Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th May 2010 22:47 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Now this is an interesting article, written by Lukas Mathis. He makes the interesting case that the gesture-based interface, as seen on the iPad and many modern smartphones, is actually more akin to the command line interface than the graphical one. He also offers a number of solutions for that pesky problem of gestures being anything but discoverable.
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Wrong conclusion
by Ford Prefect on Fri 28th May 2010 10:06 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

From the article:

I also happen to believe that despite the solutions Mathis provides us with, this lack of discoverability will ensure that gesture-based interfaces will always play second fiddle when it comes to getting real work done.

Sorry Thom, but this is the wrong conclusion. The relationship between CLI and gestures is an interesting observation. But neither of them are, just because of discoverability issues, hold you back from being productive.

The CLI is used since decades to get real work done. The same goes for Photoshop, 3DS Max, and any other software targeted at professionals, including the "creative" sort.

I would even claim that memorization is the key to productivity. In fact, in behavioral psychology you see a lot of work related to how the human brain adapts to frequent tasks. It all boils down to
a) improving the memory structure (e.g. to memorize a chess board, learn to cluster it into a smaller set of entities)
b) gaining a HUGE memory (e.g. of common and then less common chess constellations)
c) in this memory, not only learn states for quicker reaction, but also the needed reaction itself

So if you work long enough in Photoshop, you don't search for that item or menu entry anymore, you don't even ask yourself which tool you will need next. In the CLI, you don't think about the commands you type, and sometimes, you won't even think about typing a command at all.

The same goes for gestures and any other interface that you may master with memorization. Shortcuts/Key Accelerators are so popular on the Mac platform for the very same reason.

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