Linked by David Adams on Wed 24th May 2006 04:08 UTC
Editorial It's conventional wisdom that computers need to be "easier to use." But do they? More reliable, yes. Easier to troubleshoot, yes. But now that so many people use computers so much, I think there's something to be said for making them less easy-to-use and less intuitive.
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All journeys begin with a first step
by RGCook on Wed 24th May 2006 21:54 UTC
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The author puts a lot of effort and thought into this article to make the point - I think - that access to functionality is limited by dumbing down the interface rather than having the interface match the level of power the machine inherently provides someone with the intelligence to use it. But therein lies the flaw in this logic. Intelligence and knowledge of computers are different things. We all learn based on abstraction of applied experience. Faced with a new situation, we immediately try to make sense of it based on prior experience. Even the most gifted person, when faced with a computer for the first time, will look at it and say, "What's this?" Then you will need to train them how to use it. In time, their knowledge will grow and they can apply their intelligence to solve problems, and create great works with it. But the access to this power starts at a fundamental level and the machine must afford an interface to its power that is accessible on all levels.

This is a good example of another OSNews expert forgetting that he/she is not the average user. And while the requisite reference to Joe Sixpack is ironically included, Joe wouldn't want to have a beer with the author of this article. Maybe Linus or Bill G would though.

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