[Freedombox-discuss] 1.Human understanding (UX) + 2.Forum
euomu at inventati.org
Sat Mar 18 17:09:13 UTC 2017
1. I would like to discuss more at large the "Human understanding (UX)"
topic. I tried a while ago but I guess an email list is not the proper
channel to have such discussions (that's why I propose the 2nd issue: a
NOTE: when I talk about UX, I talk about user experience, NOT UI, user
I will give it a try again to touch on the "Human understanding (UX)"
topic, on an email list. My intention is to draw the attention on :
a) The idea of building tools for the *general public* (vs techies),
which is dictating the direction (and decisions) for the whole project
a)The idea of building tools for the *general public* (vs techies) is
part of the official Freedombox Mission: "3.Make it easier for anyone to
install, configure, and start using self-hosted services." (for the
honorable reason "Why", read the "Vision"
To illustrate the problem I think Freedombox project has regarding
"Human understanding (UX)", I will use only one example (out of many):
-I followed the manual to install dynamicDNS(GnuDIP) and it seemed to
work. BUT, the manual never mentioned that I also have to configure my
router for freedombox to actually *be usable* (access the box from
outside). Most *people* use routers at home, so configuring the router
is one of the most important parts for using freedombox, and that is not
reflected in the instructions for installing and *using* dynamicDNS. I
found in "Questions And Answers" what imho it should have been
mentioned(at least linked to) in the manual: "How to configure my router
in case of dynamic DNS?". BUT, even here, things are not clear: how one
does steps 1, 3 and 4? (if not explained, at least linked to some
This example might be seen just as a documentation problem or it can be
seen as, what I think it is, a deeper problem, one of understanding
human beings (the "general public"). I say this because I'm part of the
"general public" and I'm amassed that in 7 years since the Fredombox
project exists, no one took into consideration that *most people* run a
router in their home, therefore is important to document "running
FreedomBox behind a router" (see TO DO list
As I said in the beginning, "[Human understanding (UX)] is dictating the
direction (and decisions) for the whole project". By looking at the
applications in Freedombox, it seems that developers found more
important to have 2 torrent applications(instead of one - for now), or
support for games, instead following the Mission they setup for
themselves and respecting the Vision of the project (document such a
crucial part of using the fredombox: "running FreedomBox behind a
router" - see TO DO list https://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox/Manual/TODO").
I think it's pretty clear by now that, at least in the case I presented
above, the problem is not with poor documentation (which will be easily
dismissed by the "it's a volunteer based project" argument), but it's a
deeper problem, with "human understanding" (general public's needs) and
true dedication and actually respect to the Mission and Vision, the
project setup for itself.
I can only assume that it's a huge amount of work to build what
Freedombox has build and planned to build in the future, but if the
approach is not a mature one (having multiple choices for torrent
applications before having a smooth, complete setup of the server
itself), everyone will loose...beside Google and Facebook.
I think, at least for a new person, it's easier to grasp the project's
pulse in a forum than in an email list (because the way it's displaying
the information). And also easier to have ampler discussions, which can
be beneficial at a conceptual level (not only at technical level).
Hopefully this feedback will help. Please let me know if I can
contribute to the wiki(or some other freedombox content) with something
related to the above points.
All the best
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