The usability of open source software: analysis and prospects

David M. Nichols, Michael B. Twidale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Open source communities have successfully developed many pieces of software although most computer users only use proprietary applications. The usability of open source software is often regarded as one reason for this limited distribution. In this paper we review the existing evidence of the usability of open source software and discuss how the characteristics of open-source development influence usability. We describe how existing human-computer interaction techniques can be used to leverage distributed networked communities, of developers and users, to address issues of usability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOpen Source Software in Business: Issues and Perspectives
EditorsB Ravi Kumar Jain
Place of PublicationHyderabad
PublisherThe ICFAI University Press
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2006


  • computer science
  • open source
  • human-computer interaction


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