Many engineering teams in the Ubuntu world have made extensive use of User Testing in the last years. This is an important reality check for everyone defining the experience of users. Do my assumptions still hold true? What do users expect? Are there use-cases we never considered? Which steps confuse our users?
The Ubuntu developers, so everyone who builds Ubuntu, integrates pieces to work nicely with each other, maintains packages and produces the distribution we all love, everyone is interested in this kind of feedback.
User testing of the Ubuntu Development process has, if it happened, always been ad-hoc and isolated. This is the reason why we want to look into this again and figure out which parts of the work-flows need to be improved.
Have you thought about contributing to Ubuntu Development before? Did you like the thought of helping improve the distribution millions of users love? If you did, you might be interested in this User Testing initiative. You will only have to read our documentation and send your feedback to . We in turn will make sure your feedback is put up for discussion and fixed eventually. Also will we will help you on your way if you should get stuck.
This initiative is not to be confused with mentoring. We are not going to do your homework for you or package your app. :-) Instead this will provide a great way for you to get started where you can share your experience with Ubuntu developers, who can help you along, while you provide valuable feedback. Your feedback will be treated confidentially and only published in an anonymised and summarised fashion.
What you need to do? Simple:
- Send a mail to introducing yourself.
- Read the Ubuntu Development documentation and start fixing Ubuntu bugs.
- Let us know how it goes.
This is an experiment we will do until the release of Ubuntu 12.04 (April 26th). This should give us food for thought for the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit and depending on the success of the initiative, we will continue it.
Follow @ubuntudev on twitter.com, identi.ca, Google+ or facebook.com to find out more about this initiative and others.