Projects/Usability/Reports/2006

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Filebrowser Screening Test

In a screening test on file browsing behaviour, 21 participants were interviewed on their habits and preferences regarding file management. Six out of the 21 participants then conducted a usability test with Konqueror, the KDE file manager.

Report Date January 2006
Usability Engineer Ellen Reitmayr
Software Version Konqueror from KDE 3.4
Download Document Link to file...

Accessibility Meets Usability Weekend

In user tests with three partially sighted and two blind users, the accessibility features of KDE and Gnome were tested. As a general conclusion we found that while both KDE and Gnome provide very good tools to make the Linux desktop usable for partially sighted and blind users, they are lacking consistent support among the major desktop applications. In KDE, key applications like the text editor Kate or the shell Konsole did not apply high contrast colour schemes; in Gnome, the contents of crucial tools like the software installation (Ubuntu) could not be read by Gnopernicus and were therefore "invisible" for the blind users.

The Accessibility meets Usability Weekend strengthened the collaboration between accessibility and usability in KDE and resulted in a number of guidelines and concepts.

Report Date May 2006
Usability Engineers Ellen Reitmayr and Tina Trillitzsch
Software Version KDE 3.5 in Ubuntu 5.10
Download Document Link to file...

Amarok Usability Report

After a short heuristic evaluation of Amarok, a total of 41 usability issues were found. Only 8 issues of low severity were found, 11 were marked medium, and the remaining 22 issues considered highly severe.

Most of the issues were related to design flaws. The application was not tested for task-oriented usability. Even though the application functioned properly from a technical perspective, attention should be given to a more aesthetic user interface design in the future.

Report Date May 2006
Usability Engineer Chi Shang Cheng
Software Version Amarok in SVN May 2006
Download Document Link to file...

Kivio User Research

The purpose of this user survey was to get insights into Kivio's major user base, their tasks and needs. Learning more about the usage of diagramming tools, the context of diagram creation and application, as well as the required preciseness were important questions in this scope. Based on this information, the survey should allow us to illustrate typical usage patterns, and to learn about feature relevance and priorities. It should help us to determine if the features planned in the scope of Kivio's redesign are important to users.

Also, the survey aimed at determining the users' opinions about Kivio and evaluate the differences to other diagramming applications. Reasons for prominence and gaps should be identified and considered in the future work on Kivio. Finally, the survey should give us widespread information about users of diagramming applications which may be used for persona creation. This includes where they live, their age and gender, education and how experienced they are with computers and with creating diagrams.

Based on the survey, the major use cases for Kivio were validated, and Personas for the four major user groups were created by means of a cluster analysis.

Report Date May 2006
Usability Engineers Ellen Reitmayr and Tina Trillitzsch
Software Version Not Applicable
Download Document Link to file...

KDE4 Human Interface Guidelines Document Research

The KDE4 Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) is a document which is meant to be a reference guide to developers and usability specialists. It has a unique audience: developers who are very analytical, adept with technology, and sometimes skeptical about ideas opposite of their own; and usability specialists and designers who know a lot of about users but not so much about code.

A survey and card sorting activity were conducted to gather information about the target users of the document, and their mental model for organizing guidelines-related content.

Report Date June and July 2006
Usability Engineer Celeste Lyn Paul
Software Version Not Applicable
Download Document Link to file...

Kaffeine Usability Report

After a short heuristic evaluation of Kaffeine, a total of 40 usability issues were found. Only 5 issues of high severity were found, 20 were marked medium, and the remaining 15 issues considered lowly severe. Most of the issues were related to unnecessary complexity of the user interface. The application was not tested for task-oriented usability. Even though the application functioned properly from a technical perspective, attention should be given to a more aesthetic user interface design in the future.

Report Date July 2006
Usability Engineer Chi Shang Cheng
Software Version Kaffeine 0.8.1 with the Polyester theme7 and the nuoveXT icon set
Download Document Link to file...

Ideas for a Redesign of What's This Help

The What's This Help is planned to be redesigned for KDE 4. The concept described in this document summarises the considerations of accessibility, documentation and usability people regarding the requirements of a What's This help which is both accessible, discoverable and usable for future users.

Report Date July 2006
Usability Engineers Ellen Reitmayr, Olaf Schmidt and Philip Rodrigues
Software Version Not Applicable
Download Document Link to file...

NEPOMUK Deliverable D11.1: Mandriva Community Scenario Report

Deliverable 11.1 of the EU-funded NEPOMUK project. The research subject is the large on-line community of Mandriva Linux users.

This report presents a state of the art, a business case, a series of user requirements and of assessment criteria related to the case study. The reported work has been guided by the following methodology:

  • the end users have been directly involved in the process of defining the scenarios and the requirements of the target system,
  • a coordination task force bringing together all the case studies has made sure the findings are presented in a coherent manner,
  • although the study focuses on the case of the Mandriva Linux community, the findings and the requirements remain generic enough for a potential reuse by other communities with similar needs.
Report Date September 2006
Usability Engineer Cristian Bogdan, Kristina Groth, Pär Lannerö - not from the KDE UX team but from the human computer interaction group of the KTH University in Stockholm
Software Version Mandriva Linux with KDE, Mandriva Community Page
Download Document D11-1-v12-NEPOMUK-Mandriva at Scribd.com

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