weighed up against the other evidence
that is available. I think it would be great if we had a more visible
process there, however. I thought that the responses to the top ideas
on Ubuntu brainstorm were a good example of how this can be done,
actually [5]. Doing that kind of thing requires time and effort, of

Also, we have been tracking the more minor niggles that people have
reported [6].

> Or on the other
> hand, how can I see that the feedback is listened to, if decisions are
> never reverted?

The shell design has never been set in concrete. Many things were
changed during the design and development process and I'm sure there
will be more changes in the future. I think it's too early to expect
significant changes to the 3.0 design though.


IRC:  aday on

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