[scribus-dev] Thank you Scribus developers!

Ian Elwood ianelwood at riseup.net
Wed Jan 12 06:52:30 CET 2011

Please delete this last message, it was a duplicate.

On 01/11/2011 09:50 PM, Ian Elwood wrote:
> Hello developers of the wonderful and amazing open source software 
> (Free Software if RMS is listening), Scribus!
> I joined this list in hopes that I could share two stories with the 
> developers of Scribus, if this is the wrong venue please issue me a 
> swift rebuke or a gentle nudge, depending on your mood ;)  Here goes:
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Success!  Making Scribus Work in the Workplace
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am the "web guy" at a bay area nonprofit, and an open source 
> cheerleader.  My boss supports me and likes open source too.  I 
> routinely send emails to our internal list, suggesting helpful free 
> and open source tools that our campaigners can use in their work.  We 
> have moved everyone to Thunderbird and Firefox.  Recently one of my 
> coworkers came in and said something to the effect of, "Hi, I just 
> wanted to come in and say thanks.  You recommended Scribus to me and I 
> found it really easy to use.  Look, I made these postcards!"  He held 
> up a really crisp, clean looking postcard that he had made in-house 
> and sent to our printer.  We saved the cost of our (over priced) 
> designer that we usually contract, so everyone was really happy.  Success!
> --------------------------------------------------
> Fail!  Making Scribus Work in the Home
> --------------------------------------------------
> My partner (just now) was sitting across the room from me, and asked 
> if there was, "Anything like InDesign, but Open Source."  She is not 
> an Open Source nut, but listens to my evangelism every now and then.  
> The next 60 seconds of her interaction with Open Source software are 
> telling, and the crux of my story.  I told her that I recommended 
> Scribus to coworkers, and they really liked it.  I spelled the name 
> for her after repeating it a couple times (What?!  Scribe-is?  Scrib 
> Use?  Scribbus?) and she found the website with no problem, once she 
> had the spelling.  She got to the homepage, clicked Download on the 
> navigation and was redirected to Sourceforge.  For non-developers who 
> don't know what Sourceforge is, this is disorienting and raises the 
> "am I donwloading a virus?" alarm.  She had heard of Sourceforge, so 
> continued on to find the list of folders.  She was slightly confused, 
> but figured out that the one "Scribus" without the "svn" was the right 
> one. She doesn't know what SVN is, but figured this out (she is 
> studying for a PhD in something unrelated to computers, so is smart 
> and very tech-savvy but not programmer-level-savvy). Then after 
> clicking on that folder she became very confused.
> At this point (60 seconds later) she almost gave up, but narrowed down 
> the options and chose one, feeling unsure that it was right.  Then 
> there was ANOTHER LIST of (to her) seemingly random options to choose 
> from on a list.  She used process of elimination and half guessed 
> again, finding the list item with the EXE file extension.  She found 
> it very counter intuitive that the correct option was at the bottom of 
> the list -- but this is kinda besides the point, given that you don't 
> control Sourceforge's UI.
> The expected behavior that (just one user, but hopefully it helps) she 
> was looking for was to click on a large icon that says "Download" in 
> large font, perhaps to have an EXE automatically download.  Also 
> acceptable would be to click on a download icon and be directed to one 
> to three options on a subpage, that ask for your operating system.
> I think making a best guess at what the user will want when visiting 
> the webpage to download is worth it, to increase adoption of the 
> software.  If people are being driven off by usability before they 
> download the software, you are surely missing more valuable user 
> feedback that could be given by someone who has the software installed 
> already.
> I hope you take this as constructive criticism, as I said before I 
> love Scribus and recommend it regularly to coworkers, so I want to 
> make sure they have a clear path to getting it up and running on their 
> computers.  Let me know if you have any questions.
> The above mainly applies to Windows and Mac users, since folks (like 
> me) on Linux will use Synaptic, apt-get or other repository-like ways 
> of installing the software.
> Hope this helps!
> --ian--
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