These pages are concerned with Usability-issues of eGroupware. They are used to give you an insight into our goals and the current status of our work. Furthermore they are used to organize the work of the usability-group (see Projects).
If you want to see the ongoing discussion about usability in eGroupWare please join our (moderated) mailing list: email@example.com
- Basics of similarities between core-applications (user tasks!)
As one can see in the StyleGuide and DevelGuide and the old pages of the UsabilityTeam, there are just a a few coding standards and some notes to where to place buttons or headers. But there is more to Usability than this. Furthermore the user's view on his tasks is just implicitly covered. Every programmer has his own interpretation of these tasks, so the guidelines result in a cluttered-looking interface (as of eGroupWare v1.2-2).
The Usability group, together with the core developers, will try to build a new, more consistent user interface for eGroupWare. We'll incorporate the view of different users, possibly differing experience with computers, etc.
We'll not build another application but will incorporate the existing core-applications into a coherent framework, that'll allow a proper work-flow within eGroupWare. This will include lots of work and re-work on the GUI. We don't know the best solution, but we'll give our best to find out.
Some statements on usability (captured from Alcapond on #egroupwareusability at irc.freenode.net)
1. Usability is process
- this means that we do not know the solution, we have ways to identify weaknesses and we can generate ideas, how to improve these weaknesses
- but there are no guarantees - that is why usability is process
- we are kind of the advocates of the users
2. Usability is pedantic
- this means that we look for small things and change around at these, where every developer would long say "it is fine" :)
3. Usability guys are no developers
- we might have ideas, we insist on, that might not be easy to realise, some seem even impossible
4. Usability guys need to work closely with the developers
- Usability is part of the process
- meaning, we should not try to optimize areas where no developer is going to change ny code in the next time
5. Usability is art, craft and science
- meaning that we need to know the newest knowledge about how people interact with computers,
- that we have tools we use
- and that we need some creative insiprations for finding really usable solutions :)