Usability Studies

Giacomo Poderi poderi1980 at
Tue Feb 22 15:17:03 UTC 2011


On 22/02/11 15:40, Matthias Kirschner wrote:
> for an interview I was asked if Free Software is less useable than
> non-free software. Do you have any good studies which I can include in
> the reply?


there's no academic study which *specifically* compares usability in proprietary
software against Free Software.

Usually, that FS involve more usability problems than proprietary software is
the assumption that is used to bring forward other specific research aims.

If you want to have a quick look at one of these ref. They are the ones that are
most typically cited (I think you can easily find them through

> Andreasen, M. S., Nielsen, H., Schroder, S., & Stage, J. (2006). Usability in open source software development: opinions and practice. Information technology and control, 25(3A), 303–12.

> Nichols, D., & Twidale, M. (2003). The Usability of Open Source Software. First Monday, 8(1). Retrieved from

> Nichols, D. M., & Twidale, M. B. (2006). Usability processes in open source projects. Software Process: Improvement and Practice, 11(2), 149-162. doi:10.1002/spip.256

> Terry, M., Kay, M., & Lafreniere, B. (2010). Perceptions and practices of usability in the free/open source software (FoSS) community. In Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 999-1008). Atlanta, Georgia, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1753326.1753476

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