QGIS is one of very few free/libre GIS, but also very complex. Thus, it needs pay attention on usability and user experience :
  • consistence -> easy to learn by abstraction
  • following best practises of other similar complex tools -> recycle your skill for this suite again
  • offer what is needed when it's needed
    Currently QGIS has no general 'roadmap' to address this topic over various releases, collect user stories or keep parts of the community together that like to work on usability
Involved users:
  • Anita Graser (UX, Website manager)
  • noone - UX ideas and external enduser perspective
  • ... add yourself here


  • GIS novices - no experience with GIS, but need to collect/update data of a datasources
  • GIS amateurs - very few experience with geodata and GIS
  • GIS experts - already experienced with various geodata datasources and different GIS tools
  • datajournalists, openstreetmapper , ... - a consequence of the raising opendata movement this users like to load/analyse/visualize different datasets

User stories

Here we list various user stories that we can test/compare against future versions of the UI


What are general problems of the current QGIS, that are to big for a single ticket?
  • QGIS 2.0 - UsabilityStyleManager big redesign of style manager
  • QGIS 2.0 - UsabilityPlugins always want to create SHP files instead of creating just layers that can be stored later if the user is happy with the results
  • QGIS 2.0 - no leftclick in map workspace
  • QGIS 2.0 - layer menus and toolboxes don't follow best practises UI design
  • QGIS 2.0 - toolbar dedicated for map workspace with tools that just work there (measure, ...)
  • QGIS 2.0 - Map style / symbolizer / labels dialog is overcrowded and has bad hierachies
  • QGIS 2.0 - Undo/Redo is available only to a few operations
  • QGIS 2.0 - Python scripting should be available also outside QGIS esp. for IDEs (pyEclipse, ...) and interpreters (IPython, ...)
  • QGIS 2.0 - All functionality should be available offline (for in the field)


General ideas that might help us to improve the UX:
  • Show style presets after adding a layer and help to select existing styling and simple altered attributes (e.g. coloring)

Closed steps

See also