A Survey of Usability Practices in Free/Libre/Open Source Software
- Cite this paper as:
- Paul C.L. (2009) A Survey of Usability Practices in Free/Libre/Open Source Software. In: Boldyreff C., Crowston K., Lundell B., Wasserman A.I. (eds) Open Source Ecosystems: Diverse Communities Interacting. OSS 2009. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol 299. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
A review of case studies about usability in eight Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects showed that an important issue regarding a usability initiative in the project was the lack of user research. User research is a key component in the user-centered design (UCD) process and a necessary step for creating usable products. Reasons why FLOSS projects suffered from a lack of user research included poor or unclear project leadership, cultural differences between developer and designers, and a lack of usability engineers. By identifying these critical issues, the FLOSS usability community can begin addressing problems in the efficacy of usability activities and work towards creating more usable FLOSS products.