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16

Good question, and impossible to answer, but here's my suggestion: 1) Pick out what you really want to improve Since you're not in control of the project yourself, this boils down to your ability to convince the right people. Also, since you're not implementing the issues yourself, you need to find a way to get other people to do something that you wants ...


6

Open Source is only as good as the people who step up to work on it -- and given what I've heard about the way Open Source work is usually done, probably quite difficult to work on UX for. Good UX is more than just an incremental improvement, and open source stuff is usually about little improvements vs. the big sweeping changes that likely need to happen ...


6

How about this? and this Also, I think that if you break down the list on the left to a few labeled logical groups, it will be a great improvement.


6

My last real job involved a lot of this kind of work. There was never an easy answer. It's just a matter of carefully looking at everything and trying to consolidate and represent every option in the most concise manner. You can then supplement the areas that need further explanation with help text. As for the Import / Export preferences, there are a ...


6

Feedback We use UserVoice for feedback. Users get 10 votes each and can create or vote on something (an idea, bug report, critique, etc) and assign up to 3 votes to each item. Once they're out of 10 votes they can't do anything until we close or complete an item they voted on, at which point their points for that item are refunded. It works great as a way ...


6

Check out Skype's Screen Sharing feature (it's free). I'm planning on using Skype for this very purpose in a couple months. I'll be writing a "Skype Screen Sharing with Steve" blog post to try to encourage participation. I'm thinking the invitation should be up front about the fact that you're looking for feedback and are curious about uncovering ...


5

I had this problem as well a short while ago. What I did was write out a list of tasks and have participants record a screencast of themselves doing them, while thinking out loud. Later on when you watch the screencast, if there are parts that you would want them to re-do, you could ask them to do a second round. What is the advantage for you in ...


5

Read Steve Krug's Rocket Surgery Made Easy. It explains in plain English how you can do usability testing on a shoestring budget (or for free!) by using a common sense approach. It's been known for years that usability testing can dramatically improve products. But with a typical price tag of $5,000 to $10,000 for a usability consultant to ...


4

Google Hangouts On Air allow to share your screen and the resulting video is automatically uploaded to YouTube. It has the advantage that tests can be done/viewed remotely, but you need internet connection and resulting resolution is not optimal. The service is free but not opensource. Wink provides time-based and action-based capture of user actions. Since ...


3

Variants Basically, what Steve said. Just a few variants to consider: The advantage of all these solutions: you can leave your dialog as is, you just need to build a table Dialog ID - Control ID - Help Text. This usually beats all alternatives. My general approach Generally, I advocate to avoid preferences: move preferences that affect processing ...


3

You might like the answers to these questions: What are some great web-based prototyping tools? Which prototyping tools?


3

You might want to talk to some of the existing groups that are trying to improve the UX of open source software. Take a look at http://openusability.org/ or http://drupal.org/community-initiatives/drupal-core/usability.


2

Google analytics and clicktale. Everytime I open up clicktale and watch user videos I find new problems. The heat and scrollmaps alone are invaluable. Of course, nothing beats real usability testing!


2

For getting UI feedback do "hallway usability testing" - just grab a random victim, hm, I mean person that was unlucky enough to pass nearby (friend, family, coworker, delivery man whatever, just not another developer working on the same system) have him/her sit in front of your computer and complete some random task with the app while you are watching. You ...


2

There is one project (Open Usability) which is trying to fill the gap between programmers and usability experts in the open source world. But I am not sure how active it still is. Many projects started because a programmer wanted to fulfil his needs. Because he didn't find the exact software he was looking for. So there is usually no interest in making it ...


2

The poor UX of many OSS projects is down to a whole stack of different reasons. Including off the top of my head: Few folk with UX skills getting involved Few UX folk with the skill sets necessary to contribute to many OSS projects (the fundamental unit of collaboration in many OSS projects is code. Without the ability to do some coding UX folk cannot ...


1

If you are looking to contribute to open-source projects, its probably helpful to know what skills you have. A solid understanding of User Interfaces combined with some basic understanding of HTML+CSS will be benficial. Look at what open source projects you currently use, and examine what could be improved. Never talk about things which are "wrong" as many ...


1

Have a look at this Boxes and Arrows article: http://boxesandarrows.com/bringing-holistic-awareness-to-your-design/ The challenge with teams, large ones especially, is to promote holistic understanding of the project. The article argues that the quality of the project and the user satisfaction is influenced consistently by how invested and informed each ...


1

I believe qTrace is the tool that fit to your needs. Besides, you can easily submit the defect to bug tracker system such as Bugzilla, Jira ... Also, qTrace file could be generated into Word or PDF for easily reviewing or editing. Capturing actions on browsers (FF, Chrome, and IE) comes to its strength.


1

Jing is a very popular utility in the usability industry.


1

Wink is great software one more very interesting software which most of us are not using or not aware is, with WIN7 there is software called PROBLEM STEPS RECORDER - free tool which comes with Win 7 - records screen by screen - output will be document - this is great to record walkthrough of application while discussing with customers/clients


1

This sounds a lot like the question on Software to record a user completing a task. I think my answer of selenium would work for you too as you're recording a browser. As their website states: "Selenium IDE is a Firefox add-on that records clicks, typing, and other actions to make a test, which you can play back in the browser."


1

Free? Most of the apps listed in this question have a free account, but you'll have to pay for more space/users/etc. Real free are Pencil and Google Draw using this stencil.


1

If you're interested in business, perhaps getting involved in the design of an open source Point-Of-Sale system could be useful. To properly critique it you would have to go through and learn how to set up and configure a system, which would be a marketable skill in and of itself. This blog post lists ten that you might try: ...


1

This question also addresses a larger issue that FOSS projects, and all corporations face: how to weed out bad suggestions and ill-informed UI opinions from truly useful ones. Design documentation and previous Q&A you can point to (like idea torrent) is your first line of defense. Bill Fulton works on this a lot, I touched on it in this blog post (he ...


1

Google Hangouts On Air is a good option for remote usability testing. It provides screensharing capabilities, allows uses to easily re-connect and the recording is automatically uploaded to YouTube. The video quality for the recording is not the best, but is good enough to see what is going on if you know the prototype you are testing. We create and ...



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