Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Week With GNOME As My Linux Desktop: What They Get Right & Wrong

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Now I guess you'll have to write a reverse article like every other reviewer out there.

    Friday: "10 things that Mac OS X does to make you want to shoot yourself."
    Monday: "10 things that Mac OS X does to make your life a breeze."

    Comment


    • Originally posted by bkor View Post
      ..

      You're assuming that they needed to dictate. When a few people decided on starting a design team they didn't have much influence, despite 2 people being employed by Red Hat. They had an idea and convinced others. Quickly there was so much worked pushed to them that they became completely overwhelmed. There were also blog posts from developers who questioned / criticized the need for a design team (on planet gnome). One tried proving the uselessness of it by working with them, then completely changed his mind (resulting in a talk at GUADEC). Eventually this led to Red Hat hiring Allan Day.

      So there is no "core difference", KDE could do the same. What is likely very different is the amount of time they have available in a given week.

      This speaking as someone who pushed for way more involvement from the design team (basically said everything should have a design). We changed the way proposals should be done to have it checked by the design team (way before they were ready to handle this amount of work).
      In what way is the gnome design team qualified to make ux decisions? They do a lot of things well, but they are also very, very, very stubborn and don't do what is essential for ux: extensive user testing (and yes, it CAN be done for very little if there is will to do so). Some of their decisions are just worthy of a good ole head scratch. Never would've gotten past the brainstorming stage for a real product.
      I know for a fact they are...not very receptive to professional ux reviews.
      Gnome just gets a pass to, largely, do what they want in rh (they got the hammer to create the absolute min with Classic Gnome, but that was very unusual), but if it were an actual product that made money you can be sure the folks leading the design team would be doing something else.
      I'm sure they're great to work with if you largely agree with their decisions, but if you have serious criticisms it just won't work.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by liam View Post

        In what way is the gnome design team qualified to make ux decisions? They do a lot of things well, but they are also very, very, very stubborn and don't do what is essential for ux: extensive user testing (and yes, it CAN be done for very little if there is will to do so).
        I'm curious, since this is brought up constantly regarding the GNOME design team: How does this work in the KDE camp? Ubuntu? Cinnamon?
        Are they doing user testing on every design decision?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by liam View Post
          In what way is the gnome design team qualified to make ux decisions?
          TL&DR: I agree with the sentiment you expressed.

          They basically should consistently testing everything within GNOME, but that's not done much (or at all). Any changes should be (eventually) tested as well. This would sort out a lot of problems. What's great about the current situation is that everything is very consistent. But if it is consistently unusable, then that's not really helpful. It's a slow process to change this. It took a while to have a design team. Also took quite some time before they really finished/polished things enough (e.g. non-discoverability of the app menu, notifications, etc).

          I think having the team is great. They went from being totally overwhelmed to being on top of things. Now it would be great if it was expanded to add user testing in everything that they do. It's not unfamiliar btw, lots of GNOME people usually talk about how we lack doing this. There's every GUADEC a one-off talk about someone doing one test or maybe a few. IIRC (not sure.. might be someone else) Novell used to have a usability testing lab.

          What's pretty clear is that Red Hat now has the majority of the manpower in GNOME. Which is a bit unfortunate, because although I think they're great, it might be a bit off putting for any other company as well as volunteers (any paid person can spend way more time than I can). Maybe just a matter of bringing user testing up with whomever decides on how many people are dedicated to GNOME and that it is worth hiring a few people (e.g. in Czech).

          Comment


          • What a shame not including Nautilus vs Dolphin in a Gnome vs KDE comparison...

            Comment


            • Originally posted by kigurai View Post
              I'm curious, since this is brought up constantly regarding the GNOME design team: How does this work in the KDE camp? Ubuntu? Cinnamon?
              Are they doing user testing on every design decision?
              Ubuntu might be, but almost certainly not Cinnamon and KDE. At one point I know KDE had at least one ux professional associated with them but currently I'm not sure what their status is.
              To be clear, not EVERY decision needs testing. Also, testing isn't easy. It's not necessarily expensive but it requires expertise to avoid biased results (something that the gnome team loves bringing up are anecdotal "I 'tested' this with my family/friends and they loved it".
              What really annoys me about this whole thing is that there was even a public plan, a pretty detailed one at that, to test gnome (put together by an actual ux person). I think you can guess what became of that


              bkor

              Originally posted by bkor View Post

              TL&DR: I agree with the sentiment you expressed.

