Linked by Nicholas Blachford on Wed 11th Aug 2004 07:53 UTC
Editorial Computers are complex systems but it's a mistake to assume they need to be complex to use. However, usability is not as easy as it may first seem. It is a different discipline from software development lacking the strict logic or having a "right way". There are only differing requirements and differing collections of guidelines. Making things easy is difficult.
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The best thing he said
by logicnazi on Wed 11th Aug 2004 09:54 UTC

was that there is no one right way to do a user interace. Yet The author ignores hiw own invective when talking about the user/developer user interface distinction.

Users and developers do want differnt things out of a user interface unfortunatly they both want convenience and ease. A comprimise UI, especially one that hides options in advanced configs, will inevitably comprimimise the power, or ease of use of one of the two classes of users.

Hidding advanced options from the basic user inevitably makes them less convenient for the power user. Trying to design a consistant UI for two modes (basic and advanced) will necesarilly not be optimal for either. Some advanced features, like being able to control most programs through a text window, need to be built in everywhere if they are to exist at all (try for instance reconfiguring microsoft word from the dos prompt).

Most importantly I think these attempte to design a system that works for both the power user and the neophyte overlook a *very* important fact. What matters to most 'power users' is *feeling* like they are control not just being in control. It is the feeling of mastering an arcane and powerfull command set which they enjoy in essence they enjoy exactly what the users dislike. How else do you explain the many souls who still pinned for DOS after various versions of windows arrived. Windows offered strictly more power than DOS (all sorts of protected mode options to use on programs etc..) but many people still prefered DOS just because of the way it felt.

As a consequence we should quit wasting our effort building unified user interfaces. Linux development (I single out linux because it is the only open source OS making a significant play at the everyday joe user) should make one simple 'user' desktop interface and one 'power user' desktop. Besides this notion of progressing to the power desktop would grab at alot of people.