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Managing Information

Systems

Group Members
Akhil Raj
Anika Varkey
Mathew Sam

Contents
S.
No.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Topic
Open Source Software
Usability
OSS Development
Process
Improving OSS
Usability
Approaches
Future Work
Conclusion

Slide
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Open Source Software


The term "open source" refers to something that
can be modified and shared because its design is
publicly accessible.
Open source software is software whose source code
is available for modification or enhancement by
anyone. Example: DSpace and Firefox.
Source code.
Proprietary Software. Example: MS Word and Adobe
Photoshop.
License terms.

Usability
"Usability" refers to how easily users can learn and
start using software, or any similar "information
product".
Usability of Open Source Software.
Open source software has gained a reputation for
reliability, efficiency, functionality and not usability.
Usability is typically described in terms of five
characteristics: ease of learning, efficiency of use,
memorability, error frequency and severity, and

subjective satisfaction.
Types of Users.

Usability (Contd)
This

paper

examines

software

development

processes to make the open source software more


usable for typical users.
Usability test.
The

usability

of

open

source

software

and

proprietary software were compared.


Microsoft Excel and StarOffice.
The comparison was not a fair one since open
source

projects

emphasize

incremental development.

on

continual

Usability Issues (Contd)


The

usability

issues

associated with OSS is not a


technical problem.
It's a problem in ergonomic
design

and

interface

psychology.
It is a direct result of the OSS
development process.
It has a negative impact on
usability.

OSS Development
Process
The five fundamental problems with the current
Open Source software development process are as
follows.
1. User interface design
2. Documentation
3. Featurecentric development
4. Programming for the self
5. Religious blindness

OSS Development
Process
Developers are not typical end-users.
Lack of involvement of usability experts.
The

incentives

are

better

for

improvement

of

functionality than usability.


Usability problems are harder to specify and distribute
than functionality problems.
Design for usability ought to take place in advance of
any coding.
Lack of resources to undertake high quality usability
work.

Commercial software establishes state of the art so that

Improving OSS Usability


Users

of

software

have

become

more

heterogeneous.
Software producers have to adopt user centred
methods

by

employing

human

computer

gap

between

interaction (HCI) specialists.


They

aim

at

bridging

the

programmers and users.


There are several approaches that have the
potential to improve usability of OSS.

Approaches
Commercial Approaches
Technological Approaches
Academic Involvement
Involving the end users
Involving the experts.
Education and evangelism

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Future Work
Open source community is increasing its
awareness of usability issues. They have
identified the barriers to usability and how they
can be addressed.
Companies have come to understand the
importance of open source and the key role it
plays in developing innovative software today.
Open source has long since proved its legitimacy,
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and the use of open source has changed the way
that companies compete.

Conclusion
By engaging typical users into the development
process OSS projects can create a networked
development community that can do for usability
what it has already done for functionality and
reliability. There are many techniques from HCI that
can be easily and cheaply adopted by open source
developers.

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