Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

GNOME Usability Report Now Online

Jul 20, 2001, 16:48 (49 Talkback[s])

Sun's GNOME usability study is now available online. This is a fairly interesting read that addresses some obvious issues regarding cases where computer idioms don't match with "normal people" language, and some less obvious issues, like the fact end users don't necessarily associate a "moon and stars" icon with exiting the environment:

The report is broken down into a series of tasks:

  • Logging In
  • Exploring the Desktop
  • File Management Tasks
  • Customization Tasks
  • Logging Out
and a set of recommendations are then provided.
From: Calum Benson <calum.benson@sun.com>
Subject: GNOME usability test report now available

The full report from Sun's first GNOME usability study is now available


The study was devised by members of the Solaris HCI Group (Suzanna
Smith, Andrea Mankoski, Dave Engen, Nancy Frishberg, and Nils Pedersen--
and I guess I'm an honorary member too), and carried out in our
usability labs in Menlo Park, CA earlier this year.

Some of you might remember I presented the preliminary results at
GUADEC2... well, the full report expands on those, and provides detailed
suggestions on ways in which we might improve the user experience for
new and experienced GNOME users alike.

We're keen to hear your feedback on the report and the recommendations,
and discuss other ideas and how best to put them into practice.  You can
usually find at least one of us in #usability on GIMPNet, and we're
always happy to discuss things on the appropriate mailing lists too. 
You can also email Sun's GNOME HCI team directly at

Look forward to hearing from you!


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum.benson@ireland.sun.com    Desktop Engineering Group
http://www.sun.ie                      +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems