I've been experimenting with Ubuntu for a few months now, and it is a great operating system. With netbooks on the rise, and increased notoriety, more and more average consumers are trying it out. As far as it has come, there are still problems with hardware and software incompatibility that will keep many users away. Putting technical issues aside, I wondered how usable Ubuntu was for an average Windows user. Usability could play a major role in the adoption rate of the Ubuntu OS. I worked with a team of my fellow Bentley students to perform a usability test on the operating system.
Six individuals participated in a usability test of Ubuntu version 8.04.1. The test aimed to assess Ubuntu’s usability and identify barriers that might hinder Windows users from converting.
Participants completed some tasks with relative ease (reorganizing files, using the word processing application). However, participants struggled to complete other tasks (connecting to a wireless network, changing the screen resolution).
A few participants reported interest in using Ubuntu, others hesitated to abandon their current Windows operating system and voiced concerns about application incompatibility and leaving their comfort zone.
This report presents the project’s goals, our usability test methodology, and our findings and associated recommendations.
UPDATE: Original PowerPoint Presentation: View ubuntu-testreport-final