Anaconda/UX Redesign/Usability Test Suggestions
Anaconda Usability Issues
These issues have been pulled together from various feedback the Anaconda team has received about the UI as well as multiple usability test sessions performed at DevConf 2013 in Brno and in the Red Hat engineering office in Westford, MA in March 2013.
Some issues have already been fixed! Fixed issues will be marked with a strikeout,
A. General User Interface
- Too much empty space in screens (Wilck)
- Disproportion between large items and smaller elements at margins (Wilck)
- User dislikes having to move mouse from lower right corner to upper left corner, would like shortcuts to not have to move mouse so far (inode0)
- Not sure about whether or not the spokes in the hub had to be completed in a certain order or not - it's not clear. (tburke)
- It could be much clearer which items on screen are mandatory and which are optional - by default the VM window cut off the notification area so the only indicator was the /!\ icon which is really small. (tburke)
- Would like to see every screen to have a help screen available. Example - some checkbox items' real purpose wasn't clear, it would be nice to get more information about why you'd want to use that checkbox somehow. (tburke)
- We should have a '<' icon or a grid icon (see icon in gnome-control-center for going back to the hub) next to the 'Done' buttons in the upper left. We may even want to consider killing the 'Done' text and just having the button. (Mo)
- Once you've visited a screen, there's no indicator that it's been visited. (Mo)
- New 4/15/13 Using arrow keys to navigate the hub screens is a bit dicey.
- "I can't control it with arrow keys. Aha, it's possible. But it jumps everywhere when using the arrow keys." (Brno #1 Participant #1) (Brno #1)
No keyboard layout indicator when switching layout (bug 901777) (bug 895913)(bugzilla) (vpodzime fixed this)
Users used to buttons in lower right corner of screen, confused by position of 'done' button.(Wilck) All lower-right corner buttons removed from spokes. Only hubs have a button there now.
We should display warning-level notices from the sanity check in the UI notification error; we only show errors now (bug 909410)(bugzilla) Done.
B. Language Selection
- Huge language selection list filling screen is overwhelming (Wilck)
- Initial language selection screen has no indication of keyboard layout affiliated with chosen language (Wilck)
- Easy to completely overlook 'Set keyboard to default layout' checkbox (Wilck)
- New 4/15/13 Czech users had some trouble finding Czech - we default to English, but people naturally scroll downwards, not upwards, so a couple of the users missed the Czech option for a while. Participant #2 tried a few search terms and they didn't work out - he tried "ces" ("cestina"), "4e" ("čeština"), "cy" ("cz"), and then "cz". Only the latter worked. (Brno #1)
- Suggestion: If it's at all possible, allow for searching without diacritics on the language screen? So if a user searches 'cestina' it would return 'čeština' ?
- Suggestion: Place English at the very top of the list. Then all other languages will be below it, so the natural tendency to scroll down won't make users of languages that come before 'English' get lost finding their language. I think the mockups were initially mocked up this way, English listed first with a divider under it, then the rest of the list in alpha order - see mockup
- New 4/15/13 Users didn't understand what the default keyboard layout checkbox was all about on this screen. (Brno #1)
- Example user quote: "I do not know what ‘Nastavit klávesnici jako výchozí rozložení pro označený jazyk’ (Set keyboard to default layout for selected language) means. Let's leave it unchecked." (Brno #1 Participant #3)
- Example user quote: "Even though I don't know what's the exact meaning. What the author wanted to express. I have to think about it to understand what it means." (Brno #1 Participant #1)
- Suggestion: Just kill the checkbox and always change the default keyboard to the default for the selected language.
- Participant in Brno #1 complained that there was no way to exit the language selection screen by hitting the enter key. (Brno #1)
- Suggestion: Allow passage through welcome / language selection screen with the enter key.
Text field at bottom of language selection screen confusing - has no label as to what it's there for (Wilck) (sbueno patched this - adding a label inside the filter box that says "Type here to search")Done, fix present in F19 RC builds
C. Date & Time Screen
- World map looks pixelated/blurry on larger screens (Wilck)
- Fine-tuning timezone using red pin inside the zone or top left controls easy to overlook (Wilck)
- City selection dropdown takes up full height of screen and is unwieldy to work with (Wilck)
- No way to configure AM/PM vs. 24 hour time preference if you use network time (inode0)
- Network time controls in far upper right affect grey-out status of local time settings on far bottom of screen - they are placed too far apart for user to realize they affect each other (inode0)
- It's unclear whether or not the date/time settings affect only the installer or if they will also affect the installed OS, and how (inode)
- If there's no network connection, don't set network time by default? (inode0)
D. Installation Destination Screen
- When advanced storage devices pane not visible, excessive whitespace on screen. (Wilck)
- "Done" would be more accurately called "Back" on this screen because if you select no storage 'done' doesn't make sense verbally. (Wilck)
- It's no longer possible set configure the 'BIOS boot [sic] disk order.' (Wilck)
- Suggestion that 'installation destination' screen design be changed to match that of the 'selected disks' lightbox (Wilck)
- Misunderstanding that the 'partitioning scheme' dropdown doesn't matter if you enter custom partitioning (when it actually does) (Wilck)
- Use case of 'I don't care about anything on the disk, just set up an install as if they disk was blank' is confusing when walking through the install destination & custom part UIs. (inode0)
- New 4/15/13 Users in Brno were pretty confused about whether or not a given disk was selected. Every single user in Brno #1 ran into it. (Brno #1)
- E.g., "I'm clicking on the drive but nothing happens. I'm clicking again. Aha. If I click again, then the drive is deselected. It's something I don't want to happen." (Brno #1 Participant #1)
- Suggestion: Don't select a disk drive by default in the storage spoke. Right now we select the first disk by default. Since we always require users to visit the storage spoke anyway, we should let them select the first disk and select no disks by default. (mockup)
- Suggestion: Have checkboxes on the selected disks to make it more clear they are selected. (mockup)
Once you've completed configuring storage, there's no real summary of how you set it up for you to review. It might be nice if there was.(adamw1) (clumens added a summary screen to custom partition exit)
'Encrypt my data' checkbox doesn't seem to belong on this screen.(Wilck) dlehman moved this checkbox to the disk selection summary dialog.
