Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Oct 2007 16:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the first article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. We start off with spatial memory - my personal favourite.
Permalink for comment 280993
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Main point of article is...
by xiaokj on Fri 26th Oct 2007 14:28 UTC
Member since:

I still see a lot of people calling consistency freaks like me whiners. When a user complains of an inconsistent user interface - they are definitely not whining.

:-P, Thom...

Nice article to read, but too much emphasis on one thing will make it a bit boring.

Anyway, on the thing about deteriorating spatial memory with the increase in dimensions is more likely tied to 2 things. Logically, it is much more difficult to design good 3d interfaces than 2d ones, which will undoubtedly hinder the use of spatial memory. Referring to keyboard and mouse especially, it is difficult to traverse the 3rd dimension. Regular monitors are also just plain 2d -- no point emulating the 3rd. Unless the time comes when we can have perfect 3d input and output devices, where perfect input refers to high accuracy, precision and huge movement area, and perfect output refers to hologram-like projections, should we talk about it.

Second major factor in spatial memory's failure to span the 3rd dimension is that out ancestors were just plain lazy. Look at the movie industry. How many action movies portray the hero running around in enemy territory right above the minions' heads? Head movement is mostly left and right for a simple reason --- its tiring to move up and down.

Reply Score: 1