We really miss the work of Sun from early on in the gnome 2 cycle that actually performed tests and from that creating a HIG.
The problem isn't one of money but of interest and expertise.
User testing is a really tricky thing, but it can be invaluable, especially when you are doing things like gnome has been doing, but I don't think the project leads would be happy with the idea of the fate of their vision being in the hands of the dirty, dirty common man
Canonical did some studies with Unity but I am not sure it has helped with adoption.
However, he is not who I was speaking of, and I won't mention who it was. I don't think it was something that was "top secret" (i.e., you can google for it), but the gnome community has the grim tendency to form cliques.
Usability isn't about adoption, but about ease of use. Gnome had its 2.0 hig backed by research and experts (i.e., not simply coders who read a few books and decided they were experts), and it was, I think, quite successful. Whether it was b/c of the hig I can't say.
BTW, I think you realise that your final comment is a red herring, but I decided to respond to it regardless
Last edited by liam; 05-04-2013 at 04:45 AM.
I'm a demonstrator for a System Administration module at the University I study and the machines run Fedora with a CentOS VM for the students to use for their coursework. Over the few months the module has ran, nearly all of the students have had problems with using GNOME 3 and many have given up using it and access their VMs through their own laptops.
I wouldn't say GNOME 2 was the best thing since slice bread but I am completely baffled by the GNOME devs decision to essentially throw a decent DE just for their horribly misguided idea of what a "simple and easy to use" DE should be. It really does seem that the lunatics now run the asylum and I'm surprised there has been no intervention from Red Hat to try to address it.
In the case of GNOME 2.x, there was massive amount of flameworks and forks before things settled down with incremental improvemens in subsequent versions. I expect some of that pattern will repeat itself for GNOME 3.x which does have several professional UI experts involved.
It doesn't matter what the Usability Studies (tm) say, if the new workflow is worse for Me (tm).but since Linux users tend to be more technical and have adopted the UI for a specific workflow, they tend to be resistent towards any sort of new UI even if usability studies shows that it works better in general.
It's not resistance of change, it's resistance of change to a worse situation.
Depending on how studies are set up (number of participants, participant selection etc.), they can be a useful as a chocolate teapot, especially if its set up to get the answers you want to hear, not what you ought to hear.
At least the classic mode brings back some sanity but given the other issues with GNOME/GTK such as the theming and their apparent pathological need to remove useful functionality, I fear there has been a lot of damage done to the Linux ecosystem.