This thread is awesome and almost too much for one thread :D I would like to jump into the deep
end of the pool now and hopefully not sink to the bottom like a rock. I am relatively new here
and look forward to helping out where I can. IMHO, the biggest problem I have with researching
user's needs is - already being discussed in this topic - the analysis of the data received.
Forgive my ignorance, if I have over-read this somehow, but:
What data mining is being done now?
Where is this stored?
Where are, and who is doing, the analysis of this data?
The otrs.org are using ideascale.com for collecting user ideas. Unfortunately, my experience - as
Community Manager from this project - with this service is less then satisfying. An alternative
is IdeaTorrent [ http://www.ideatorrent.org/ ]. Again an unfortunate situation here is that the
developer is currently (AFAIK) not continuing development on this project.
Users can give feedback about a product and vote on these ideas.
Lot's of promotion of such system will lead to a good idea of the "real" need of the "active"
user trying to give LibO feedback.
Users can offer multiple solutions.
Users can comment, discuss, bookmark ideas.
It can get messy; users do not always describe things pretty
Can lead to high maintenance depending on the amount of feedback.
On Jun 17, 2011, at 12:53 , Sveinn í Felli wrote:
Has already been mentioned:
- direct feedback from inside LO
- online user surveys
- user polling system (on new/changed features)
- existing usage data 
- (future?) installation/download data 
I can imagine additionally a couple of ways to get user/usage data:
- Usage tests/surveys for institutions/enterprises/other group deployments. That is, something
sysadmin/IT-staff can ask their users to participe in, maybe focusing also on their own
deployment (being useful for them directly).
This is something that must either be VERY comprehensive (due to differing usage models) - almost
impossible - or done/promoted at live events.
- Self tests; e.g "My word processing skills - basic level" or "Test your spreadsheet magic -
advanced". People seem to like such tests, maybe it appeals more to the games/sudoku/crossword
I like this idea, because we can do statistical research based upon estimated time to preform
(see below) certain tasks. ..../me dreaming about a google docs like test environment where tools
Click Monitor Tools can be used to trace users movements ...... At the end of the test, we can
then survey the users subjective experience and post these on said website for commenting.
- Timing some defined actions/workflows in differently setup alpha/beta versions could give
good indications on whether a feature change is a progression or not. Could be resource
demanding (building/comiling several additional branches) but could become relatively easy with
a 'skin-enabled' interface.
Go Firefox! :)
Ok, I am done. I hope there was something in my rambling of value. Keep up the good work on the
thread, and if I can help here I will.
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