On 5 Jun 2001, at 15:43, Chris Brown wrote:

[how to improve the GIMP Look&Feel]
> My second suggestion is more technical, finding a way (and forgive me
> if there already is) to allow Gimp to have skins or something like
> that so that if someone wants it to *look* like Photoshop, they can. I
> defenately feel that some customizability is a key to a good UI. With
> the default being something that people are familiar with.

I would just like to note that there seems to be the idea that 
improving the looks of a UI automatically improves the UI (you use 
even stronger language, you call it the key to a good UI). I think 
this is a fallacy, although I would be hard pressed to find 
literature to back me up. However, if you think it true, you will 
soon realize that the functionality of a UI plays a part too.

Looks belong to the part of interface design (AFAIK) that have to do 
with the user experience. Users may think that a certain skin is 
cooler, but will it actually help them to perform their tasks better? 
This is a complex area, which is (one reasion) why UIs get user 
tested before release. I do not think any of us have the resources to 
test the way users interact with the GIMP, although I would love to 
do such a study one day. (Hey, maybe we can ask a school or 
university to do such a study for us! Are there people here who think 
that that is a good idea?) Only seeing what users do and how users 
use a tool will help you understand the consequences of your choices 
in presenting a UI.

branko collin
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