Results of a UDS Jaunty session about changes to the upgrade manager to notify when you're upgrading applications that are currently running. Not "the notification system" per se.

Cognitive Walkthrough

  • Looks at the learnability of an application or interface
    • Only one aspect of usability
    • An important one
  • Set of steps of that we look between the interactions
    • Can we tell a plausable story between these steps
    • If there is no story, we take a note and continue onward
  • Example:
    • Printing from an app (watch the video)
    • Logging out from the desktop (watch the video)
  • What we don't do:
    • No Design
    • No defending your design (if you failed at point one)
    • No debating cognative theory
    • No filling in design gaps (see point one)
  • Rolls
    • Note potential learnability issues:

***No desigining, no defending design, no cognitive theory ***

learnability problems

  • Scenario 3 (web surfing, updates available, including to firefox)
    • Suppose many applications running and it's hard to notice update manager pulsing on the bottom
    • What does the "close" button do? -- expecting "install updates now" or "install updates later"
      • what if I dont' want to install updates
    • user may not know that installing updates is a good thing to do
    • user might not know if it's important to install these updates now or later
      • - a real choice between "will this interrupt me, make me reboot, hog my network/cpu, etc"
    • may not know cost of updating
      • will it slow down the computer?
      • will they need to restart programs?
      • will they need to restart the computer?
    • Is it trusted that updates are coming from Ubuntu?
      • People coming from other systems may have a bad experience of updates
    • Once I've clicked install updates:
      • Does cancel skip the firefox update or all of them?
      • Does someone know what firefox is vs "web browser" (use of "FireFox" vs "FireFox Web Browser")

        • what if they're browsing but don't know what "Firefox" is?
      • is it ok for them to work on something else? (eg thunderbird being updated too)
      • how does user know what else is safe to work on? (most apps work fine, firefox is a big exception)
      • how does user know that it's safe to open FireFox open again, especially if it's not currently running

        • - how to tell user not to open it if it's not running
    • Once updates complete, user hits Update manager, enters alert box
      • User might not completely know what updates complete means (need restart?), eg that they've made progress
    • multiple desktops

Design ideas

  • Scenario 3
    • Title of the window could be "Updates Available" -- could change name when focused
    • A "Remind me Later" button so they can dismiss the updates and know that it will come back later
    • a "Consequences" list box shows Each Application Affected, Firefox ect. and posible time frame for update)
    • Change the name from "security updates" when security updates are available "Security"
    • Overview or introduction of the consequence of updating (cost of updating in terms of time, security, network, etc.) and information that this is Ubuntu requesting ubuntu updates, this isn't random software popping up
    • If an update is going to need a piece of software to close or restart, make the user close the app directly, don't let the application continue and potentially close with unsaved changes or act wonky with half updated code
    • "Skip" button(s?) for skipping individual updates
    • Show whether something will need restarting in the primary window, instead of in an alert
    • Show the download/install progress status in the same window, possibly in a modal fashion
    • download (but not install) everything before asking to close firefox
    • "iTunes cannot be started because it is being updated." -- user manually closes iTunes after being told to and manually starts it afterwards
    • "Applications may act strangely until you restart them."
    • Show "Updates are complete" as a notification bubble instead of an alert, or in the main window
    • Offer to restart Firefox when done, or at least tell you that you can

Design gaps

  • Scenario 3
    • Handle notifying when too many windows are open
    • Title of the window, what should it be?
    • What will happen when we install the updates? What's the imapact on my work?
    • Do I need to do it now?
    • How do we handle multiple programs needing closing or action on
    • Or if FireFox is the only thing being updated (skip becomes meaningless)

    • Firefox may put up its own confirmation alert intercepting the quit, without the context that it's part of the update process
    • how do we prevent people from opening Firefox if they weren't running it when they started the update?
    • how do we tell the user that it's ok to open it up again after the process has finished
    • What happens on a multi-user system when someone else is running (or is switched out) while a program they're running is updated?
    • Haven't gone through all the terminology
    • What happens if the user restarts part way through the process


Most of these ideas were adopted in the new design for software updates.

DesktopUsabilityFeedbackNotification (last edited 2012-07-02 11:33:54 by mpt)