Comment 315 for bug 668415

Adam Porter (alphapapa) wrote :

And you know what, if I hear one more person talk about "usability studies" or "user testing" or research, I think I will throw up. We all know what Mark Twain said about statistics. Here we are, real people, reporting real problems, but we aren't relevant, because we aren't a statistic. I'd like to see someone do some research into this bug report and compile some statistics on user satisfaction!

No one's even mentioned the presupposition that all these studies and testing and research are valid or accurate or useful! Someone boasted about "unbiased users" in their studies--what a crock. Canonical told the users what tasks to attempt, Canonical asked the questions, Canonical set the time limits, and Canonical chose the users ("off the street"!). How about doing a usability study with experienced users? How about doing a study on these new users after they've used Unity for a week or a month, and then asking them how they feel and what annoys them? How about doing a study on how many new users switch back to Windows?

It's like doing market research on a new restaurant, and watching the customers as they walk in and find a table and look at the menu and order their meal--but ignoring their eating the food, going to the bathroom, paying the bill, and leaving, and not asking them if they want to ever come back. Nevermind all those angry customers who want to speak with the manager--they don't know what they REALLY want in a dining experience. The study shows that they are happy.

And how dare Ubuntu treat its evangelists this way--people who have spent years working hard to promote Ubuntu to their friends, families, and colleagues all over the world. These real people come here and report real problems that they and their "converts" are encountering, and Canonical tells them that they are wrong, that Canonical knows what users really want.

It really seems like the story of so many cults over the years: a leader attracts a great following, and his lieutenants recruit sergeants, and the sergeants recruit privates, and then the leader grows an ego. Then he listens to his ego more than his lieutenants, and the very people who were his most ardent, loyal supporters become disillusioned. His followers, still being loyal, speak their concerns, but they are told to submit and conform to the vision. They continue to stand up for the truth, but they are told to shape up or ship out. Hey, there are plenty more followers to take their place, and plenty more pagans to initiate, right? But the cancer grows and spreads, and eventually the community dies and disperses. The flame, which once burned brightly, consumed itself.

The saddest part is that many of the rejects are so disillusioned that they never join another community again. They give up on the whole idea of progress and community and freedom, and they go back to the rat race, to being a robot who goes through the motions, suffering in silence the dull pains of mediocrity (Bug #1). Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues in relatively blissful ignorance, never knowing what could have been, never reaching their potential.