View Full Version : Who are Ubuntu's "human beings"?

March 23rd, 2008, 01:36 PM
I follow Nielsen's Alertbox and I found an interesting article the other day:


The Ubuntu's "Linux for human beings" line is not very specific about who's it talking about. Geeks are human beings too, but most people tend to think this distro is the "Linux for the rest of us", paraphrasing the line used by Apple long ago, when PCs were certainly hard to understand and use and the Mac came to the rescue. In other words, a Linux system for ordinary people. Is that really so?

Jakob Nielsen is a well respected user interaction expert and he thinks that:

More commonly, designers at this level are core members of the larger target audience. Open software often falls into this category: designed by geeks, for geeks. That's why Linux, Apache, Perl, and many similar products have been so successful at least as long as the audience remains a group of technology-obsessed users. Of course, these same products don't stand a chance of growing their user base to include ordinary humans.
Now that doesn't mean he's right, but I'm pretty sure he's somewhat right.

I've read a few interviews with Mike Shuttleworth and I miss a stance regarding user interaction design and who's the target audience of Ubuntu.

March 23rd, 2008, 01:47 PM
I've read a few interviews with Mike Shuttleworth and I miss a stance regarding user interaction design and who's the target audience of Ubuntu.

Mark Shuttleworth :^)


I think Ubuntu's users base is constantly growing and isnt just made up of current (technical people or geeks) after all new people discover Ubuntu everyday and become tech savvy because of it, so in a way you could say Ubuntu is creating the user base itself. :)


March 23rd, 2008, 01:51 PM
Ubuntu is like an introduction to Linux. New people try it, and stay if they like it. They then possibly move onto something harder. That's certainly how it worked for me (though I haven't been able to get my LFS system to work...)

March 23rd, 2008, 02:18 PM
Mark Shuttleworth :^)

Ooops... :oops:

March 23rd, 2008, 02:57 PM
Remember that Linux is really just starting to come into its own on the desktop side. I consider Linux to be very much a "work in progress", although the kernel itself is approaching perfection. We will continue to see Linux distributions make great strides in UI design and the outcome of these improvements will be the best all-purpose (not just server) operating sysyem ever made, providing we continue to improve hardware support.

March 26th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Well, here is a funny point, what is ordinary people anyway? People who doesn't know anything? I don't think so. I mean in order to do some with a tool, you much first know how to operate the tools. some tool are harder to use than the others. It is true that Designer always say, I am going to designer for the people, but some how end up designed some stuff that only understand by the designer or only a group of designer. Design for the people, is not about how they easy they are able to work thing out, it is about how to get to the point the wanted. I mean if all you want is one else doing all your work, and have a out come that you can say "I did that" I feel sorry for you.

To me, to improve a design is about how to make it helpful for the user to get the point that they really want, not limited on what they can be done.

As the title say "Human beings", well Human make and looking for tool to help them work out their idea. NOT sitting there let the Tools show them how things work. Right?