On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 10:29 AM, James Ellis <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> the point is
> that any good user interface has multiple pathways to the same end result. In
> the scrollbar case we can use:
> * the keyboard
> * the scroll wheel
> * the scrollbar drag
> * the scrollbar buttons
> * any other device that can trigger a scroll event...
> In that instance, who is to say that what someone else does is wrong?

Mr. user interface himself Jef Raskin contradicts this point in "the
Humane Interface" and I would tend to agree. Having too many ways to
do something increases the amount of mental burden. Having an
interface like this is asking the user to learn all the different ways
to accomplish something. And then once they've done that, they must
decide what is the best way, each time they do it. Any good user
interface has precisely one way to get something done- the best way
(and this is measurable objectively, contrary to what you imply), and
discards all the other ways. Then you only have to learn ONE thing for
that task, develop it into a habit, and it becomes a subconscious

Having a zillion ways to do something is a Microsoftian philosophy
that you can see in MS Windows, MS Excel and MS Word through and
through. Using any of those products gives me a headache, I must say.

As for why people use google instead of an address bar? Because that's
what you do for everything! In order to use it you only have to learn
to do that one thing, rather than learning:
1. If it's a word or phrase use google, and
2. What a URL looks like, recognising when it's valid, and deciding to
put it into the address bar.

Option 2 requires expertise most people don't have, and don't want to
bother learning- and it puts a burden on them to make a decision,
which increases stress levels.
The penalty for getting it wrong is that it doesn't work! wheras the
penalty from using google is so soft that most people don't even
notice the 4 extra seconds they spend clicking a link. So I can see
quite clearly why people would tend to use the nicer, more user
friendly function, that works every time, rather than risk the address
bar for the vague promise of maybe being a little faster.

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