The Brazilian Linux YouTube channel DioLinux posted a really interesting video about elementary OS 6: the goal was to challenge the youtuber’s wife to perform simple tasks on eOS 6. Since a lot of people do not speak Portuguese (yes, in Brazil people speak Portuguese), I’ve decided to comment the video because I believe the experiment can be really instructive to the elementary OS team.
Each Section of this post corresponds to a challenge or task that Luana had to perform. It is important to point out that Luana is not a technical user, although apparently she does have some experience using Ubuntu.
Task 1: Use the Camera app to take a picture and change user’s profile picture
She went fine in this one, but the OS did not help her here. She looked for the app in the Applications menu and opened it. However, it seemed that the app did not behave as expected and she did not know whether she was taking the photos or not. After trying again, she successfully changed the picture using the shortcut to User Settings at the users indicator.
Task 2: Install a new app, fix it on the Dock, open it, close it and then uninstall it.
Installing and opening the app was fine. She went to the AppCenter and choose Ordone. However, the simple task of minimizing it was not that easy. She opened the app through AppCenter, but, since the app’s icon did not show correctly on Plank, she struggled to find the app there.
She was not able to fix the app at the dock and again the OS did not help her here. She correctly went to the Applications menu expecting to locate the app there. Sadly, the app wasn’t there (this known bug can be really terrible for beginners), so she couldn’t find the app’s icon on Application menu in order to try some right click on it… So, she had to skip this part of the task. Finally, she successfully uninstalled the app from AppCenter.
Task 3: Install Spotify
This one she thought would be easy. She went to the AppCenter, searched for Spotify and boom! Nope, Spotify was not there. So, she decided to look for the app on the web. After looking for some known browsers, she realized that the only browser available was Web. She went to Spotify’s website and found instructions only for Ubuntu.
It was only after receiving a tip from her husband that she went to Flathub and finally managed to install the app. At that point she mentioned that she wouldn’t have thought about Flathub by herself. And again we faced the missing icon bug.
Task 4: Create a text file, save it on the Documents folder, send it to the trash and finally empty the trash.
This one also brings us some interesting observations. After looking for a text editor at the Applications menu, the first app she discarded was Code. She mentioned that she did not need to write some code, so, Code could not be the app she was looking for. She looked a little disappointed when she realized that there was no text editor.
She decided to give Code a try and finally managed to get the task done.
Task 5: Download some images from the web and create a slide presentations using them
She was nice to the OS again, but it did not help her again. She gave AppCenter a try, searched for OnlyOFFICE and boom: nothing there! Notice that it should be there(!), since she had installed Spotify from Flathub when performing Task 3.
She then downloaded OnlyOFFICE from Flathub, downloaded some images and concluded the task.
Task 6: Install your favorite browser
She went for Chrome. And again, AppCenter let her down. She even made a joke about the AppCenter, in her words
Apparently Google Chrome is not reliable! =)
which is true in some extent, but I think for a beginner this sounds weird. It is from Google after all.
She searched for Chrome on Flathub and nothing. She then decided to search for it on the web. Again, the OS let her down. She downloaded the .deb package from Chrome’s website, opened but the OS opened as a zip file. She even considered to extract the files, which was reasonable at this point.
To get things done, she just changed her favorite browser to Firefox and installed it from Flathub.
Task 7: Set Dark Mode on and change the Wallpaper
She got this done easily… There is nothing to mention here.
Luana mentioned that the felt as a newbie using the OS. She also said that having to look for apps on Flathub reminded her the times she used Windows and had to go to websites that offered free apps to download.
It is important to point out again that Luana is a smart user and linux is not totally new to her. So, I think she is even more prepared to the OS than users coming from Windows.
In my opinion the video shines some light on well-known problems such as missing icons and apps that do not show on Applications menu after being installed. To me, for an distro that present itself as a replacement for Windows, it is unacceptable that tasks like installing Chrome or Spotify or creating a simple text file or even pinning an app at the dock* are not straightforward. If you want to sell your OS as a replacement for Windows, I think the user should be able to perform the aforementioned tasks easily. Otherwise, chances are that you will simply loose the user.