Thanks for starting this really interesting thread, which I have not had time to do more than skim read yet.
However, there are some general points that I think are worth making:
Types of usability
Usability is not a single concept, and it can help to be aware of the different dimensions to clarify your thinking. The main ones are:
- Learnability / Discoverability - how easy is it for someone to work out how to create of modify a quiz for the first time, or to know to use one of the more specific advanced features that exist when they happen to need it?
- Efficiency - how quick and easy is it for someone who knows exactly what they are doing to set up the particular quiz that they have in mind?
- Transparency - suppose another teacher asks you to for help with their quiz. How quickly and easily can you see how the quiz is currently set up?
- Consistency - you have never created a Moodle quiz before, but you know about forum and assignment. Does that help?
This thread shows that most of the usability problems we have are Learnability ones. The single big form, and the complex edit quiz page, are actually quite efficient and transparent once you know what you are doing. The challenge is to improve learnability while doing as little harm as possible to the other aspects of usability (but some trade-off could be the right decision).
Incidentally, this usability situation is quite common in open source software, which often ends up being built by power users for power users.
Please recall that Moodle has various different standard roles, like Teacher, Non-editing teacher, and Student.
In the past, the majority of the usability work has focussed on the student experience, although there are still a few notable issues. (The main fixes I am aware of that could be done are the un-completed thinks linked to MDL-46090. Patches welcome )
And again, this thread backs that up. Most of the discussion is about usability for teachers.
However, some good work has been done for teachers over the years, but there is still a lot to do.
It is a bit sad that some of the past usability improvements for teachers have been broken by recent theme/navigation changes made by Moodle HQ For example, in Boost theme, if you are looking at one quiz report, the only way to get to a different one is to go back to the quiz front page. Someone should fix that.
People hate change
Many of us know this from personal experience when they move things around in the supermarket (grrr!). However, this makes perfect sense if we remember efficiency and transparency. Any change will reduce those in the short term for existing users. Hopefully, in the long term they improve them.
We also have to remember consistency. Just about everything else in Moodle works by filling in one big complex form - though rarely as complex as for the quiz/questions.
Therefore, we need to be particularly careful before we contemplate any really huge "quiz re-design project". Instead, I would rather think about specific, incremental steps that could be taken to improve one thing at a time. In a mature project like Moodle, that is much more likely to be feasible. And, at least considering where we are starting, there are lots of things that could be made better one bit at a time. There is a lot of low-hanging-fruit, despite past improvements.
On the other hand, particularly if you are proceeding in a series of steps, it is a good idea to have some sort of overall vision about where you are going. That helps ensure that all the steps progress in the same general direction (like I did with MDL-46090 for student improvements).
At least, that is the end of this rather long post. As I say, these are general points about usability. I will comment about some of the specifics in this thread later.
I guess my general tone may be a bit negative (because I have a lot of experience how hard it can be to get these things right). However, can I assure you that I agree that there is a problem, and I am really please there are people willing to help do something about it.
Oh, and https://tracker.moodle.org/issues/?jql=component%20%3D%20Quiz%20AND%20component%20%3D%20Usability finds relevant things that are already in the tracker.