“What I experienced was obtuse and complex software that was packed with gratuitous features at the expense of usability and user experience. It was software written by geeks, for geeks.” – Nice little article. I couldn’t agree more. Open source applications in general are very poorly done in terms of UI almost across the board. That’s why FogCreek can sell bug tracking software for $100/user when Bugzilla is free and why 37 Signals can sell Basecamp when there are hundreds of open source project management tools.
If I ever start an open source project (and I hope to down the road) the first thing I’m going to do is recruit some designer/UI types. These are the type of people who are rarely if ever get involved in the open source community and it shows. Geeks and designers are kind of like oil and water so perhaps that’s why the designers stay away from the Geek dominated world of open source, but that’s got to change if open source wants to become as successful in applications as it has been in infrastructure.