[mythtv] MythTV Usability Report

Donavan Stanley jdonavan at jdonavan.net
Mon Jan 9 11:51:25 UTC 2006

Steve Hodge wrote:
> On 1/9/06, Donavan Stanley <jdonavan at jdonavan.net> wrote:
>> Craig Tinson wrote:
>>> well.. personally I think this is a good report.
>> You honestly think that a report on an old version of the software
>> posted to the developers list by someone who didn't read the existing
>> documentation is a "good report"?
> You mean the current stable release. If you don't want people
> reporting their impressions of the current release of the software,
> just where are you going to get feedback from?

Users give feedback on the users list about which ever version they're 
running.  But this isn't user feedback. It's someone claiming to be 
filling part of the development cycle.

>>> I've read through all the replies and to be frank I think they are
>>> completely out of order.
>> Really?  Maybe I should start posting usability reviews of rocket design
>> software.  After all I have no clue how it works and I'm sure they
>> should jump to implement my suggestions.
> You are not the target user of whatever rocket design software you are
> talking about. Jono, OTOH does seem to be the target user for MythTV,
> i.e. anyone who can get it installed. Or am I mistaken - is MythTV
> only intended for use by developers?

You're missing the point.  Myth isn't something as simple as "kate", 
expecting to sit down and make use of every feature of Myth without 
reading any documentation is just plain silly.  Any "study" that starts 
from that point of view is flawed and therefor useless from the start.

Sitting down and using most of the software without training is another 
matter.  The basic functionality of Myth is very easy to grasp and 
operate. I've yet to have anyone NOT be able to perform basic usability 
tasks (watch TV, watch a recording, find a show to record, schedule a 
recording, see what's going to be recorded).  Anything beyond those 
basic tasks requires some sort of user education.

>> There's a huge difference between usability testing and Joe random
>> spouting off about crap he doesn't understand.  Hell even Tivo comes
>> with a manual.  If he had said something to the effect of "the
>> documentation"  doesn't make this clear it might have carried more
>> weight but he didn't even read the documentation.
> I don't buy it. A documented poor interface is still a poor interface.
> And Tivo may come with a manual but it's still designed to be used by
> someone who hasn't read that manual.

While Myth has it's share of honest usability issues, most of the ones 
Jono brought up don't fall into that catagory.

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