              They basically should consistently testing everything within GNOME, but that's not done much (or at all). Any changes should be (eventually) tested as well. This would sort out a lot of problems. What's great about the current situation is that everything is very consistent. But if it is consistently unusable, then that's not really helpful. It's a slow process to change this. It took a while to have a design team. Also took quite some time before they really finished/polished things enough (e.g. non-discoverability of the app menu, notifications, etc).

              I think having the team is great. They went from being totally overwhelmed to being on top of things. Now it would be great if it was expanded to add user testing in everything that they do. It's not unfamiliar btw, lots of GNOME people usually talk about how we lack doing this. There's every GUADEC a one-off talk about someone doing one test or maybe a few. IIRC (not sure.. might be someone else) Novell used to have a usability testing lab.

              What's pretty clear is that Red Hat now has the majority of the manpower in GNOME. Which is a bit unfortunate, because although I think they're great, it might be a bit off putting for any other company as well as volunteers (any paid person can spend way more time than I can). Maybe just a matter of bringing user testing up with whomever decides on how many people are dedicated to GNOME and that it is worth hiring a few people (e.g. in Czech).
              I'm glad that you, as a seeming supporter of GNOME, feel this way. As I've said many times before, I really liked the original design document for G3, but feel they've fallen victim to group think and outsider antipathy.
              You don't need to test every decision. They haven't gone their own way at every point, and many of the paradigms they use are simply part of the "traditional" hci models. Others, like no always visible window list, app menu, or overview, would certainly have benefited from some testing. Some of it comes down to a, somewhat, qualitative question: is this change worth the distraction? App menu seems, to me, to pretty clearly not solve a widespread problem, and, arguably, doesn't improve workflow. Overview has a stronger case, but it feels only partially implemented to me.
              As you say, consistency is very, very important, but there's no reason to sacrifice ease of use for it. They have their usage patterns, but how did they decide upon them? THOSE are things you test. Test often and early. Don't prematurely optimize
              The GNOME folks exist in their own little bubble. It's just super political like you wouldn't believe. That's what's stopped others, who actually know better, from getting involved and trying to change things. Even to the point of people being discouraged from helping b/c of...things. This is disgusting, and something that just won't get talked about in the open. I'm telling you b/c you seem to be genuinely open, and might be unaware of some of the backstory. There are very good reasons why GNOME is the way it is, and has a certain reputation. It's well earned, and no amount of "come, join the X team and see that we're open to everyone" will fix things until they are willing to consider alternate views.
              This won't change until GNOME is willing to accept serious criticism (serious in the form of detailed, data driven critiques) without burying them. Thus far, they just aren't open to it.

              Best/Liam

              Comment


              • I think I am happy that no "exhaustive testing" was made for Gnome 3, else I bet lowest common denominator would had pressured Gnome to remain as W95 ripoff

                Comment


                • Originally posted by moilami View Post
                  I think I am happy that no "exhaustive testing" was made for Gnome 3, else I bet lowest common denominator would had pressured Gnome to remain as W95 ripoff
                  Windows 95 was just a windows 3.11 ripoff.
                  Windows 7 is swindows 2000 ripoff.
                  What is it about win95 that makes people use it as a benchmark for poor ui? Do people not know what it actually looks like?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by liam View Post

                    Windows 95 was just a windows 3.11 ripoff.
                    Windows 7 is swindows 2000 ripoff.
                    What is it about win95 that makes people use it as a benchmark for poor ui? Do people not know what it actually looks like?
                    Hehe, I know how w95 looked, but I haven't ever seen w3.11 I think except boxes containing the installation disks and stuff, which I saw a lot. I used Amiga in those times and my PC friends used plain DOS

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by moilami View Post

                      Hehe, I know how w95 looked, but I haven't ever seen w3.11 I think except boxes containing the installation disks and stuff, which I saw a lot. I used Amiga in those times and my PC friends used plain DOS

                      You don't need to have actually used it to know what it looked like. Google provides tons of screenshots of all these desktops.
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window..._workspace.png
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window..._first_run.png

                      Testing doesn't necessarily help generate ideas but it helps identify ones which just don't work, or need refinement. Creation of paradigm shifting ui and extensive testing can coexist happily, side-by-side.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X