2004-01-30:DAV: moved to http://visual.wiki.taoriver.net/moin.cgi/UserInterface . This is now just an archive copy.
"Everything I know about user interfaces".
This has generic UI info. Here we talk about good things to show the user while your program is running.
[FIXME: move relevant stuff from html.html, book.html, arm.html to here] [ is computer_architecture.html#os related ? ]
Testing is a form of bravery; actually going out and asking people: what do you think about this? Do you recognize these Icons? Where do you think you are? It's a very primitive bravery; the technological shell surrounding the basic insight that you've got to try things out is still thin. (An astronomer can understand a usability engineer, but a usability engineer probably can't understand an astronomer.)Jutta Degener http://kbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~jutta/me/notes.html
Re:1996 may as well be a thousand years (Score:5, Insightful) by the eric conspiracy (rlarson-at-monmouth-dot-com by-the-sea) on Saturday July 22, @03:00PM EDT (#25) (User #20178 Info)
The pro-Mac principles target the wretched masses who are so technically challenged, no?
The purpose of the Mac user interface is to enable the user who is not inclined to spend time needlessly learning technical minutia when he could be using the computer as a tool towards other ends. The point of computers is not computers, but as tools to be used to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
It has nothing to do with whether or not you are technically challenged; I have worked with brilliant scientists who have no use for computers other than simple tasks like email and writing papers. It is about whether you see the computer as an end or as a means.
This .sig no verb.
Re:1996 may as well be a thousand years (Score:2, Insightful) by Ty (web@SPAMSCANBITEMYNUGGIES@intentor.org) on Saturday July 22, @05:01PM EDT (#122) (User #15982 Info) http://www.intentor.org
The point of automobiles isn't automobiles, it's tranportation. You still have to put some time and effort into learning how to drive. A computer is a tool but it's a complicated tool.
This is a stupid analogy. What of anti-lock breaks? Automatic transmissions? Cruise-control?
If you look at the evolution of most consumer products, including computers, it is obvious that a large goal of the creaters is to improve effectivness as well as the learning curve to the product.
It's not at all unreasonable to for consumers to ask that the technology they want to use to be intuitive and easy to learn. Take the classic example of VCR clocks. ...The one I bought 4 months ago set its own time when I plugged it in. I don't know how nor do I really care. It works and that's one less thing I have to waste my time learning how to do.
I get sick of this "hard" attitude -- that you need to somehow put a certified amount of time into learning a tool before you can use it. It hinders productivity.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups...
http://slashdot.org/articles/00/07/22/1455258.shtml XMLterm...does it qualify? (Score:2, Interesting) by Spoing on Saturday July 22, @03:57PM EDT (#85) (User #152917 Info)
The XMLterm web page says it best; It's a terminal .. It's a web page .... It's XMLterm .
A GUI CLI, whodathunkit?
While it might not qualify as a pure example of an Anti-Mac interface, it could easily be mistaken for a transitional form. The screenshots from the web site tell the story better. Pay special attention to these two; Graphics with text CLI Collapsing output from the GUI/CLI like a folder list
"Meat. They're made out of meat."
KDE User Interface Guidelines http://developer.kde.org/documentation/design/ui/fittslaw.html
Password handling is simultaneously one of the few Solved Problems of Cryptography *and*
one of the most misunderstood. Simply store a MD5 or SHA-1 one-way hash of the password.
"On Choosing Encryption ..." http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/06/07/2250201 discusses the most popular encryption algorithms, and how to choose one.
-- Donald Norman [FIXME: #what people really want]
Why do we have so many unusable things when we know how to make them usable? I think it has to do with the fact that the usability advocates don't understand business. Until they understand it and how products get made, we will have little progress. In the field of design, people come from three very different backgrounds.
- They come from art and architecture schools and they know how to make attractive things. Or
- they trained in computer science and psychology and they know how to make usable things but they don't know how to build anything, they're just good at finding flaws. Or
- they come from ethnography, and they are superb at understanding what people really need, but don't know how to translate that into products.
So all this has to come together, otherwise no decent products will result. ...
... The Internet has been successful, but it could have been designed better. What's successful is the interface - the graphical user interface really made a big difference. But we know it doesn't work on the cellphone. I believe that having information available on a cellphone will turn out to be more important than on the computer, but it will have to have a different format. ...
... If there's anything more annoying than a machine that won't do what you want, it's a machine that won't do what you want and has been programmed to behave as though it likes you. I'm not trying to make computers empathise with you. ...
... So emotions will be used to help machines survive, not to mimic human beings or try to make people feel good. ...
Facial recognition not only has technical flaws, it could change the whole way we live. ... That's where it's really worrying, because people will think the security is foolproof - and it isn't.
-- Havoc Pennington http://www106.pair.com/rhp/free-software-ui.html | mirror http://ometer.com/free-software-ui.html
User interfaces are hard to learn how to do well, they are a legitimate area of expertise. ...
Creating a good UI is a matter of assembling and effectively organizing a sufficiently large and coordinated group of contributors for a sufficiently long amount of time.
... It's just a matter of creating a critical mass of people who "get" what the right thing to do is, and having the resources to go ahead and do it.
One of the hardest lessons of GUI programming is that hard coding behavior can be the Right Thing. ...
... advanced users do not want a million useless preferences when things should just work ...
- Non-programmers insist that context-sensitive, on-line help must be provided with an application.
- Non-programmers want screen-shots in the on-line help. They don't care if it increases an application's file size.
- Non-programmers will go through an on-line tutorial, if one is provided as part of the application.
- Non-programmers will look at a "Tips and Tricks" dialog box, if one is provided.
- Non-programmers ignore the printed manuals...
- Non-programmers don't want detailed explanations, they want simple answers.
- Non-programmers prefer short, step-by-step instructions.
- Non-programmers don't want to see information about how a feature was implemented.
- Non-programmers that I talked to have never sent a bug report or a feature request to a software company. The idea of sending one directly to a programmer or a technical writer was a completely foreign concept.
I (DAV) was surprised to hear that the average user will go through a tutorial. That's good. The last point is unfortunate.
One good comment here says roughly: "fixing the problem is more important than assigning blame."
Has links to more usability information.
This page started 2001-02-14 and has backlinks
David Cary feedback.html
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