Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Why are we scared of user research?

Most of the free software projects I know do little to none research with their users. Well: the vast majority do absolutely none, and very few do a teensy little bit, most of the time with the most vocal members of their user base. Why is that? Why is free software afraid of user research?

This presentation will propose a classification of free software types based on their ideas and attitudes towards user research. The classification is really just a joke, but I hope it will help me debunk some of the misunderstandings and myths that surround user research in free software circles. I will also try to explain what user research is actually about, how it can help your free software project, and give you some advice on how to get started with it.


Belen Barros Pena