Re: Making release notes more useful - 'whats new ?'


On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 8:14 AM, Matthias Clasen
<matthias clasen gmail com> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Jakub Steiner <jimmac gmail com> wrote:
>> Hi Matthias,
>> I believe the effort should be focused around the website. I prefer learning
>> about what's new before I download, or while I download. I am not a fan of
>> putting a Windows 95-like nag screen preventing me from actually using the
>> system.
> 'Windows 95-like nag screen' - skilled use of negative association here...

One problem is that the user has the same association I think.

>> There are of course less intrusive ways to point to this information, such
>> as a notification with a link to the website on first boot. But keep in mind
>> that it's something not everybody is interested in and can get annoying if
>> we're not careful.
> Sure. We don't want to be annoying. There's certainly a balance to be
> struck between being flashy and annoying and being dull and boring.

I don't think allowing the user to a) perform initial setup of the
install b) get to using it is dull and boring at all.

> Currently we are entirely on the 'dull and boring' side. We don't
> advertise new features at all to users who are not coming in via the
> website, but instead get GNOME3 as a side-effect of
> installing or upgrading a Linux distro - which I would say is probably
> 99% of our users. How many of those do you think will find out that
> GNOME 3.2 has a built-in on-screen keyboard ?

I don't agree with this. There are a number of reasons why I think
having such a screen isn't a good idea.

 * We don't know what is actually new to the user since upgrades may
take different paths (especially for downstream products that have
years between them)
 * We don't have a product and can't be certain what is actually there
and new. Just talking about the OS Shell isn't particularly
 * The user very likely already saw some materials (press release,
review, website, app store, software upgrade tool)  that persuaded her
to upgrade.

I think a better plan is to concentrate on coordinating press
releases, do a better job with the release notes online, create an
initial setup tool and include a link to the release notes there. And
looking forward, start creating a product from GNOME itself with a
better upgrade story. We can talk about the new features when we
initially inform the user that an upgrade is available.

We could enhance the
designs in two ways:
 * Show a What's New section when a new OS update is available
 * Show a What's New link to the online release notes in the post
install notification

And perhaps add a What's New section to the local help documents.
Though I think we can probably do a nicer job on the web.


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