I always enjoy reading posts about usability design, because it’s something that way too few people in the OSS world know anything about. “Designed by hackers, for hackers” as a motto seems to say “Figure it out yourself — I ain’t into that intuition thang or writin’ no manual.”
I’m definitely in agreement with Bryan on that — design trumps consistency when they’re in conflict. Designers are often afraid to make choices on what’s best for the user, so you end up with these absolutely flooded preferences dialogs (Firefox, anyone?).
This post reminded me of a useful portal for collaboration between OSS developers and usability experts.
While I’m on the subject, I figured I’d mention Joel Spolsky’s book on user interface design for programmers again.