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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 13, 2012 8:53 UTC (Tue) by fb (subscriber, #53265)
In reply to: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users by luya
Parent article: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

> Having myself let regular users (who don't visit technical website and such) play with Gnome Shell running laptop, neither of them complaining about usability, majority of them already familiar with cellphone interface and few of them never touched a computer in their lifetime. Reading some posts, it appears the complains are from those who heavily optimized their desktop environments.

IMHO It seems like you are fooling yourself. Honestly.

You should try:
1. handling a "vanilla Gnome install" laptop to someone else,
2. have that person give the laptop to this 'test user' of yours and *leave*
3. while you are far and away from the scene (hopefully monitoring through camera feedback).

Seriously.

1. Just the fact that a "knowledgeable user" is sitting next already improves the experience as it calms people down. Anything goes wrong, the life-guard is right next to you.

2. I assume that once a user doubts about something, it will look at you. Say, if the mouse is going to the right direction, you'll confirm it before you know it. If its the wrong direction, you will guide them (perhaps by just glancing into the right direction, or frowning to indicate that the user should stop and reevaluate).

[...]

My experience is that teaching older family members 'new tricks' (how to deal with new interfaces, or solve new problems) while sitting next to them is trivial. I could almost say, "they figure it out by themselves". Remove me from the room and place me on the phone trying to guide them, and we have nothing but frustration.


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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 13, 2012 15:54 UTC (Tue) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

In my experience, "ordinary users" have either poor eyesight or poor literacy, because they read impossibly slow and are unable to process an entire screen full of data. If they have a dialog open and you ask them to click a specific checkbox, they will be unable to find it, taking a minute or two of moving the mouse in random directions while I tell them whether they are hot or cold.

I've never met a user who (a) would need help discovering a new interface, and (b) could read the entire screen, while (c) simultaneously reading my facial cues for hints.

For this reason, I'd expect Gnome 3 to be more discoverable, since it clears away everything except the stuff relevant to what you're trying to do.

This is certainly how I feel about it -- I have used a tiling WM for years, so most all user interfaces feel foreign and confusing to me. But when I use others' computers, I find Gnome 3 to be very "intuitive". It's comparable to Win7 and beats the pants off of XP, OSX or Unity.


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