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Shuttleworth on Ubuntu 11.04 Linux & Unity

Ubuntu 11.04 has been out for a few days now and while, generally speaking, I like Ubuntu’s new Unity interface, I know some people really dislike it. So, who better to explain why Unity looks and works the way it does than Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and the company behind it, Canonical?

Shuttleworth opened by saying that the main point of Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity was “to bring the joys and freedoms and innovation and performance and security that have always been part of the Linux platform, to a consumer audience.”

How did Canonical do it? Shuttleworth explained that it was a combination of user design testing with professional design work. “We committed to test and iterate Unity’s design with real users, and evolve it based on those findings. We’ve documented the process we’re following in that regard, so that other free software projects can decide for themselves if they also want to bring professional design into their process. I very much hope that this will become standard practice across all of free software, because in my view the future of free software is no longer just about inner beauty (architecture, performance, efficiency) it’s also about usability and style.”

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