Friday, November 2, 2012

And then there were three

Earlier this week, I wrote about the two candidates for good usability that I will use in my usability study. After some discussion, I've decided to add Firefox back on the list of programs to examine. This now means I'll do a usability study of three successful open source programs, instead of two.

When I asked for suggestions of programs to include in the study, many folks recommended a web browser - specifically Chrome and Firefox. But I was concerned that the ubiquity of these programs on other platforms (Mac, Windows) could mean we wouldn't be testing the usability of these programs during the usability test, but rather how well the testers navigate these browsers on another platform.

But there's a lot to be learned by exploring the usability of Firefox. Just because the usability testers might already be familiar with Firefox shouldn't be a reason to exclude a program that so many people recommended as a candidate for good usability. So it's in.

As a reminder, the three programs that I will study:

  1. Gedit (a text editor)
  2. Nautilus (a file manager)
  3. Firefox (a web browser)

We'll start usability testing next week. My next step is to craft scenarios for each, which we will use in the usability test.

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