Seth Nickell – Design Fu : All Work and No Play points out that GNOME has done usability really well by this point, and that just doing usability well is boring. He also points out that usability is relative to requirements and expectations, and requirements and expectations are relative to people’s understanding of what the software is — which can be changed by reimagining and repositioning the application.
Haven’t read the article he links to, just the blog entry, as of yet. Premature blogulation. But it sounds cool so I’m blogging it as a reminder to myself.
Update: Yeah, read it, and it is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the way communities of developers grow and change, and the tradeoffs that are made as goals change. Seth’s introspection on this one is great.