GNU Radio UX Studies group

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What is the GNU Radio UX Studies group?

The GNU Radio (GR) UX Studies group is made up of GNU Radio users who are interested in the improvement of GR by contributing their knowledge and time by taking UX studies. You don't have to be a GNU Radio expert. Everybody can join, using this short form.


We'll contact you regularly to give feedback, evaluate a UI design, or complete a survey.

How do I join?

You can sign-up using this short form.

It asks some basic information including a name, email address to contact you on, your time-zone.

🤔 What do I get from taking part?

First, you get the opportunity to have your GNU Radio user’s voice heard.

You help us improve GNU Radio‘s usability so you spend less time trying to figure out what you have to do to make GNU Radio work and more time doing the amazing things you do with GNU Radio, like decoding satellites or searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, or amateur radio experimenting.

You get to contribute your knowledge and experience to GNU Radio, like others contribute code, or documentation.

You help us make GNU Radio Companion accessible to users with accessibility needs, for example users with visual impairments.

You get invitations to take part in User Experience (UX) Studies. UX Studies help us understand how you use GR, what you wish GR would do, and what you expect from it.

You get the opportunity to test new GR functionality and designs we’re working on.

What type of research do you do?

🗣️ User research interviews

User research interviews are short (30-60 minutes) 1-to-1 interviews. We’ll ask about different topics for example; we'll ask about your background, what you use GNU Radio for, the difficulties you have with GR, features you'd like it to have, if you have accessibility issues with GR.

These usually happen remotely, but can happen in person, for example at a conference.

📝 Surveys

We’ll use surveys to ask you about specific GNU Radio related topics. You will need to fill out the online survey in your own time. We promise they won’t be too long.

💬 GNU Radio usability testing

During a usability study you’ll be asked to complete a task with GNU Radio. This might be trying to achieve a task using GR, beta testing a new GNU Radio Companion UI design.

You’ll be asked to “think out loud” so we understand what you are doing, why you’re doing it, and what you think you need to do next.

Don’t worry about not doing the right thing – we’re testing the software and our UI design, not you!

These studies will happen online using screen-sharing, and in-person when we are able to attend GNU Radio conferences and events.

🎁 Other studies we’ve not yet designed!

As we find new areas we have to work on, we’ll likely need to design other UX studies. They will all focus on improving GNU Radio.

These could be for example: a UX Ask Me! booth at a conferences, or evaluating or suggesting improvements for the GR documentation is, or others.

🙋 You’ve got questions?

I hope I’ve got all the answers below. If not, please get in touch with me and I’ll answer it as best as I can.

How do I join?

Everybody can join, using this short form.

Do I need to be a GNU Radio expert to take part?

This is an easy one – definitely not!

The purpose of this UX research is to talk to as diverse a group of people as possible. Our objective is to improve GNU Radio for all.

We want to speak to all GNU Radio users – it doesn’t matter about your level of expertise. We particularly want to speak with people who have accessibility needs.

Will you need to visit me in-person?

This research will be conducted remotely for most of the time.

Also, we will conduct the research – interviews, surveys, usability tests – in English. You don’t need to be fluent in English.

What will happen to the information you learn?

As GNU Radio is a Free and Open Source Software project, we aim to make our research and design work open source, and public so the GNU Radio community and other Open Source projects can learn from it and use it.

Before any 1-to-1 sessions we will ask for your permission to record the session – the decision is yours. You can also tell specific things you’d prefer to stay anonymous, and if you wish review the session notes afterwards.

Do I need to give you my real name?

Not if you don’t want to. You can choose what name – real or nickname – you’d like us to use when we contact you. You’ll also need to provide us with an email address to contact you.

Who will have access to my personal information?

Unless you tell us you want your feedback to be attributed to you, only the UX contributors (as of the date of writing this is Bernard Tyers) will have access to your personal information.

What will you do with my personal information?

We will use the information you provide during the sign-up, and all UX Studies you take part in, only to improve GR. Nothing else.

Do I need to take part in all UX Studies?

Definitely not. When you fill out the sign-up form, you can choose which UX Studies you want to take part in. We’d be happy if you took part in all, but it’s your decision.

How can I unsubscribe from the GNU Radio UX Studies?

If you want to stop taking part, please fill out this short form with the name or nickname and email address you signed up with, and we will then remove you from the list.

Is this group covered by the GNU Radio Code of Conduct?

Yes, this group, its activities and is covered by the [GNU Radio Code Of Conduct https://wiki.gnuradio.org/index.php/Code_of_Conduct].

If you'd like to know more, you can send a message to the [email address listed in the code https://wiki.gnuradio.org/index.php/Code_of_Conduct#Enforcement].

GNU Radio Companion is powerful. Don't dumb-down GNU Radio Companion!!

We've gotten some feedback that people are concerned that UX improvements mean simplifying GRC, removing it's power or configurability. There is *no* plan to remove any of the power of GNU Radio. Providing a good User Experience doesn't mean dumbing-down, or simplifying software. Good user experience means making software work for it's users - providing them with the tools they need to do what they want. It also means supporting users when they are unsure what to do.

Taking part in the UX Studies group gives you the opportunity to be part of the improvements made to GRC.

Help us reach more GNU Radio users

All GNU Radio users are invited to sign-up - amateur radio operators, academic researchers, professional RF engineers, educators, and anyone else who uses GNU Radio.

In order to reach as many GR users as possible, please do one (or all!) of the following:

1. If you are a social media users, please retweet this tweet, or this Mastodon toot. 2. Share this page directly with someone who know uses GNU Radio (by email, in person over a coffee, your choice)

Thanks in advance.