Call for constructive user criticism.
- From: Miguel de Icaza <miguel gnu org>
- To: gnome-list gnome org, gnome-announce-list gnome org, gnu-announce gnu org
- Subject: Call for constructive user criticism.
- Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 13:18:48 -0500
So there I was, watching Animal Planet with a special issue on
Bonobos. Interesting documentary, and it ocurred to me: How can we
make GNOME so simple that even a Bonobo could use it?
Here is what we need:
1. A team of *users* that would tell us what they would like to see
a. To make the interface easier.
b. To make it more intuitive to people.
c. To make the system more consistent.
d. To make the system "nicer".
e. To make GNOME the best user interface out there.
f. To improve the documentation of GNOME.
2. A team coordinator that would compile and maintain all of these
ideas and comments. He would need to provide a document on the
web to allow the developers to address those usability issues.
3. We need people to coordinate with this person.
4. We need the first draft to evolve "naturally". This means,
there is no need to wait for years to get the perfect document
done. Get a draft out in two days and keep updating it. It
does not need to address everything at the beginning and it can
change from day to day.
* On the document
We would like this document to include precise steps on what can be
done to achieve a certain goal.
For example, saying "Make it easy" on the document will be a very
difficult thing to implement or to guess what it does.
The more concrete you can be, the better. For example "Change XXX
in the YYY location to do ZZZZ instead of JJJJJ; I think this can be
done by hacking a piece of code here and there and integrating there"
would be excellent.
* On Consistency:
The thing that bothers me is that we have for example two ways of
"docking" applications in GNOME: on the Desktop and on the Panel. We
have various ways of printing: with the print applet or with the print
Is this a problem? Do people mind? Or do people applaud this
* On usability
We want to make existing users of Mac, Windows and Next feel
confortable with a Unix-based system and feel productive and feel like
they are using the best tools out there. So they can go with their
friends and honestly say "Your proprietary system is ancient; Not only
ancient but complex, I use GNOME at home". You get the idea.
The coordintion can take place in firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the
For documentation related issues, you can contact Dave
(email@example.com) directly, he is coordinating the GNOME documentation
We can not do big interface "leaps" quickly, but we can try. We
are certainly interested in things that would be more consistent in
the short term as well.
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