[Desktop_printing] Usability: Printing roles, tasks and environments

Bastian, Waldo waldo.bastian at intel.com
Tue Mar 7 09:10:36 PST 2006

>It might be more productive to focus more on classes of users that
>perform all of the classic printing roles, for example:
>     1. The One Computer User - S/he has one computer and one
>        printer.  If s/he uses any networking, it is to do email
>        and surf the web.
>     2. The Home Network User - S/he has two or more computers
>        and one or more printers on a (wireless) network.  S/he
>        manages one of the computers as a server for the rest,
>        sharing printers, etc. as needed.

I think that the "manages one of the computers as a server" part can be
considered an overstatement in many cases. I think it's often more a
case of "one of the computers happens to have a printer attached which
should be usable from the other computers as well". The difference being
that the user has not made a conscious decision to make one of the
computers a "server".

>Conceptually, the One Computer User is the easiest to support and
>requires the least amount of software to do it, but right now we
>do a really bad job of supporting them.  If the various printing
>and Linux forums are any indication, printer configuration is too
>hard for them and the bundled drivers do not work.
>The Home Network User isn't all that much more difficult - we just
>need to make it easy to share the printers from one of the computers.
>Again, the *configuration* side of the equation is the major stumbling
>CUPS 1.2 should make life easier for these (and larger) users, but
>we need to make sure that the Linux distros integrate it properly...
>Did I say it was important that we talk about the installation issue?
>It's VITAL!


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