Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th Apr 2009 16:16 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the eleventh 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. After a rather long hiatus, this eleventh instalment will focus on bling, desktop effects, and compositing, and what they can contribute to the desktop experience.
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RE: Comment by sbergman27
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 4th Apr 2009 20:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by sbergman27"
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While others of us progressed beyond the sensorimotor stage at about 2 years of age, are capable of at least basic abstract thinking, recognize that objects can continue to exist even when we can't see them, and consider the cube to be a bit childish.

Quoting Piaget... Interesting, studied that stuff in quite some detail back when I was studying Psychology at the VU University.

You are making a fatal flaw by assuming that there is a similarity between virtual objects and real objects. Let me explain why there is a difference between virtual desktops and, say, a ball underneath a cup.

When you hide a ball underneath the cup, I can see exactly what is happening, and why the ball is now not visible anymore. I saw the cup cover the ball, and as such, I can deduce that the ball has not disappeared, but is still in the exact same place - just with a cup over it.

The virtual desktops example is much, much different. Say I have four desktops, and I'm currently on desktop 1. When I click to move to desktop 2, it just switches. No animation, no movement to indicate where everything is going. It just vanishes instantly, and the other desktop appears instantly. There is no indication of where things are going, or where they are coming from. As such, your comparison is rather void.

I can assure you that virtual desktops are an inherently troublesome concept for many people -

Crap, and there Steve goes, undermining his own post ;) . I'll continue anyway.

- because there are things happening on the screen that they can't see. Making it all more physical, as well as making it visible where things are going, and where they are coming from, gives them a few latches to hold on to when it comes to virtual desktops.

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