One of the best things about Linux (aside from the community) is the enthusiasm some developers have about listening to their users. Case in point: the team at elementary OS, which frequently publishes user surveys. They design these surveys to better inform the future of the independent Linux distro. And they’ve just released another one with an eye on making elementary OS 7 the best it can be.
The new user interface study zeroes in on user preferences. Specifically, our likes and dislikes when it comes to multitasking and app launching.
Users of elementary OS know it’s defined by a very specific workflow. I’ve always considered it elegant and minimalistic, even if it’s not my cup of tea personally.
And this is where it’s important to note that the elementary OS team isn’t calling on just its own users:
Evolving Habits, Evolving Distros
Habits change and preferences can evolve over time. While this is only anecdotal evidence, I saw many people switch from their distro daily driver of choice to Pop OS when System76 introduced window auto-tiling.
Here’s a personal slice of evidence: I made the switch from Pop OS to Kubuntu when COSMIC was introduced because I disliked the way System76 implemented search.
That’s why it’s important for distro developers to have as much data as possible, regardless of the OS you’re using now.
As the team looks towards elementary OS 7, it seems to be asking all the right questions in this survey.
It begins broadly by asking which tablet, laptop and desktop platforms you use regularly. But then it really zooms in on usability preferences. Where do you look to check the status of long-running tasks like a download’s progress? How do you switch between apps? Do you add pins to your dock or taskbar? Do you remove or replace the default items already there?
The elementary OS 7 usability survey took me about 5 minutes to complete. And in addition to helping out the devs with these data points, it also brought my own habits into sharp focus. Neat!
You can fill out the survey right here.