First off, let me say I absolutely love this discussion. I actually read 143 posts on a subject about default installed software…yeah, I like computers I guess. Also, thank you to the Canonical employees that partake in this, I work in support, always nice to see open conversations.
In regard to the subject at hand though! I am breaking this down in my mind to the following:
- Identify the list of installed apps (desktop primarily I imagine) with the Full Install
- Place the apps into categories based on their function
- Curate said categories
- Give users options on accepting curated categories
- (Optional) Give users options on maintaining curated category changes
From posts here, it sounds like people still see value in a large all included Full Install, and I can see the appeal for some communities. As such, I am not sure we can ever get away from the option of a Full or Minimal install during the initial setup. I do believe, as others have stated, that asking the user to choose apps at time of install may be needlessly complicated; as such I see those two options as the bare minimum and maximum.
I did like Tim’s blog post on Nought to Productivity. Moving a lot of questions to post install standardizes the customer experience across Full, Minimal, and OEM. The manual installer should really just be disk setup and Full vs Minimal.
Post install I think Windows is a good general idea of how things can be…just, you know, better. This can be things like (going off Tim’s blog here mostly):
- Setup the user account
- Set time and other misc settings
- Privacy options
- Curated category approvals
The “curated categories” would be the application selection. Though even here, to make sure someones OEM experience is not overwhelming, I don’t think individual applications are a good way to go, but instead to focus on general categories the user can opt into. This I think is an important difference, they aren’t installing an app, they are accepting a Canonical/Ubuntu curated and maintained category where the app selection is decided for them.
Categories also give an option for a user to choose the curated stable packages vs the “on the horizon” apps that are new and edgy and may be the next big thing (Stable vs Horizon). So a Multimedia category may have a number of individual apps for opening a picture, movie, etc. The user wouldn’t choose or approve the individual apps, they would just approve or accept the Ubuntu curated defaults or choose to manage themselves. If the curated app in a category changes the user could get a notification (through the store or help app?) that lets them know the category they are subscribed to had a change, and if they want to unsubscribe or stay on the subscription with its changes.
Not sure if this is a better way of approaching it. In my mind it feels simpler in what is shown to the user, but I might be fooling myself and the “cognitive load” on the customer is the same with no benefit.
Desktop design is hard…