Bugzilla, YUI, and other things.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The search for the "Normal" bugzilla User

So it turns out Bugzilla is more or less in a formative stage for 4.0. There are a lot of bugs with the 4.0 as the target milestone. But there are a few features that are high up on the list.

By far my favorite is bug 344619. Which is supposed to be as nebulous as it seems. It could be read as "Make bugzilla user friendly".

This is a task which some people spend their careers trying to make happen and is a task which might never be done. However, the hardest part as a mozilla UI person mentioned is finding the Normal user.

There was an attempt to make some Bugzilla personas, but it is clear that these are not flushed out at the time of this writing and (turns out they were flushed out, you had to click on the links... but) not very useful in helping to find the "Normal User" other than giving them names.

So the question becomes who is the "Normal" Bugzilla user and how do we design to them? I'm not sure I know that answer yet, but it seems clear that part of my task as the Bugzilla UE lead is to determine who they are. The hard part is there are some huge disconnects, mainly:
  1. The stuff that developers think are important
  2. The stuff (i think) usability people might think are important
  3. The stuff that people I talk to think are important
  4. The stuff that I think a normal user might think are important
What's the lesson to learn? I need to do some formative research to determine what people actually need. Too bad the most important resource in doing formative research is time, something I have little of. For now I'm going to be happy with moving stuff from PRACA back to Bugzilla and helping with the stuff I thought a normal user might want.

I might start writing full Bugzilla personas and then posting them to this blog, but we'll see. Writing personas isn't as easy as one might think.

The other task, continue to look at other bugzilla instances and just chatting to whomever i can talk to. It is by no means scientific, but at least it is some feedback, which is better than the zero feedback I've currently got!

Oh also: http://eclipsewebmaster.blogspot.com/2008/02/mozilla-getting-feedback-from-its-users.html
Go team Venture!

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