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Hi Riemer,

great to read your mail! :-)

Am Dienstag, den 19.04.2011, 16:13 +0200 schrieb Riemer Thalen:
Hi all,

My name is Riemer Thalen and I am not a programmer. I'm a marketing guy. 

Perfect :-)

I am not an old hand in the OOo community. Maybe some market reseach
into former users has been done in the past. I searched the Internet and 
I could not find any reports.

There has been quite some work on that ... my personal favorite is the
Strategic Marketing Plan that has been created some years ago.
Unfortunately, although people spend a lot (!) of work to work it out,
it never got officially accepted in the OOo project. So during the last
year, there have been numerous voices (myself included *g*) to update
that plan.

Here you find it:

At present, the LibO developers are guided by community feedback. But
for our purpose, that will not do. It is like asking iPhone users if
they need a keyboard. No, of course they don't. If they thought a
keyboard was necessary they would not have bought an iPhone in the
first place.
The same applies to the OOo / LibO community. The members are dedicated
LibO users and by definition they are not representative for non-users.

Totally agreed. I've been part of the User Experience Project at and we used several resources to collect feedback and
information (to be correct here: the Sun/Oracle guys have been the
driving force). For example, there has been a data collection on how is used, or there have been three larger surveys from the
UX perspective.

It's part of Project Renaissance and you'll find the results here:

Furthermore, there has been work by Sun employees some years ago ...
once the surveys have been "owned" by the marketing. These results have
been presented on OOoCons (e.g. 2007?).

Ah, another thought - we do also have trainers on our lists who can
provide rather neutral feedback what is important to users they know.
Although there is no statistical evidence, it might work ... but
sometimes its much easier to deal with answers backed up by numbers.

As it happens, my daughter who is business student needs to do a
marketing survey. That's no big deal nowadays. 

Hehe, technically its less problematic, but creating a really good
questionnaire and find the right target group to answer these questions
is still a big deal ;-) But of course, you're right - for the next time,
the question might have can be answered with more simple approaches.

All you have to do is
open an account at a survey site. Then you compose a three question

The questionnaire is posted and tagged on Facebook and LinkedIn.
"Did you use OpenOffice in the past? Please, help us improve it. Answer 
just three questions."
If only half of the subscribers to this mailing list would post the 
link, we probably will have more than enough respondents.

[... the survey example ...]

1. the developers can prioritize issues, fixes, modifications and new
functions, targeting a new group of users.

Not only the developers, but also the Design Team that tries to help
with such stuff as well.

2. the marketing group can create a "switchers guide" based on real-life 
feedback. Not all functions in LibO will be and can be the same as in MS 
Office. Knowing the differences and how to deal with them will greatly 
improve user satisfaction.

OK, this is as far as my proposal goes. I would like to hear from you
guys what you think of it. Personally, I feel it is very important to 
get feedback from outside the community.

Björn - part of the Design Team - proposed something similar a few weeks
ago. On our (still to be worked on, sigh) WhatWeNeed list, you'll find
        How do we get in touch with a representative sample of the users
        in order to work with them? (Understanding their needs /
        evaluating our ideas) -> Use facebook & co and structured
        surveys to regularily get in touch with the users!

You'll find the site here:

But, I know that Björn's time is very limited at the moment - so I'd
like to ask whether you might be interested to help us here. That would
be truly great and veeeery helpful!

If you want to know more about the Design Team, please have a look at:


Hope to hear from you soon.

I hope that was soon enough ;-)))

Enjoy your evening,

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