SpinachCon 2014

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SpinachCon 0 (2014)
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DatesMarch 21, 2014
12:00 - 17:00
LocationIndustry Lab
Cambridge, MA

SpinachCon is a test-event held this year the day before LibrePlanet.


Small to midsize projects need user-experience feedback. That's why I'm inviting you to participate in SpinachCon on March 21, 2014, from 12:00 to 5:00pm EDT, at Industry Lab in Cambridge. It's the Friday before LibrePlanet. If you're in town early, why not help us improve free software user experiences? By providing feedback and constructive criticism for the inaugural group of participating free software projects, you'll be helping to build better free software!
Featuring GNU Mailman, GNU MediaGoblin, LibreOffice, and Inkscape, SpinachCon is a five hour open house where users will come by and do a few tasks with each project. In order to make it even friendlier, projects will pair up and hear each other's feedback. This precludes the developers or project evangelists from interrupting your feedback with explanations or apologies. After the event is over, each project gets to take their own feedback with them.


  • Robinson Tryon


We'll bring some swag:

  • Stickers
  • Maybe some other items?

Potential Test Tasks...

Astron writes...

Sounds awesome. Will it be possible to get video footage of users? (Two notes:
please get some data on the users (age, sex, computer usage habits) +
make sure users explain what they are doing and thinking all the time.)

Some ideas ...

  • Start center:
 * On a fresh installation, ask if they are confused by the whitespace on the
   right side
 * Ask users what they would expect behind the Extensions button
   (before clicking it of course)(see also tdf#75563) (Do users understand what
   extensions are?)
 * Ask users to create a new spreadsheet, a new presentation
  • Writer: styles:
 * Ask users if they understand what a style is (and if they're using the
 * Ask users to write two paragraphs of random text
 * Ask users to create a paragraph and a character style
 * Ask users to apply these styles to one of the paragraphs
 * Ask users to reset styles
  • Writer: auto-generated tables:
 * Ask users to create a document with headings etc. (or maybe provide one,
   to make it quicker)
 * Ask users to create a table of contents
 * Ask users to change a heading and make sure the table is in sync
  • Writer: page number:
 * Ask users to insert a page number in the format "Page n of m" into the
   footer of a document
  • Writer: Working with templates
 -- though I am not sure if the template manager is in good enough shape for
  this (there are very obvious pain points), so no proposal what to do here
  • Calc: conditional formatting:
 * Have they ever used it? Do they understand what it is?
 * Apply a colour bar to a range of cells
 * etc.

Hm... too many Writer proposals. Anything useful among these?

Test Results

See the user feedback and responses spreadsheet for test results (3 sheets).

Getting involved

  • Email Robinson!