Is there a user-testing process in place for new usability features?

First off—the devs have been on fire lately :fire:. Really great work! I’ve been a user for a while now and it’s been improving so much lately.

I posted this at BlenderArtists before I knew that this forum existed, but maybe this is the best place to ask Blender devs directly?

I have no idea if this is already in place in some way, but does the dev team conduct any user testing or usability testing when trying to choose which features are viable for release? How are feature changes that impact usability and interaction ultimately decided?

There’s a TON of really great work going into the 2.8 branch at the moment and the videos explaining the new features are excellent. I’m just curious if these features are informed by testing data at all, whether through metrics or even just testing sessions with simple tasks/goals to see if users benefit from a workflow change.

So when a panel design is proposed, or when trends show that users perform the same steps repeatedly to complete a task, it may be useful to seek out and test with users (or even new users) to really gauge the effectiveness of change, rather than just sift through reactions to change via social media or forums.

I guess there’s even opt-in analytics options or telemetry that could be useful for stuff like this with the right privacy policies.

Is there usability testing process like that in place, or is anyone interested in this?

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There is no formal testing process, but developers do get direct feedback from power users at the Blender Animation Studio and elsewhere. And of course the wider community gives feedback all over social media and forums.

To be honest we are already drowning in user feedback, from all types of users. And so it’s not obviously useful to set up even more usability testing, when that’s not the bottleneck at all.

Thanks @brecht! That’s great to know, I didn’t even think of the Studio. I bet that’s a great resource. :+1:

Here’s a more general answer to a similar question.