Home > Linux > Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Usability Concerns from Architect Fantasy

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Usability Concerns from Architect Fantasy

October 25, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

A new blog, Architect Fantasy, has a brilliant article on minor usability issues in Ubuntu 7.10 that detract from the overall user experience. From the article:

“Your average computer user might never say that they find the flicker at the start of the Operating System a bit daunting or cheap looking, but when they switch between an OSX desktop and a Linux desktop subconsciously the fluid interface does register in their mind. The result of that is all the praise we hear about the gorgeous OSX interface.”

I have to say I do agree wholeheartedly with all points raised in the article and perhaps could add a few thoughts of my own:-

  • During the installer the Select Time Zone dialog doesn’t list London in the location drop-down, but does show London on the map, but only if you zoom in first.
  • Absolutley requiring a password to be entered for gnome-keyring to unmask my wireless networking key is counter-productive, i.e. I should be able to boot my laptop and have network access without having to enter a password at any stage.
  • I believe a new user to Gnome will have difficulty distinguishing between ‘System->Preferences’ and ‘System-Administration’. In fact, I’m still never sure in which to look.
  • It’s been said so many times, but there should be a 1-click way of changing the orange/brown colour scheme to a different colour. My fiancée looking over my shoulder didn’t particularly like the colour scheme and I couldn’t show her a straightforward way of changing it — I know, I know, change the control set to ‘Clearlooks’ first, but that is difficult for a novice user to understand.

Oh and I’m not Ubuntu/Gnome-bashing, I love Ubuntu! This is just an attempt to jot down some of the frustrations myself and others have experienced.

No operating system is perfect, but the number of user experience issues in Ubuntu certainly does outnumber OSX. To be fair, Apple have just a bit more dosh to spend. (And yet certainly Microsoft have never quite got the user experience right even with America’s richest man at the helm.)

Perhaps I should just stop whining and start committing…

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