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  • Hi folks,

    I am studying open source usability in my master’s thesis (with my work on Moodle as a case study). I am very curious about how do you go about getting the design right in WordPress? It is just so good. The literature I have found on the topic mostly seems to repeat the fact that open source usability is hard due to a number of reasons.

    A key reason certainly seems to be keeping the design narrowed down to a specific purpose – and having a plugin architecture to allow people to fill in. But keeping the feature set small is an art of its own. Do you use any of the standard User-Centered Design stuff like Personas or Scenarios? What is the quantity of usability testing you do? Matt has mentioned that he employs usability experts from inside the community though, but there does not seem to be much actual discussion about getting to know the users in the documentation or the forums.

    Thanks!

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  • I believe Jane Wells runs most of the usability stuff for Automattic so you might review some of her theads, as well as review some of the postings to the <http://wordpress.org/development/category/development/“>Developement Blog to see past ‘interactions’.

    I’m a web award judge and have been working with UX (user experience) for over a decade. I can tell you that most WP users entrust usability to the theme they choose.

    While most theme creators do a decent job incorporating this into their design, since most are not well-versed in user experience, many of their customizations and configurations break very basic rules. Not only are many WP sites not user-friendly but there are huge readability issues.

    Every niche has a specific audience but many bloggers can’t even identify who their demographic is. As a result, IMO, a good number of blogs start off with a somewhat usable site and actually degrades over time with blogger tinkering.

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