User Experience

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Revision as of 14:25, 29 March 2019 by MutoShack (talk | contribs) (Added usability test)
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We need help doing user experience testing! This means users testing our software, observing what does and doesn't work for them, and recording that.

If you're here to help (HOORAY!) go to the testing instance set up by Caleb Davis: [EDIT: This link has been down since 2011 something, take a look at the Live instances instead]

Sign up for an account*, add some pictures** and play around. Take some notes and then either set up an account on this wiki and add your thoughts to this page or email them to Please include your operating system and what browser you're using.

* Your email validation link may be in your spam folder!
** NOTHING ON THIS INSTANCE IS PERMANENT. This is for user experience testing only... your pics will be wiped!

You'll be able to give us the best feedback if you don't look at anyone else's notes before you start. Thanks for helping us with usability!! We really appreciate it!

User notes go in this section

By MutoShack (, Firefox 66.0, Linux Mint 19.2)


  • Can create account, log in and out just fine.
  • No complaints here.


  • No a:hover attribute over links and buttons. Makes it hard to tell if I really am hovering over a link.
  • Some links are underlined, others are not. Would be clean to make *no* links underlined, and only underline them on hover.


  • Works fine. Would work better with a "follow" feature, as then only posts I am subscribed to would appear in the home feed.
  • No complaints for the functionality.


  • I am unable to change the name of my account.
  • I am unable to create "playlists" of media.
  • I am unable to set an avatar icon for my account.
  • I am unable to set a "background header" for my account.
  • Username is always in lowercase and is not editable.
  • Unable to add more than one website link.


  • Every supported filetype uploads perfectly.


  • I am able to edit the name and description of my upload just fine.


  • The hidden "account features" feels like a gimmick. Everything important could be put in the top-bar of the site without the need for JS.
  • It is, however, very smooth and runs well.


  • The fonts load correctly. I am not a fan of custom server-side fonts, but this is subjective.


  • Runs well in Firefox, Chrome, Edge, IE11 and even NetSurf! No complaints.


  • GMG scales well in small browser windows, widescreen windows, and cell phones. No complaints.


  • Fast even on slow hardware. Nothing to complain about here.


  • The "current position in video" diamond is not aligned properly, and the green/white striped bar goes past it slightly (other than that, it is a beautiful design).
  • On the video details sidebar, "License" comes before "Download". I think download is a higher priority for the norm.
  • Uploader is unable to set thumbnail.


  • Comments are organized from oldest to newest. Should be vice versa.
  • No "threads" support. This is a good thing, as it makes comments more about the video than about starting flamewars with other comments.


  • Audio files display and play properly.
  • Audio visualization is a bit too much, for my taste, and could easily be replaced by the HTML audio player.


  • Need further testing.


  • Cursor does not turn into "pointing hand" whilst hovering over the image on FF 66.0, so it is not obvious that users can view image in HD.


  • A lighter or darker Background-color should be applied to TXT files.


  • I am unable to filter by media type on the home feed (e.g. "only display audio files"). This would be handy for people who are searching for a certain type of media.
  • There is no searchbar by default. By convention, a long searchbar centred on the top of the page would make a lot of sense.
  • There are no "like/dislike" or "follow" buttons.
  • When no-one is logged in, the site encourages you to "Set up MediaGoblin on your own server!". If people cared, they would click the link to GMG in "This site is running Mediagoblin". Running servers is not a normal person thing.

From Kaligule on Forefox 45.0.1 on Arch Linux

  • Testing goblinrefuge (Mediagoblin 0.8)
  • It would be great if there was at least some 'official' mediagobblin instance so the latest version can be testet. I know this is about decentralisation, but I wasn't able to find anyone with the newest version up and running.
  • Register, Log in, Email confirmation works fine
  • Profile description works fine, can be seen when looking at the profile:
  • Well, I didn't find anything that didn't work.
  • I would like to upload and tag multiple files at once (uploading is fixed in 0.9, at leastthats what they say)
  • When watching one of my collections, where can I add (already uploaded) Media files to it? It doesn't seem possible at the moment.
  • What are Blogs about? Is Mediagobblin a bloggingplatform, now? I can write someting and publish it, but I cannot even add Mediafiles. Strange.
  • I didn't provide a title for an image, so it took the filename and striped the '.jpg' automatically. Cool :) Maybe it would be even cooler if the filename showed up automatically in the title field in the upload dialog?
  • Is it possible to set permissions about who is allowed to see the Media and who isn't? I didn't find anything.
  • It would be nice to be able to set default values for Mediafiles. Perhaps all I upload is CC0, always.

From Jenny on Google Chrome 13.0.782.220 in Mac OSX 10.6.8

  • login ok, uploading file ok.
  • can enter profile description but it doesn't seem to show up anywhere?
  • no crash after attemping to upload a non-image and then uploading a real image (jpg)
  • uploaded a sideways image and there is no way to rotate it.

From Jenny on Safari 5.1 in Mac OSX 10.6.8

  • login ok, uploading ok
  • same problem with profile description - it's filled in but doesn't appear in the profile.
  • everything seems to work ok.

From Deb using Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx (Netbook remix version on an Aspire One) with Firefox version 3.6.18 for Ubuntu on 9.8.2011

  • could still use a little note explaining how tags work
  • submission is easy
  • seems odd that I can't add a picture of myself to my profile on a picture site
  • will people be able to search by pic tags? or search for users?
  • will people be able to group pics into albums?
  • maybe we could have something that is more obviously a dashboard than clicking on the username

From Jenny on Google Chrome 14.0.835.124 beta-m in Windows XP Professional

  • Log in ok, comments ok, deleting files works now.
  • Profile info only shows up if the website is filled in.
  • Adding a .bmp crashes chrome.
  • Other image types seem to work - tif, gif, png, jpg.
  • Adding other non-images give a message that it is not an image (txt, pdf, mdi).
  • The <- -> buttons say 'Temporary button holder' beneath them.
  • The .tif image doesn't display when browsing individual photos, just in the overall view.

From Jenny on IE7 in Windows XP Professional

  • Log in ok, comments ok, editing and deleting ok, uploading ok.
  • Display - the profile website runs into the photos. The photos line up exactly with no space between them. Everything is top-justified rather than centered.
  • The tif image doesn't display on the page for that image (where you can comment on it) - it does display on all other pages though.
  • The save changes button is cut off so you only see the letters 'SAVE CHA'.
  • The "Profile Edited" or "Posted Comment" comment dialog box displays over the username and logout buttons, as does the <- -> arrows. These also say 'Temporary button holder' which seems wrong.

Past notes

Are here,

General thoughts on running a user experience test

Could someone with experience with this fill in info here? ;)

I (Jan-Christoph Borchardt) write a thesis at the moment on Coordinating low-cost usability testing in independent free & open source software projects
There are many small tips and recipes on how to do your own testing. Especially look into the Methods part.
Please let me know if you have any other experiences with testing, I intend on regularly updating that document and release the full version freely licensed once it’s done as well as some kind of a quick start guide.

Usability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes. The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product.To run an effective usability test, you need to develop a solid test plan, recruit participants,and then analyze and report your findings.This has been explained by Usability.Gov

Low Cost Usability testing can be carried out at the Usability lab.