Novell Promotes Better Linux Desktops

Tuesday Oct 11th 2005 by Sean Michael Kerner
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A new initiative offers developers a wealth of usability testing to improve the Linux desktop experience for all.

A new initiative from Novell seeks to unlock a better Linux desktop experience by helping developers better understand how the desktop is used.

The Better Desktop initiative officially launched Monday as part of Novell's community-driven openSUSE project.

The Better Desktop site provides a wealth of usability test data, as well as analysis of various Linux desktop use cases. The site also contains video footage of use cases as well as a description of how to conduct an efficient usability test lab.

Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, Novell director of marketing for Linux and open source, said the opportunity for developers to watch video clips of users playing with different designs illustrates ''the raw underbelly of software design''.

''The motivation for us doing this is that it takes a lot of time, effort and money to diligently create usability trials,'' Mancusi-Ungaro told internetnews.com. ''We thought it would be a good contribution to the open source community building better Linux desktops if we made all this information public.''

Mancusi-Ungaro explained that whether a user is using Firefox or Open Office, there are lessons to be learned that apply across multiple applications.

''Our belief is that the things that users stumble on have a lot of horizontal applicability,'' Mancusi-Ungaro said.

This article was first published on internetnews.com. To read the full article, click here.

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