UsabiliTeam or Usability Team is formed by all the people willing to detect and discuss usability issues on Ubuntu. Join us at UsabiliTeam at Launchpad.

What we do

Briefly: We conduct usability tests and then feedback the developers.

We conduct informal usability tests with users, to find what activities can be done at first shot with Ubuntu, and what difficulties the users find with other activities. Since the number of activities and the number of difficulties can be huge, we focus on the most relevant ones.

Then, we try to feedback the Ubuntu developers by posting these difficulties and proposing solutions through the most suitable channel.

What are relevant activities?

For us, relevant activities are those willing to be done by most of the personal computer users worldwide.

These include:

  • Edit and share documents compatible with MS Office
  • Browse and use popular websites web applications
  • Chat from MSN account to MSN accounts
  • Listen songs in MP3 format
  • Watch movies in formats DivX, DVD, QuickTime, ...

  • ...

How we do it

The goal is to watch the user acting as himself in front of the computer, and see how Ubuntu meets his needs.

Thus, we suggest to conduct the tests by doing this:

  1. Ask the user for what activities he performs often
  2. One by one, ask the user to perform them with Ubuntu
  3. When the user finds a difficulty, the observer will in this order:
    1. Write down it
    2. If after 1 minute the user is not able to workaround the difficulty, explain the user how to perform the task in question

Once we have conclusions from our notes, we generate the appropriate:

We also make questions at Ubuntu forums when in doubt or when asking for advise.


Doing the test

First of all we have to know for every user what he does regularly. This table may help:

Use of an activity

more than once a day

+ once a week

+ once a month

+ once a year


Docs, spreadsheets and slides


Web surfing


Instant messaging


Photo editing



After studying that we can start taking notes of the impressions and make him/her to test some of the most used activities: for example, create a text document and include an image. Things that this user do regularly. This table may help:


Where fails?



Create a text document and include an image


After doing that we can extract some conclusions.

Conclusions and test results

After extracting and taking notes of this conclusions in a children of this wiki page we can make with them some things:

  1. Report a bug or blueprint in launchpad

  2. Report a brainstorm

After that:

  1. After reporting it, make mock-ups or develop a patch to repair the issue and send it upstream.
  2. Put the link to the report in your conclusions page.

Important note: Search if the bug, blueprint or brainstorm exists before reporting it. If it exists, add a comment to it with your conclusions.

Extracted conclusions

Related: Usability and Idea #3001: "Ubuntu usability tests" at Ubuntu brainstorm.

UsabiliTeam (last edited 2009-11-09 09:21:42 by anothersam)