Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [SLUG] Linux on the desktop predictions

> Jill Rowling wrote:
> Many of our appliances don't have advanced user interfaces.
> Does your phone have an "advanced user interface"? It has buttons
> for frequently called numbers maybe.
> Yes, and the buttons are laid out differently to the ones on my computer
> keyboard...

I really covered this sort of stuff in my first post, it's just got further
away from reality with every response.

No, one wouldn't regard these applicances as having 'advanced user
interfaces'. *Some* have almost invisible user interfaces, some are learned.
For either, simplicity is king.

> The only non-human domestic thing I have seen that has an advanced user
> interface had a few billion years of evolution behind it. If you scream at
> the cat it gets lost. If you scream at the computer it says : Command not
> found

I should get me one of those... When I scream at my computer it just sits
there. ;)

> Seriously though, an advanced user interface will require some learning by
> both parties. How long did it take you to learn to drive (including the
> time before you were allowed to touch the user interface, but did anyway)?

Tough call there, I don't drive (yes, I'm am of age too). After much
prompting by an ex-girlfriend, I almost slammed into a tree in her manual
though. I can see your point. ;)

> Why should it not take just as long to learn the rules of another user
> interface?  To communicate with another person in their own language can
> also be a frustrating experience until you learn the "user interface".

Perhaps I didn't define my meaning of 'advanced user interface' well enough.
I use the word 'advanced' to mean 'of the future', not 'of complicated or
specialised utility'.

In my original post, I even went so far as to shrug off voice recognition as
far-fetched. I don't think it will have a huge impact on user interfaces for
some time (primarily for the reasons outlined in Conrad's hilarious email).

I come from the perspective of the traditional graphic designer, who judges
the quality of a design on it's practicality, and it's transparency. Early
releases of the PalmOS and MacOS are good examples of transparent brilliance
in UI design, as is the common household bottle opener.

Advanced /shouldn't/ mean complicated.

- Jeff

-- jdub@xxxxxxxxxxx ----------------------------- http://www.slug.org.au/ --

              linux.conf.au - coming to Sydney in January 2001

      Installing Linux Around Australia - http://linux.org.au/installfest/