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NewsForge: Open Source Usability is a Technical Problem We Can Solve On Our Own

Jul 10, 2004, 07:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frans Englich)

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"Poor usability is a huge barrier to wider open source adoption. Our backends have matured and we consistently achieve technical excellence. Usability is the one area we have not yet mastered. For some reason, we treat it as a mystery instead of looking at it as a problem we can solve the same way we solve all other technical problems.

"As a participant in the KDE project (but expressing my own viewpoint here instead of speaking for KDE), the approach I have seen so far to our usability problems is... noise. Ideas are raised daily on the KDE usability email list, but they never seem to generate anything but endless discussions. Developers, users and reviewers all scream that something needs to be done, but apparently no one knows how..."

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