[GRASS-dev] GRASS in a usability review
wolf+grass at bergenheim.net
Fri Feb 15 13:11:08 EST 2008
On 15.02.2008 17:23, Michael Barton wrote:
> In theory, a usability study would be very helpful. But (big caveat), I
> worry about results from someone who doesn't understand GIS. This
> concern comes from several years of fielding well-meaning suggestions
> (often the same ones repeated) from newbys to GRASS about why don't we
> have x--when a GIS simply doesn't do x?
I believe we can maybe educate the would be usability student, just like
in SoC. The student's in the SoC last year didn't have any background in
GIS, and I think the results were very good despite that. I don't think
that we should be so scared of ignorance that we would pass this
opportunity, it is simply a matter of education.
> GIS doesn't operate like a word processor or spreadsheet. So it's
> difficult to evaluate how useable a GIS is unless you know what a GIS is
> supposed to do.
Of course, but some things are universal, like when you do X you can
expect Y. And re-use of UI elements like color selection. Also things
like button placement and functionality can be maybe considered. I'm in
no way a usability expert, not even close, but I've heard many comments
about how hard GRASS is to use, and I think that with a good usability
design we can maybe lower the learning curve a bit.
> Within those parameters, I think a usability study is a good idea. I
> remember a year or so ago, a users made a very good suggestion that we
> not have menus more than 2 levels deep and that menu item names should
> be shorter. This was difficult to do, given GRASS's complexity. But
> having done it, I think it helped usability a lot.
Yes, I agree. It is a lot better, but I believe it could be made even
<:3 )---- Wolf Bergenheim ----( 8:>
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