Survey of EU Project Proves High Usability of Open Source Software

In the realm of the tOSSad project, a survey on usability proved that some of the most popular Open Source software is indeed user-friendly.

The survey included the following projects and quite a large number of respondents from across Europe answered the questionnaires:

  • OpenOffice.org (196 respondents)
  • Firefox (205 respondents)
  • GNU/Linux with GNOME or KDE desktop (274 respondents)

The report’s results in short are that these projects provide:

  • user-friendly interfaces
  • a clear menu
  • a logical navigation
  • convenient combinations of hot keys
  • a sufficient set of features
  • ease of installation

Most of the participants have used the relevant software for more than 1 year, hence they seem to know why they like it.

The survey includes some interesting charts with the details. Here are some of the most interesting points:

why_did_you_switch_to_openo

76% say because it is for free, 60% because they like the idea of Free Software/Open Source. The 76% seem quite obvious to me – the world is greedy. I would not have expected the 60%, that’s a lot of ideological support!

why_have_you_switched_to_fi

75% say because of tabbed browsing. There must be a reason why IE7 got that too…

Easy to install?

(please read the survey for the various related charts)

Easy say 68% concerning OpenOffice.org, 78% Firefox. The numbers are different concerning GNU/Linux: only 16% say that it is very easy to install hardware. That shows to me that the installation routines of software which is not directly interacting with hardware are much easier to handle. It would have been interesting, if the survey also had asked whether a survey participant is happy with the Plug and Play capabilities of MS Window or thinks that GNU/Linux works better.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the tOSSad Steering Committee on behalf of eZ Systems.

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