I had a chance to meet some people during ACM-SIGCHI conference last
week in Minneapolis. This group of people is interested in creating a
new SIG within the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) which will
discuss ways and issues on usability for Open Source Software.
One example of this effort is the GNOME desktop usability project,
which can be found at http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/.
In their article "Why GNOME Hackers Should Care about Usability"
raised valid points and issues regarding to their desktop user
UC Berkley does a usability studies on StarOffice (I don't have the
URL or progress report on this.)
Anyway, I think this might serve our interest to get involved in
usability issues, either as the users or developers. This hopefully
will help promoting OSS to a wider audience (not only the Systems
people, but also other users such as Reference librarians or
Catalogers or even library users such as students, faculties, and
A mailing list for this purpose was created. Anybody who is
interested in the usability issues on OSS can send an email to
nancy.frishberg@... with subject _Usability SIG_ and she will
include your email address in the distribution list. No need to be an
ACM member to join this list.
Or we can also have discussions on usability issues through this
mailing list if it fits within the oss4lib m-list purpose.
S. G. Ranti Junus
M.S. Library and Information Science
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign