Open Usability
Jan Muehlig, CEO, relevantive AG

Track: Web
Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2006
Time: 16:15 - 16:55
Location: Salon Versailles

Usability is one of the main challenges for open source software, especially on the Desktop. While OSS projects have highly successful and well-proven models for code cooperation, the integration of usability is still in its beginning.

The OpenUsability project aims at finding effective means to make usability a significant part of OSS development and, thus, enhance the adaptation, usage, and success of open source software. It consists of two main parts: attracting usability experts to OSS development and increasing the acceptance of usability within the developer community. It finds, evaluates, refines, and establishes workflows, tools, and engineering methods that respect motivations and gratifications for all participants.

In the session Muehlig will introduce several projects and different ways of integration usability into their development process—including success stories, things that did not work, constraints and challenges, oddities—from projects like KDE, GIMP, or Wikipedia. Where possible, rules and recommendations for successfully integrating usability into OSS projects will be given.

Bottom line, there is one conclusion: OSS has the potential to one day be superior to closed source software because of its usability.