Berlin Open Software Usability Get-Together

On Wednesday, we will have our first Open Software Usability Get-Together at the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin.

Rationale: There are many OS project members in Berlin, wishing for usability advice. And there is a strong usability scene who might want to contribute to OS projects. So why not starting a monthly get-together to introduce them to each other and encourage a long-term collaboration :-)

Today, I sent an invitation to the Berlin Usability list, and announced it on berlin at openusability org, the mailing list for these events. From KDE, Stephan Binner will attend - if more of you living around the area are interested to come, sign in to berlin at openusability org or contact me.
Topic this week will be "What is usability, how does it work, and why is it important for Open Software?". As examples for fruitful collaboration, Jan and me will show some KDE applications we've helped out during the last weeks.

Oh, and after a long time, I've added a new chapter to the human interface guidelines: Status Bars. I'd be glad to read comments, or to find volunteers to add other chapters and implementation hints :-)


Very good job for the statusbar new-HIG entry, it's complete and of quality and I learned some things.

Just three suggestion:

* The "Non-critical settings can be performed in the status bar." example show how to change units, but the label and the combobox are separated. It's bad because it's both non-beautiul (the label and the combobox both have different height, but it certainly a Qt and/or KDElibs bug) and non-instinctive because there is no ":" between the label and the combobox: we can think "Temperature" is a piece of information without any relation with the combobox.

A proposition:

| Tempreature: (Fahrenheit|v) | Energy: (kJ/mol|v) | Units: (SI-Units|v) |

Since it's an example I find useful to teach a good one.
It immediatly show the relation and is consistent with what's seen in config dialogs.

* It's not obvious that "Rational" and "Example" are clickable.
Can you make it a link, including a small (+)/(-) icon (like in KDE trees) and perhapse add a border to the appeared area so we can see it as a block and can foresee which area will be closed when clicking the [-]...
But I'm sure it's because the layout is in beta stage, so you was having that in the To Do list already.

* And as the statusbar area bevel + the combobox bevel are not beautiful, is it possible to just print the text (eg. "SI-Units") and have the little arrow, hovering this area. Of course, this should be a KDElib class to have a consistent work. Clicking this text+arrow will popup what the combobox would popup.
The combobox would then not hit the eyes all the time (the statusbar will not "seem full") and I think the arrow would be sufficient, if used consistently in KDE.

That last comment is just some thoughts... I can be wrong. It's oriented to beautifulness, the proposition I do can be counter-usable, so feel free to ignore it.

Keep up the good work,

By sebien at Mon, 06/13/2005 - 15:14

hi - thanks for your comments !

| Tempreature: (Fahrenheit|v) | Energy: (kJ/mol|v) | Units: (SI-Units|v) |

Yes, you are right. I just took a screenshot of an app without manipulating it. I'll change it and add the new screenshot :)

* It’s not obvious that “Rational

By Ellen Reitmayr at Tue, 06/14/2005 - 06:08

Excellent. May I add your blog here?:
Maybe you know of other open source people in Berlin who have blogs?

Unfortunately, I moved back to Munich.

By Murray Cumming at Tue, 06/14/2005 - 03:58

Hi murrayc,

didn't know of that one! sure, add my blog, maybe some more interested guys will show up at our OSU meeting! Thanks :)

I also know some other OS people in Berlin having blogs. Maybe I'll see them tomorrow, I'll ask them ;-)

Greetings from Berlin to Munich
*finally warm and sunny up here*


By Ellen Reitmayr at Tue, 06/14/2005 - 05:46

Unfortunately, I can't find any individual rss or atom feed for your blog here. Please let me know at [email protected] if there is one.

Update: Oh, I found it.

By Murray Cumming at Tue, 06/14/2005 - 18:23