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In regards to the qualities of open source communities being more or less suited to improving user experience, I will say that my experience will be slanted toward my Sakai and Fluid experience. Using these two projects as a model, I would say that we are uniquely situated to address the user experience because we are embedded with our users, and many of us are users. Therefore, we feel the pain of our own mistakes beyond the market. I think this is also true for many developers of Apache projects or Linux. We are challenged in that many of us haven’t hired the designers we need, leaving us in a situation where we can fix the plumbing but the house is an ugly mess (I say that lovingly). We also have the ability to learn from our mistakes and pool resources in a way that a commercial venture can’t (without acquisitions or ugly patents).

Did this address your questions at all, or was I way off base?

5. ken udas - july 17th, 2007 at 5:50 am

Mara, Thank you for moving this along. I think that you got the spirit of my question. It was a bit ambiguous. I was trying to make a few points and then ask a question. I’ll start with the question first this time.

Do you think that there are characteristics possessed by OSS projects and communities that make those projects better at user driven (at least user informed) design and development?

This question is based on your discussion about a) “Delightful Software,” b) the role that UX plays in a “Delightful Experience,” and c) some of the observations that you highlight about Code Centric-Culture and your reference to UI Designer Rashmi Sinha.

I was suggesting that many university-based online learning groups do not employ application developers and if they use an OSS application they do not apply substantive resource to code development for the project. I recognize that Sakai might be an exception because of its legacy, but as larger numbers of colleges, universities, and other education providers adopt Sakai, I would assume that this will likely become the case if is it is not already. That said, many online learning groups do have educational technologists, learning designers, graphics and multi-media artists/developers, content developers (frequently faculty), project managers, and other professionals involved with identifying, designing, developing, and teaching courses.

Many online learning groups also have a process in which learner experience is captured through evaluation. This is pretty much the case at Penn State World Campus, and was also true at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. In the case of the World Campus we will be developing and revising dozens of courses and delivering&teaching hundreds of courses at any point in time. It would seem to me that the knowledge gathered through the process of designing, developing, authoring, and offering courses, could be well leveraged by an OSS community to enhance UI/UX, which points back to my question. What can OSS projects and communities do to capture this knowledge from application users who will not directly contribute code to a project? This is based on the assumption that the type of knowledge that could be captured and generated through design, development and teaching processes would be useful to user interface design and supporting improved user experience.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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