On wednesday Will and me visited the Usability Symposium 2009 of the Network for User Oriented Software Design, a group which consists mainly of people from the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences here in Nuernberg and people from local companies such as Astrum. It was the first symposium of this group and they gave three presentations about software usability.
One of the presentations were given by Evamaria Fuchs and Dr. Sigi Olschner, both former SUSE employees who worked in the usability lab. They presented about the development of the KDE KickOff menu that we shipped in version 10-something for KDE 3. Its successor became the KDE 4 default menu. Eva and Sigi presented how consequent usability work which goes along with the development effort can improve the quality measurable. They also gave a very good insight on free software and open source development in general, taking into account that most people from the audience did not have any experience with it. It was a very nice talk.
While Will was presenting KDE 4 to some interested people Sigi gave me some lessons on how to set up and use the eye tracking device that we have in the Boosters team now. We certainly need another lesson and much more knowledge about usability in general but that was a good start – thank you Sigi 🙂
Usability experts out there – our Eye Tracker is ready to be used by you for the good of free software! I am wondering when we will have the first session where we try to examine user experience of our software with that device.