Charline's Icon Usability Study

On Friday at the GNOME London UX Hackfest, Charline from Canonical gave us some details on an icon usability study she had run recently for the Launchpad icon set. Here’s my notes from the session: Methodology The study was done as a surveymonkey.com survey. The study was for Launchpad, so a link to the survey was posted to Launchpad’s blog to attract Launchpad users. After 3 days, the survey had gathered 125 respondents. The icons were presented in context, since the context would inform the user’s interpretation of the icon in real usage Then users were asked to help interpret what each icon meant First question: “this icon means….” and asked the user to fill out, free-form Second question: “i have the following percentage of confidence in my answer” so we can tell how much of a guess it was on the user’s part or how sure they were of their interpretation. Third: “when do you expect to find this icon?” Then, users were asked to provide a second / alternate interpretation of the icon, filling out the same three fields for it: this icon means… percentage certainty/confidence…. where do you expect to find Lessons Learned You can’t do more …

The one where the designers ask for a pony

One of the topics Garrett made sure to bring up at the GNOME London UX Hackfest was how us designers could continue to collaborate after the hackfest was over. This has been a recurring issue, as us designers meet every year or so, at GUADEC, at UX hackfests, or at GNOME Boston Summits (or even other FLOSS events like LinuxTag) and we get some great collaborate work done during the events – but it peters off after we get settled in back home after the events. On Friday morning Hylke, Garrett, jimmac, and myself had a discussion with the developers in the room to explain the kinds of FLOSS tools we felt we’d need to be able to collaborate on designs more effectively when we’re remote from each other. This broke down into two main sets of needs: Challenge A: Designer <=> Designer collaboration tools Jimmac, Garrett, and Hylke have been using DropBox as a method of sharing design work (SVGs, PNGs for icons and UI mockups) for a whlie now. It’s been a quite effective tool for them to use, but as they pointed out, it is not open source and they would prefer to use a FLOSS tool. …