Examining Software Usability
Apr 03, 2004, 04:00 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Gruber, Eugenia Loli-Queru)
Daring Fireball: Ronco Spray-On Usability
"Eric S. Raymond--the renowned Linux/Open Source
evangelist/essayist--couldnâ€™t figure out how to
connect to a shared printer. So he wrote an essay describing the
problem (the UI for printer configuration on his Linux system is
horrible) and proposing a solution (open source developers should
do a better job with UI design)...
"Raymondâ€™s description and criticism of the
usability problems he encountered trying to achieve this are
accurate and apt. The gist of it is that what seemed like the
obvious way to go about the task was in fact completely wrong, and
worse, there was no indication from the system that he
wasnâ€™t on the right track..."
OSNews: What it Really Takes to Get Good Usability on a
"This interesting article reminded me why Be, Inc. employeed up
to 5 usability/interface engineers at one point for BeIA and BeOS
(an operating system known very well for its cohesiveness, speed
and ease of use for those who have used it). Be, Inc. was in its
heyday much smaller than Red Hat or SuSE.
"To my knowledge, Red Hat and Ximian employ one usability
engineer each (whose sole job is to bring a better experience to
their products). MandrakeSoft has two people part-time (last time I
checked). I have never heard of SuSE having anyone (except the
respectful efforts of developer Waldo Bastian who has proved
'sensitive' to usability issues)..."