The Document Foundation is looking for developers or a company that will be able to implement usability metrics collection for LibreOffice.
The LibreOffice devs need more than just the regular reports it gets from the community to further improve the usability and interface of the office suites. Even if it’s a huge project, with millions of active users from all over the world, it’s still not enough to understand how the application is being used.
It’s clear that The Document Foundation and all the people who are working on this project know that the interface needs to be improved in some way. It’s been changed other the past few years, but it has to be rethought and redesigned. That is hard to do when you don’t know how people are actually using it.
LibreOffice is getting better
Implementing user metrics might sound like a bad thing, but most likely it will be something that users can opt-in to, and not imposed by default. This way, developers can see how you use the available functions, how many click it takes you to do something specific, and they can assess the overall usability of LibreOffice.
“In order to improve the user interface, human interaction and usability of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation is looking for an individual or company to, as a turnkey project, implement a usability metrics collection feature to be incorporated into the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X versions of the free office suite,” Florian Effenberger wrote on theofficial blog.
This is huge undertaking, and it will take a long time to get implemented in LibreOffice. This is why The Document Foundation is making this offer public so that both developers and companies can apply and try to share their ideas.
I’m sure that there will be voices out there that will say LibreOffice is spying on what people are doing, but you have to remember that it’s impossible to make serious usability changes without this kind of technology available in the software’s backend.