I‘m glad that open-source software is taking usability seriously. I think that not having a good user experience may be one of the biggest hurdles to more open-source adoption (e.g., compare GIMP to Photoshop). Shuttleworth (of Ubuntu) has a great plan: the STFU protocol.
During his keynote, he extended an invitation to any open source application to submit their software for testing by user-experience experts. The sessions would be recorded for posterity, and the developer would not be able to interact with the user.
“If the developer is in the room, they have to say nothing. It’s the shut the f— up protocol,” Shuttleworth said. “You sit and watch someone struggle with the software that you’ve so lovingly produced.”