Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 LTS Installer - Usability Test

…To follow up on Tim’s Ubuntu Desktop 24.04 LTS roadmap highlights post…

In User Research we’ve created an unmoderated test of the Ana Sereijo’s prototype. It’s on the maze.co platform.

If you have 10 minutes, please click through the installer-screens, and (if you choose to enable your microphone) tell us what you’re thinking as you go

Just speak aloud, tell us what works for you – and what you feel we could improve.

The study records your clicks, and flows though the screens, so we see where you are spending time, getting stuck, or moving forward easily.

At the end there’s a short questionnaire about the features you value most, etc, and chance to comment in general).

Try the Desktop Provisioning Usablity Test

All ideas are welcome; please answer from your own point-of-view. We’re seeking the widest range of opinions.

Some caveats: It’s a prototype built in figma – nothing is installed! Not all screens planned (in Tim’s post) are included yet, graphics are incomplete, words not final, and not every interaction is modelled. It’s our chance to optimise the designs before the UI is frozen and engineering is completed. However, it covers most of the questions people face during provisioning.

If you have any comments on the test-experience, the tool, or the questions / research method/ then direct those to me here. I’m keen to hear what you think of this approach, and I’m sure we’ll iterate.

Many thanks.

Martin Storey
Canonical User Research


Very nice interface. Not sure my mic got through, though - I have a rather unorthodox audio set up here, and I also had Autechre playing in the background. :stuck_out_tongue:

Still, a very nice interface for testing purposes.


Thanks! (We’ll get the AI to analyse the Autechre.)


Done! Overall I found the design very appealing and it had a professional feel to it. I really like the summary screen of my choices before the installation commences. I have left additional comments in the recording. One additional thought though is that sometimes the UX choices can’t be completely disentagled from having good copy to go with it. The part about collecting hardware info could be more specific about the benefits thereof. Or if there aren’t any benefits I would exclude it. But if collecting the hardware info is directly related to checking certification levels that could be very useful. Example “Agree to collect hardware info to recommend drivers and check certifications for your device”. Not the actual copy but just indicative of my point. Doing many Windows installations too I usually get suspicious when I read things like “optimising your experience”. To me it usually means we’ll install a whole lot of bloatware which you didn’t want.


I’m at work and can’t enabled sharing or mic, but one minor thing jumped out: The progress spinner when updating the updater seems odd spinning counter-clockwise.

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You felt that time was going backwards?


Subconsciously probably :smirk: It just felt out of place, like a progress bar going right to left with a left-to-right script.

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:wink: My jokes aside, I found it really good. It’s very streamlined, even though it packs a lot more information and screens than previous installers. (Putting Accessibility options front-and-centre is a win, IMO.)

It didn’t present any difficulties for me, but one screen where newcomers might be stumped is the full-disk encryption selection. It would be a shame to have to overload that part of the installer with more text, but more info on the different options would be great (i.e., why full-disk encryption, why hardware-supported or classic, etc.) No idea how that can be solved without a huge infodump, but it’s the only sticking point I found.


The copy in the prototype was done in haste but now we’re going through it in detail. Expect it to get much better :slight_smile:


Yes, agree here that “optimize” sets off alarm bells for folks who have done too many installs of Windows, where it stands in for “send us everything you type and maybe theoretically it could help you someday after we profit from it”.

On the overall approach - LOVE it. If it’s relatively easy to set up on the back-end, this could be a best practice for any type of interface design feedback.


Done the usability test. I think that some slides require some extra info (like the one for choosing in which hard disk to install the OS), and also it would be a good idea to try to reduce the number of slides if possible, for example combining in the same slide the language and keyboard selection, since both are very correlated.

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Language and keyboard selection are NOT correlated, I Install in English but have an Italian keyboard.

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I have a question: the new desktop installer is the ubuntu-desktop-bootstrap found in the recent ISOs or another one? I used ubuntu-desktop-bootstrap and found it very easy and complete for me.
I install in English with Italian keyboard reformatting a preexisting partition, multiboot with other *buntu but NOT Windows.


Of course that there are exceptions, but in general they are correlated. That’s why I think that both should be in the same page. I didn’t meant to say “remove it”. I mean something like this:

Choosing, let’s say, “Spanish” in the language box would also select “Spanish” in the keyboard layout, but after that, you could change the keyboard layout if you want. So in your case, you would choose “English” as language (and “English layout” would be also selected), and then you would go to the other box and change the layout to “Italian”. But the majority of people would just select the language and have automagically selected the right layout too, all in a single slide.

EDIT: of course, usability people would have a lot to say here O:-)


ubuntu-desktop-bootstrap or ubuntu-desktop-provision?
I found a problem on Xubuntu installation (empty white window from installer)
I tried to open a bug … and after several attempts I was led to open a bug against ubuntu-desktop-provision:

is this the new name of the installer? if I find other problems during install should I report the bugs to ubuntu-desktop-provision?

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It is the name of the project… if you click the “code” link at the top of your bug and go to “browse the code” you’ll find two snapcraft.yaml files under the snap directory in the tree, one creating the ubuntu-desktop-bootstrap and the other the ubuntu-desktop-init snaps…

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Thanks, that’s useful feedback. The balance between too much and tool little information, in a way that works for as many as possible is our mission.


In general, we would balance number of screens with complexity per screen. I’m interested to see where people get stuck, spend a lot of time, or have trouble making a choice because the options are unclear to them. My hunch so far with that keyboard choice is one of the easier choices.

We are aware of the total number of screens - inherently it’s under pressure to go up over the years as features are added, so there’s also the balance of what must be asked for a successful install and what can be asked later. Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming.


I think the “Choose your theme” screen could be eliminated because the user can choose after installation


I have just tried the Desktop Provisioning Usability Test. Probably, like many of us on this discourse, I am not the typical average Ubuntu (new) user, so my opinions are not very helpful to developers. I find the new installer just good. I suggested adding a page to notify the user if the hardware is working fine (i.e: wifi connection, mic, audio) but I don’t even know if that is technically possible.