GrokDoc's usability study of GNU/Linux newbies goal is to create a useful manual on basic tasks that new users will find simple and clear and easy to follow, using what we learn from our study.
GrokDoc is an offshoot of Groklaw
Our idea is this: instead of technically proficient people explaining tasks and functions to newbies, we let newbies show us what is hard for them. Proprietary software companies do such usability studies, and they benefit from the knowledge gained.
The Free/Open Source community has all that we need to do the same, using the many eyeballs approach, so to speak. Open source ideals applied to research can be very powerful.