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Subject: Re: Putting the user in the loop (Was Re: len0x: apps settings.c, 1.310, 1.311)

Re: Putting the user in the loop (Was Re: len0x: apps settings.c, 1.310, 1.311)

From: Michael E. DiFebbo <>
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 10:01:35 -0500

> One better way would be to have polls on the rockbox site on these
> issues, with questions such as "Do you have the 'Follow playlist'
> option set to yes? no?". Having a Wiki page for suggestions would be
> another, since several users could express their wills before they're
> turned into a poll

I think that in the appropriate situation, polls can be a better
indication of user preferences or expectations than discussions on the
forum or mailing list. One example that comes to mind is the issue or
whether the selector should be an inverse bar or an arrow. When the
arrow was eliminated to recover some code space, there was some very
vocal opposition on the forum. I conducted a poll of what selector
people actually used: (Note: this poll was
conducted on the Mistic River site, but I also posted a link to it on
the Rockbox forum.) As it turns out, the opposition to elimination of
the arrow selector came from a small (less than 10% of over 100
respondents) but very vocal minority. I think that Linus or Daniel
ultimately decided to restore the arrow selector as an option, but to
make the inverse bar the default. Had that decision been made based
only on the comments posted on the forum--which tended to come from the
disgruntled minority rather than the happy majority--they would have
reached the wrong decision about what the real user preference was.

I don't think that every single decision requires a vote of the users.
But in situations where the question is one of user preferences or user
ergonomics, polls can be useful.
Received on 2005-11-04

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