Is the total obliviousness to user experience by people who make open-source software:

@mdhughes @ishiku

OSS isn't written to please users. It isn't even written for the money users might pay you if you please them. It's written to please coders.

In particular, the coders who wrote it.

If users like it too then that's nice, but they are not why it exists.

I don't know much about "User Experience" as a field, but to me it seems that user experience is necessarily subjective, and will depend on the target audience.

Also, considering that:
- I have no idea what normal people do, how they think, etc. They seem alien to me.
- I have no idea if anyone other than me will ever use that software.
- Any model "Joe User" I could imagine with will be inaccurate as fuck, and making decisions based on "what would Joe User want" will make...

...the software unusable by anyone.

This leaves me with one option: make the decisions based on how _I_ would want to use that software. That way at least one user will be happy.

I'm not sure how many OSS developers this applies to, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So to answer your poll:
It's not caused by writing OSS, nor is it necessary to write OSS. It's has a common cause to writing OSS, but you didn't provide that option.

So I selected "Aliens did it." Because to me, y'all are aliens.

@Wolf480pl User Experience isn't that subjective, it just takes the scientific method, a lab, and a decent sample of people who you expect to be users. There's good procedures for this, just like double-blind experiments.

Other than doing your own, you can spend a lot of time reading and watching presentations about UX and good design by people who have done that research.

@mdhughes but that still requires knowing who will be your users, and having a study targeting that particular group.

@Wolf480pl Yep, it takes money and effort to do good UX, or at least some research to get by. And I think the decision to do OSS is what leads people to skimp on the research… But I also want to see where the poll goes.

@mdhughes but you know what is the alternative to doing OSS? The alternative is not making commercial software. The alternative is playing games or watching movies. The alternative is living a passive life and never making your dreams come true.

@Wolf480pl No, you can make good software on your own time. It just takes discipline and effort, sometimes investment… and then you will want to get paid for it. It's called "indie development".

@mdhughes hmm... maybe. I guess some people wouldn't feel bad about writing closed-source software.

@Wolf480pl @mdhughes
I'm getting more and more convinced that there should be an obligatory course in psychology in computer science curriculum.

I can't count how many times,
- guessing what management would want if they knew what they should want,
- or anticipating what problems end users will have and what the plan to react to these should be

is simply an untold part of job description.

@glaurungo @Wolf480pl We had a Systems Analysis segment in an early CS class, and it was basically that, though focused on business environments. Everything else I had to learn by reading Jacob Nielson, Alan Cooper, and watching Apple design presentations.

@mdhughes @Wolf480pl I wanted to go into an elective about design, but it was a lie of a subject, and instead of app design they wanted to make 3D object and talk about modern art. So that didn't go as planned. (I took a different subject)

I don't think there was a single subject that touched UX/design, or actually managing software brand on a whole university.

Well, many "professional companies" don't do a good job in these either, so I can hardly blame OSS developers.

@glaurungo @Wolf480pl This is the main selling point of those multi-thousand-dollar conference passes, getting good design training (and hitting the labs to talk to company-paid designers) even if it's for just a few days.

@mdhughes @Wolf480pl
Not something an OSS dev would easily afford.

Well. Even for proprietary software which is sold, that seems like a pricy way.

@cn @mdhughes
Good code is kinda easy (in theory).
Easy to read, runs fast, doesn't crash.
But what the hell is good UX?
How is that defined?
I honestly have no clue.

@rgh @cn See previous comment. I expect this is a gaping hole in a lot of developers' educations.

@mdhughes @cn I only started to code 2 years ago 😋.
Totally unhindered by any knowledge or education.
But what I wanted just wasn't available on Linux and I thought. F#ck that, I'll do it myself.
And now I'm thinking, how easy can I make it for the user.
How will they use it?
What widgets would be grouped where?
Etc, etc.
For completeness :
And I know, the code isn't that easy to read 😁

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