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Re: Bug voting? (in Bugzilla or whatever)

On Mon, Jul 28, 2003 at 04:19:21PM +0100, Robin Green wrote: 
> 1) Do a usability study on bugzilla. What could be done to make it
> more attractive to intermediate and non-technical users?

You don't have to do a study, bugzilla has such an awful UI even
the programmers get confused and waste lots of time with it. ;-)

Of course, problem #1 is "too damn many fields" and everyone loves
their field and will whine if you remove it. Voting is another

Anyway, I think a total redesign of bugzilla so it even _tried_ to
have a reasonable UI would be needed before it'd be worth doing user
testing... and we have a giant legacy problem with migrating to
something easier.

On the topic of voting: two reasons it's bad: 

 - it often asks users for implementation advice. what you want from
   users is root problems and goals; "it's too slow/confusing/hard to
   do foo," "I want to do bar" - rather than implementation "use
   package XYZ"/"change behavior in such-and-such way"/"put a button
   over here"

   Some bugs are root problems, but most aren't. Most are really
   implementation type of issues. So to me bugzilla should mostly be
   for technical types and developers to discuss the specific changes.

 - most bugs that get a lot of votes are just things that someone
   posted to a discussion board or blog or mailing list and said "spam
   them!!!!" - as a result, nobody takes the votes seriously.

   (happens even now, we get bugs with loads of "me too!<aol/>"

When it comes down to it, developers are going to use their own
judgment on bug priority. They already get an indication of how many
people care about a bug because they get duplicate reports, private
mail, IRC pestering, and so on.

What I think would be far, far, far more useful than voting would be a
bug triage team as Mozilla and GNOME have, so that the good bugs
aren't lost in a sea of noise, and so severity and milestone fields
are accurate. Right now developers have to do their own bug triage
for the most part.


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