On Tue, 05 Apr 2005 14:57:31 -0400 "Eric S. Johansson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
| > Having listened to said usability experts and found that all the
| > software that I like completely breaks at least five of their seven
| > heuristics, I wouldn't be inclined to take them too seriously...
| > Their main premise seems to be that "learning is bad". 
| I think I understand.  The usability experts were using a language not
| common to geeks.

The problem is that the usability experts are (deliberately) thinking
like the average computer illiterate man on the street, rather than
considering the idea that maybe it's best to have to learn how to use
powerful, expensive equipment.

| if you listen to them with the ears of taxi drivers, insurance agents,
| doctors, salesman (i.e. 99.99 percent of the world), you'll hear them 
| say that you should not surprise users.  Behavior should be
| consistent,  don't hide interface elements, let there be multiple ways
| of finding the  same operation (open file versus get file).  There is
| a whole list of  things to do and not do.  The Macintosh does a
| phenomenal job at being a  good user interface most of the time. 

I've used OSX. It's horrible. The entire operating system is designed to
hide as much as possible of what's actually going on, and instead
presenting it in hugely flawed metaphors.

| Unfortunately their errors are  quite glaring and persistent.

And when the metaphors break down, the users are utterly screwed, even
if they *do* have a technical background, because they've been trained
so hard to think in terms of these daft metaphors. Oh, and don't expect
any help from technical people either, because they can't get the
information they need or do the things they need to do because it's all
hidden behind broken abstractions.

| If you want to see how bad things are, try telling a naive user to
| type  what you want them to type.  Corrections only come after they
| have  completed typing what you just said.  Welcome to my world.

Which is why naive users shouldn't be unleashed upon computers without
some kind of training first.

| > And if you don't want
| > to learn, you're using the wrong distribution...
| like I said there is learning and there is scar tissue.  Learning
| serves  a purpose, scar tissue is just hazing.  so, is gentoo about
| hazing or  being useful?

It's about being useful. In order for it to be useful, you need to learn
how to use it. Given a choice between giving the user power or making
things easy for a user who isn't prepared to spend a few minutes
learning, we make things powerful.

Did I mention that vim is the pinnacle of user interface design?

Ciaran McCreesh : Gentoo Developer (Vim, Fluxbox, shell tools)
Mail            : ciaranm at gentoo.org
Web             : http://dev.gentoo.org/~ciaranm

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