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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Rotating cube
by 3rdalbum on Sun 5th Apr 2009 03:22 UTC
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For power users who know about virtual desktops, the cube animation is not really necessary.

For a newbie, a computer-almost-illiterate person, if they accidentally click on one of the virtual desktops on the bottom-right corner of the screen, they might not realise what has happened.

On Metacity, it looks like all the user's programs have crashed and that they have lost all their work. To their mind, whatever they clicked on caused everything to crash. Result: User shuts down the computer in frustration and really does lose all their work.

On Compiz, the user sees that their programs have simply moved to a different place (or that their view has changed). The user realises that the desktop switcher is not destructive. Result: The user experiments more with the desktop switcher, clicks the first box and the cube rotates to reveal their open programs again.

For this reason, the cube is excellent visual feedback.

To the above poster: I built my friend a computer running Ubuntu and Vista. He uses Ubuntu almost exclusively... but most of his computing time is spent wobbling the windows, turning the windows into paper aeroplanes, and writing fire onto the screen. So, I sympathise with you, but at least he's enjoying his computer experience.

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