Distinguishing between disks on this screen is difficult - only reliable property is disk size. Would like device names (eg /dev/sda/) or 'device 2 lun 3 on scsi host 1' to be more front and center.(Wilck) we added device names (e.g., /dev/sda) under the disks on this screen.
'Selected Disks' lightbox only offers serial number as additional information to identify disks, could offer more.(Wilck) (BZ #902617)
Users worried about whether or not they are writing to disk when they exit storage spokes(Mo) Text added 'we won't touch your disks until you hit this button' on main hub and text 'disks left unselected here will be not be touched' text added to disk selection widgets on disk selection screen.
E. Custom Partitioning Screen
- Installations are sorted by their root partitions in alphabetical order rather than numberical order (e.g., sdb10, sdb11, ..., sdb9) (Wilck)
- Partitions used by several OSes are listed once for every distribution - no visual indication of which partitions are shared (Wilck)
- 'Not enough free space' error not very visible (bug 907889) (Wilck)
- It's unclear how you should overwrite a particular existing partition - user assumed they should delete the old one and create a new one. Instead, user discovered they should type '/' in the mount point field and click the 'reformat' box, which wasn't intuitive to them. (bug 908862) (Wilck)
- It seems impossible to configure custom partitioning with no leftover and unused space on disk. (inode0)
- Left-hand-side displays both pre-existing OSes as well as 'not yet existing' new OS install. (bug 883148) (bugzilla)
- The installer doesn't allow for encryption setup of individual LVs (bug 909228) (bugzilla)
[major] RAID selection needs major revamping, has some inconsistencies / incorrect information.(dledford) RAID has been redesigned from scratch, implementation of redesign planned
Custom partition creation instructions don't acknowledge partition re-use possibility. (bug 883150)(bugzilla)
F. Network and Specialized Storage
- New 4/15/13 If you have no network storage available, all of the network storage filter UI lists are empty. It would be nice to have an empty list message that directs you towards manually adding network storage using the add iSCSI/zFCP/FCoE target buttons. (You can use a GtkOverlay for this; put the GtkScrolledWindow and a GtkLabel with the empty list message as two sibling children inside the GtkOverlay, and hide the GtkLabel when the list is populated with entries.) (Mo)
G. Software Selection
- If a desktop environment's repo is busted, it'll still show up and wreak havoc and will break the whole install, this was a problem with mate in one of the test releases. Similarly there was an inkscape packaging bug in a test release that would cause the entire install to fail (minor points brought up peripherally related to bug 875433) (bugzilla)
H. Keyboard Layout
- New 4/15/13 Multiple users in Brno #1 clicked on a keyboard layout in the left-hand side and didn't realize by clicking on it they weren't selecting it or setting it as default. One user understood the ordering mattered. Need some solution. Not sure yet. (Brno #1)
I. Hub #2
- New 4/15/13 Multiple users in Brno #1 were afraid to set the root password during install; they thought it would break the install. They wouldn't even click on the spoke.
- Example quote: "On the screen, there's the option to set an administrator password. But I would rather set this password after installation." (Brno #1 Participant #1)
- "I don't want to try it during the installation." (Brno Participant #4)
- Suggestion: Add explanatory text to top of second hub to let users know they can configure the options shown without disturbing the install.
J. Root Password Screen
- New 4/15/13 Users in Brno #1 complained about the error messages when their password didn't meet certain requirements. It would be better to have some text at the top of the screen that outlined the requirements the code checks for. I'm not sure of exactly what it's checking for though - I know it requires more than 4 characters in length based on the test participants' experience. (Brno #1)
Z. Outright Bugs / Mistakes
- Exclamation Mark displayed when nothing to do on Software Selection entry on main hub (Wilck)
- 'Set keyboard to default layout' checkbox does not work / Language selection screen (Wilck)
- 'You have no working NTP server configured' warning message in notification area is not dismissed when NTP is turned off. (Wilck)
- Lightboxes shrink mysteriously (bug 907441) (Wilck)
- New LVs cannot be made larger even though there's available unused space in their VG (bug 906906) (bugzilla)
- New LVs default assigned size seems to be based on unpartitioned space on the physical disk rather than unused space within their VG. (bug 906908) (bugzilla)
On network screen, lightbox that should say 'editing eth0' says 'Editing Boot Disk'(inode0) Appears to be a network manager bug?
The 'set as boot device' and 'remove' buttons on the disk shopping cart screen should be greyed out when no disk is selected on install destination screen.(Wilck)
- Wilck - PDF write-up sent to Larry T.
- inode0 - email to Mo from John Rose with various UI feedback.
- tburke - email to Mo from Tim Burke with various UI feedback (from FUDcon Lawrence demo)
- dledford - email to Mo from Doug Ledford with feedback regarding RAID configuration
- adamw1 - adamw email to anaconda-devel: https://www.redhat.com/archives/anaconda-devel-list/2013-January/msg00096.html
- bugzilla - miscellaneous bugzilla-reported issues. Refer to bugzilla number in issue description for source.
- mo - something Mo noticed in the UI that we should or forgot to do :)
- Brno #1 - Brno usability tests session #1
- Brno #2 - Brno usability tests session #2
- Westford - Westford usability tests