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SLED10 Design and Usability, News from Support

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February 22nd, 2007 by

On its initial release, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED10) met widespread acclaim for it’s smoothly polished look and feel, and some of the interface updates that it introduced to the GNOME desktop. Now with Service Pack 1 targeted for a spring 2007 release, we catch up with the woman in charge of SLED10 usability, Anna Dirks, to find out how her team makes SLED10 so dang sexy. Then we’re off on another wild ride with Dave “Slasher” Mair and Randy “The Tip Master” Goddard in News from Support.
Time: 39:58
MP3 Size:
27.4 MB

Segment Times

  1. SLED10 design and usability: 1:35 – 22:33
  2. News from Support: 22:53 – 36:39

Links for this Episode:

  • Click “More” for the News From Support links
    News from Support links:

NOA Backstage:

  • In the pre-interview, Anna explained that her name is pronounced “AH-na.” Said Anna: “My name doesn’t rhyme with Banana.” Moments later, Erin welcomes her onto the show as “Anna,” perfectly rhyming it with Banana.
  • Anna really talks that fast, and she really sounds that sweet. Ted intends to nominate her for “Nicest Linux Community Member 2007.”
  • We had to edit out a significant amount of laughter after Dave got us with the “Slash-My-Slash-Throat” comment.
  • Notice how little stuff there is besides the two main segments? We were afflicted with the podcaster’s equivalent of writer’s block.


2007-02-23 09:24:29

[…] NOA: Design and Usability in SLED10 Filed under: Novell — Ted Haeger @ 8:17 am This week’s Novell Open Audio features an interview with Anna Dirks, the design and usability lead for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. Anna talks about the mobile usability lab they use to study user interface, the BetterDesktop website, and some of the things that her team has been concentrating on in the upcoming Service Pack 1 for SLED10. […]

2007-02-28 10:03:30

[…] Dear sisters and brothers, If you’ve ever wondered what it is that your humble hostess does with herself during the day, you may like to listen to my recent interview with The Reverend Ted. Ted does Open Source Advocacy — he’s a character. There are many other interesting interviewees available on his site. Click here to read/listen to my interview. […]

2007-03-02 07:08:50

[…] 26th, 2007 by Ted Haeger (No Ratings Yet)  Loading … This item may be just a minor detail, but it’s animprovement that shows to me that the SLED team are still driving in the right direction. The Desktop Search in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is extremely helpful. However, if you have just copied a whole bunch of files locally, or maybe you just recently added an email account that contains a lot of messages, those items may not appear in your search results until the search engine has had a chance to index the new data. But that means that you just need to wait, right? No. Getting incomplete results from a search tool leads users to mistrust this important productivity feature. In a recent Novell Open Audio interview, SLED10 usability team lead, Anna Dirks, tells how her team repeatedly found that users would not use search. Even when assigned obvious find-the-file tasks, they would go through file after file looking for a keyword! Why? Windows users don’t trust that desktop search works. So, Novell’s desktop usability team has become pretty conscientious about making sure that users find as few reasons as possible not to trust search on Linux. (Beyond Novell’s revenue objectives for SLED10, there’s some really good thinking there. The SLED10 team essentially takes an approach that says, let’s try make this feature something that gives users a better experience on Linux than on other platforms. Desktop Linux needs a lot more of that kind of thinking.) So, to that end, another one of the interface improvements coming up in Service Pack 1: you now know when SLED 10’s Desktop Search engine (Beagle) daemon is still indexing your data: a simple visual cue and message lets the user know what’s going on so that they can search with confidence, knowing that the indexing service is still laboring away faithfully for them. It looks like this: […]

Comment by Niel Bornstein
2007-03-02 08:23:44

Hey guys –

I enjoyed the suggestion that you can put config files in revision control. I used to keep my config files in RCS back before I was a SUSE user — well, technically, before I was a YaST user. I stopped because I don’t know how YaST would deal with locked config files. Hmm, maybe I’ll try it now…

Interesting, and not what I expected. YaST did not complain that the file has mode 444 and just went ahead and overwrote it. The version in RCS, of course, hasn’t been touched.

So I wonder if there’s any suggestion for a way to make YaST play well with RCS?


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