GSoC 2011 UI Cleanup Proposal

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Short description

I would like to work on the UI aspect of Scribus and doing all I can to help make it not only easier, but faster for the user. I'm currently taking a class on User Interfaces and we have done studies on how to make particular Android User interfaces easier to use and much more intuitive. I'm already well familiar with C++ and Qt so this is the project for me.

Project Description

Scribus is an open source desktop publishing program. Used for page design, it is one powerful piece of software. Their UI, although user-friendly, can always be studied to see if less steps can be taken or more intuitive placement can be used.

Since UI is very important for software, if the user does not understand the software's power right away, they may never return. I intend to do the most that I can to make sure that Scribus's user interface is, in fact, as great as it can be.

Implementation Plan

The implementation consists of 2 steps.

User Interface Study

The first step to discovering the improvements needed to improve the user interface is to do studies on people. Each subject will be given the software and given a basic introduction to it by a test moderator. Then the person will be asked to do a specific task which they should know by the knowledge they have acquired of the software already. All of the steps taken and time will be recorded for each task asked.

After all the testing, I will analyze all the data. If there are areas where I feel need improvement (moving around tabs, icons, and anything else) I will see what improvements I can make and retest, seeing if the time increased or decreased. Of course software becomes easier for users to use with experience, so I will also see if there are any features I can replace to add for less steps to access by any user.

Implementation

The next step is the actual implementation. For this, I will find out which features of the user interface I need to change, and change them accordingly. After implementing, I will continue to test until I have made a solid improvement on the UI as a whole.

Timeline

  • May 3-16: Familiarize myself with the code and the community. Come up with different scenarios for testing the user interface on various subjects, and begin recruiting subjects.
  • May 17-29: Analyze data acquired. Begin implementation of any aspects of the UI I see need changing. Change any UI problems I myself find cumbersome aside from the testing.
  • May 30-June 4: Test out software. Document any and all changes made.
  • June 5-17: Begin testing new changes compared to the old software. See which users find to be easier and more helpful. Record these observations.
  • June 18-July 3: Rework on changes made if users did not like them. Work on any new problems with the UI I come across with new studies.
  • July 4- August 16: Continue this process of testing, working on code, documenting changes, testing code, and repeating until the project is over and I feel like I have made a severe improvement on the user interface

Contact

Email: senorbeavis at gmail dot com