User friendly Free Software Desktops

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Fri Jul 20 09:17:36 UTC 2001

On Thu, Jul 19, 2001 at 10:23:26PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> Ah!  Wait a minute!  This is the guy whose "Cooperism" I've been
> seeing the usability press attacking recently? 

Possibly; although I have to say I haven't seen anything in particular
attacking him myself. 

I suppose they have to keep inventing new ideas and paradigms, otherwise
they wouldn't have anything to write about! 

> Sounds like "principle of least surprise" to me.  That's why I find
> Postilion such a good mail client for new users.  XEmacs doesn't
> always obey it.  ;-)

Yeah, mostly. It's also a principle of making sure the learning curve isn't
so steep it puts people off - geeks are well known for scaling curves which
are almost sheer vertical; normal people won't accept that at all.

> > doing things. Although we're actually pretty piss poor at designing
> > interaction currently as a community (which I think everyone would admit??),
> I might, once I understand what you mean by it.

By interaction, I mean the interface to the program and the behaviour of the
program. The interface (for me) defines the method in which the user and
program pass information to each other. The interaction is the combination
of the information passing and the behviour of the program itself (i.e.,
when you press the 'Bold' button on your word processor, a good interaction
is that it makes the text you've selected visibly bolder. A bad interaction
might be turning it italic :)



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