User Testing in Open Source

Distributed User Testing in Open Source

In open source, teams are often distributed and have variable resources and experience. It can be helpful to provide a library of testing procedures, reporting templates, etc. for the team. These resources can be used to train team members on user testing processes and procedures, and give them the tools to perform user testing at their location.

Examples of Open Source projects' usability efforts:

Information on integrating User Testing with Open Source projects:

Communicating User Testing Results to the Community

  • In the Fluid Project, there are there are three audiences of user testing results:
    • Fluid UX Team: Co-ordinate the existing UX team (acts as a kind of "Jira" of usability issues)
    • Fluid Developers: Allow developers to see UX problems for themselves and hopefully create some momentum around solving UX problems.
    • 'Greater UX Community': Provide a way for people who are interested in UX work in general to get quick information about the status of our projects, and ultimately get more people involved in the UX process.
  • Publishing results and artifacts from user testing online. This will allow communication between UX experts between institutions, and also provide a channel for the developer community to "see things happening" within the UX group. This transparency will help to integrate UX practices into the Open Source community.
  • Give developer community direct access to design rationale and testing "highlight reel" (e.g. watching a user having trouble using a particular UI)
  • Provide these materials in easy-to-read formats (HTML, PDF)

Agile Development and Usability Testing

Some great resources which discuss where usability fits in an agile workflow: