Projects/Usability/Reports/2005

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KMail Recipients

In a short usability test, three users executed typical tasks concerning the composer's recipient fields. Two versions of the recipients area and the Select Recipients dialog were compared. Even if the number of users is not representative, a number of bugs and potential usage problems within both versions were discovered.

With respect to the composer's recipient area, users tended to prefer the new interface. Even if they were faced several problems (merely caused by the prototypical state of the interface) and they were not used to the new behaviour, they stated that they could imagine to become faster and more effective by using it.

With respect to the Select Recipients dialog, users tended to prefer the former dialog as it provided a better management and a better overview over selected contacts. They stated that both dialogs showed several usage problems, but the former one clearly provided a better and more reliable overview. This impression may be reduced by implementing the suggestions given in the following. However, at its current state, it is not advisable to release the new Select Recipients dialog as users were faced severe problems while using it.

Report Date January 2005
Usability Engineers Ellen Reitmayr and Florian Graessle
Software Version KMail 1.7.91 versus CVS HEAD from January 2005
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KPrinter

The print dialog in KDE 3.4 has several usability problems which potentially make it hard to be used efficiently by average users. In this document, the major problems are described, and possible ways to solve them are sketched up.

Report Date April 2005
Usability Engineer Ellen Reitmayr
Software Version KPrinter KDE 3.4.0
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KPDF

Usability review of KPDF.

Report Date April 2005
Usability Engineer Florian Graessle
Software Version KPDF 0.5 CVS
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KOrganizer

In this document, a proposal for KOrganizer's menu structure is illustrated. On the left, the Kontact 1.1 using KDE 3.4 menus are displayed, on the right, mockups of the possible future menus are shown.

Report Date May 2005
Usability Engineer Ellen Reitmayr
Software Version Kontact 1.1 using KDE 3.4.0
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Kopete

In this short usability test of the Kopete setup and first steps, potential users had to set up and configure either an ICQ or a Jabber account. We tested three users, one adrium (MacOSX) user, and two gaim (gnome) users. All of them were very experienced, both regarding IM and general computer experience (two developers, one designer).

Report Date July 2005
Usability Engineer Ellen Reitmayr
Software Version Kopete 0.10.90
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KBruch

There are a wide range of minor to major issues with KBruch, most of which have to do with the interaction and usability of the application. There are also a number of suggestions in game play and interface to help improve the application.

Most of the interface rework is for the general interface. Some of it is suggestion, in particular moving the mode buttons to the toolbar. It may end up the most effective way to present the user navigation of the different application modes is with the left document menu as previously designed. This type of navigation is commonly used throughout KDE. The major concern was the three-column layout of the document space, however there may be other ways of redesigning the mode options and displaying the user score.

It is, however strongly recommended to consider the individual task mode changes. These screenshots are implementations of possible fixes for the usability issues found in the interface.

There are no suggestions for the Factorization Task mode at this time. The general interface suggestions would apply to this mode.

Report Date October 2005
Usability Engineer Celeste Lyn Paul
Software Version KBruch from KDE 3.4
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KOffice Startup

Although the test of KOffice Starter had been made on a very early version, the results detect problematic elements. The findings reveal problems like template description and the preview area in the starter as well as incomprehensible icons in a crowded icon bar.

Report Date December 2005
Usability Engineer Katrin Gotzer
Software Version Kword 1.4 and KPresenter 1.4
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