[Desktop_printing] Usability: Printing roles, tasks and environments

Ellen Reitmayr ellen.reitmayr at relevantive.de
Wed Mar 8 05:31:41 PST 2006

Hash: SHA1

Michael Sweet wrote:

> CUPS 1.2's web interface is, IMHO, a step in the right direction
> (but hey, I'm biased ;) in that administration and printer
> installation/configuration happen in one place for the user.

Does there happen to be a demo online? and if so: could you give us a
demo account where we can play a bit? :)

> All printers have some common configuration information:
>     Name (queue name, sometimes human-readable, e.g. "LJ4000")
>     Description (human-readable text, e.g. "HP LaserJet 4000")
>     Location (human-readable text, e.g. "Building 4 Room 301")
>     Device URI (geek-readable, e.g. "ipp://")
>     Printer Driver (PPD filename, e.g. "hp4000_6.ppd")
>     Page Size (e.g. "Letter", "A4", etc.)
> Most of this can be auto-assigned via device discovery, and this is
> how CUPS 1.2 does things...
that means CUPS also knows about the proper ppd file when a printer is
connected to a computer (plug-and-play)?

> Many printers provide optional accessors such as auto-duplexers
> and extra paper trays.  These show up as "installable options"
> in the PPD file and must (currently) be manually selected by the
> user when they setup the queue:
>     Auto Duplexer: Installed/Not-Installed
>     Large Capacity Tray: Installed/Not-Installed
>     ...

is there a special reason why they have to be selected manually?
and how many optional accessors may that be (max number in a high-end user)?

> Most printers offer additional device output/quality options:
>     Media Type (plain, glossy, matte, etc.)
>     Media source (auto, tray 1, upper, lower, etc.)
>     Duplexing (1-sided, 2-sided long edge, 2-sided short edge)
>     Color Mode (grayscale, color, photo, etc.)
>     Resolution (600dpi, 2880x1440dpi, etc.)
>     Output Tray (top, side)

> High-end printers (basically copiers with built-in computers)
> typically offer finishing options:
>     Staple (top-left, side, saddle)
>     Fold (booklet, Z-fold for brochures, etc.)
>     2/3 Hole Punch (top, bottom, left, right sides)
>     Mailbox (next available, specific slot, etc.)

ok, thanks.
are these lists complete?

> It might be more productive to focus more on classes of users that
> perform all of the classic printing roles, for example:

sure, next step ;-)
but the classic printing roles basically cover all the tasks that need
to be performed, no? The reason I ask is that we still need to get clear
about the possible task space before thinking of concrete use scenarios,
just to make sure we do not forget anything..


- --


Ellen Reitmayr          email: reitmayr at relevantive.de
Usability Engineer      mobil: +49.177.3325867
relevantive AG          fon:   +49.30.23455630
Saarbruecker Str. 38    fax:   +49.30.23455639
10405 Berlin            web:   www.relevantive.de
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