bb's blog

On Usability and User Experience of Free Software

Libreoffice Design Session: Entries at Indexes and Tables

March 12th, 2015

The Libreoffice UX team presents a proposal for an improved dialog to tweak the entries of table of contents. It was the outcome of the first ‘design session’ that will be conducted regularly.

The Libreoffice UX team started last week with another type of meeting, the design session. The goal is to discuss one issue in detail along with possible solutions, mostly a mockup. This includes a clear description of the issue, functional and non-functional requirements, as well as constraints for the design. Based on these artifacts we design the mockup together via screen sharing.

Last week’s topic was the Entries tab on the dialog Indexes and Tables.

[Read the full article]

Discuss the Future of Activities and Virtual Desktops

March 11th, 2015

We ask for your feedback on a future scenario on what Activities and Virtual Desktops could evolve to.

It has been quite some time since we asked you to share your experiences with Virtual Desktops and Activities. Meanwhile we have been thinking through the enormous amount of feedback you provided. It was very inspiring. Thanks a lot for contributing!

We discussed intensively how to proceed now. We definitely want to continue to involve you into the further process. So, we thought it would be kind of boring to present simple results of the two “crowd-requirements-gathering” we did. Also it is kind of hard to respond for you to such a report.

Instead we decided to tell you a little story. And we would like to hear from you how attractive this scenario would be, if you were the actor in the story. Why do or don’t you like it? What would need to happen to make it better?

How Peter uses his Computer

Peter is a busy person, working for different customers. Privately he likes to travel and plays games. He also likes watching movies with his spouse. And for all this he uses only his laptop… [read on]

Campaign to Better Involve Users

February 24th, 2015

Sign and share our campaign to create tools that allow users to actively participate in the development of products.

User Centric Development today follows a one way communication. Whenever developers need some information, they ask the users (neglecting the problem of reaching a representative sample of users here).

The other way around is much harder – users willing to contribute to a project have to use the tools that work for us, like IRC, bugtracker, forums or mailing lists. Unfortunately these tools are extremely discouraging for normal users.

We need to change this.

We do Free Software and we want and need users to actively participate in the ongoing development. It is the only way to create great products. We hence need new tools for participation, that are made for the need of normal users.

Help us to get there and sign and share the campaign to respect user rights.

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Tracking changes with Libreoffice

February 23rd, 2015

The Libreoffice UX team shows a proposal for the management of change tracking. It intends to have a comprehensive and good-looking overview but with the flexibility to add future enhancements. Read more…


Rapid UI development for TrustBridge

February 10th, 2015

TrustBridge is a secure root certificate installer for Windows and Linux. In this article we outline the development of the User Experience.

Last year we teamed up with Intevation to create interfaces and interactions for TrustBridge. TrustBridge is a secure root certificate installer for Windows and Linux, contracted by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). And it is free software.

When we joined the project some interfaces were already done. They were mostly used to communicate with the client about the expected functionality. For this article they can be used for a before and after comparison.

Read on…



December 27th, 2014

In the last couple of weeks, we ran several surveys in order to gather user feedback on optimizations we were making to the toolbar and applications of Libreoffice. In this posting we present the results for Impress. Read more…


December 8th, 2014

On our quest for improving the concept of Virtual Desktops and Activities on the KDE Desktop, we once again ask you to share your experiences. Continue…


December 5th, 2014

On the basis of data from the user survey about KGet we show how to apply the Kano method for use in massively multi-user online surveys. Continue reading …


December 5th, 2014

We present the results of the survey how people currently make use of KGet. Read on…

How do you use Libreoffice Impress?

November 28th, 2014

Please participate in a survey about your workflow with Libreoffice Impress and how you want to have its toolbar configured by default. Read on…