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Hi Björn!

Am Donnerstag, den 16.06.2011, 13:29 +0200 schrieb Björn Balazs:
(sorry for evtentual double posting - got the wrong mail-account before...)

No worries, we have a rather "forgiving" (a.k.a ignorant) mail delivery
system ;-)

Hi Christoph, Phil, dror, *

The discussion goes excatly into the right direction - but I would like to 
actually do things step by step, and not not doing anything right now because 
there is a far goal we would like to reach sometime. So please slow down and 
take it one step at a time :)

Hehe, I'm relaxed :-)

What do I mean?

The first step would be to actually start talking to users. This is what I 
try to intend right now. This should be purely voluntary, un-obstrusive and 
will for sure be biased in the one or the other way. But it is also done 
without great effort from our side.

This way we can gain experiences with talking to our users. 

In the course of these surveys we can then (user-centrically) evaluate the 
acceptance of other ways of involving users into the development.

As it has been discussed in this thread this mainly divides into two 
- We will need to install a direct feedback into LibO. This should aim at 
users reporting problems, wishes, but also positive feedback and targets all 
existing users. The trigger for communication here is the user.
- We will need to install one or more ways to quickly solve questions arising 
during development, e.g. to user-centrically decide between two options. The 
target here are existing as well as potential users. The trigger for 
communication here is the (UI-)development team.

These are channels of communication between users and developers. On these 
channels communication needs to be goal directed, as dror mentions. So each 
survey needs a goal and needs to be quality assured in order to not-piss-off 
participating users (They will be lost forever!).

To pick up other examples: 
- If we want to do online focus-groups, we can recruit participants via these 
- If we want to set up a group of lead-users, we can recruit them via... well 
you know :)

But it does not stop there. We will e.g. need a way to store and handle the 
incoming data. So doing anything just quick and dirty will not work out in 
the end. So my advice is to slowly but steadily go on on this topic.

I read your mail about five times now, and I don't want to split your
thoughts ... so I simply add my statements here.

First, my thoughts originated from the experience with -
using the online user surveys, the usage tracking, some templates
analysis, ... even evaluating brainstorming sites and even more
specialized ideas of "talking" with users.

The sum of these tools / methods / procedures already covered many needs
of the User Experience team and the development (just for the record:
once in place, Oracle intended to buy Sun and these topics were less
visible to the public). With LibreOffice, we have a slightly different
situation here - although we can still use some of the acquired
information for our needs (assuming that our user base didn't change
that much).

In our current situation, I do consider some of these tools (speaking of
the tool only) more interesting than others. Interesting means the
ability of answering our most urgent questions in the required quality,
the effort for establishing, maintaining and using the tools, by keeping
a certain degree of versatility. Knowing about the difficulty and the
required time to set this up properly, I'm still interested to kick-off
things as early as possible (but without rush, of course).

That apart, your reply and Dror's statements made me aware that:
      * the importance and urgency of some of the "open questions"
        differs (I may have a different perception than Bernhard has,
        than Italo has, than ...)
      * the status and availability of "last decade" information and
        infrastructure seems to be less known
      * ...

Thus, I propose to collect the available information and to - if
possible - lay out a (rough) strategy what we want to archive.
Concerning the "how we did it in the past", I'll jump in as good as I
can (officially, I'm still in the parental leave *g*).

If you - the team - agrees, I would very much like to volunteer and take 
responsibility to drive this process step-by-step towards the far goal of 
establishing a good communication between team and user - or even better: 
make the users part of the team. 

Since I have no doubt that this will be both open and helpful for the
rest of the LibO community - go! :-) Let's figure out the details in one
of the next steps. And as I said, I'll try to help as good as I can ...

As it happens, I do this kind of work professionally and via with quite some experience in Free Software. As well I am 
having fun doing so and I am working on a tool, that will help us and other 
Free Software as well on solving the above mentioned issues. 

So what do you think?

You knew before, didn't you? ;-) And the others?

By the way, it feels great to have people like you all (here, and
related to some discussions on the German lists) who really care about
users ... thank you!

Christoph (who now has to give the baby a bath)


Am Donnerstag, 16. Juni 2011, 15:17:57 schrieb Phil Jackson:
Hi Dror

That might work by restricting voting to unique users.

I think it will be problematic trying to control groups though - how do
you identify a group and associate users with it?

There will always be people who contribute more than others, sometimes
out of genuine interest, sometimes in order to unduly influence outcomes.

If we get large samples of feedback, I would think that this would
negate having to make decisions about the numbers and groups and what
they actually mean. It would be simple enough to set a minimum number of
entries before the decision is accepted, much like a citizens' referendum.


Phil Jackson

On 6/16/2011 1:26 PM, drorlev wrote:
Hi Phil,

What you suggest (a built-in list of proposed changes to choose from)
seems very interesting to me.
Personally, as a user, I would have liked it a lot.

Still, one thing that bugs me is the possibility of sampling bias.
Assuming that there are several groups of LO users that have different
design requirements, the worry is that some groups will contribute to
survey more then their relative share in the general users population.

A possible way to control for this might be to have users who wish to
contribute register to an account in which they have to provide some
demographic data. In order to influence, one will have to register and
tell a bit about him/her-self.

This will enable, first, to look for different user-groups (in terms of
usage preferences) and then adjust the poles by demographic statistics
(for example, if the users population has about the same amount of
small-business users and students, but it turns out that students are
much more active in sending their preferences, the survey analyst can
weigh each contribution by group-membership weight in the general users

Such a registration-based system can also control for multi-votes.


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