Linked by David Adams on Wed 24th May 2006 04:08 UTC
Editorial It's conventional wisdom that computers need to be "easier to use." But do they? More reliable, yes. Easier to troubleshoot, yes. But now that so many people use computers so much, I think there's something to be said for making them less easy-to-use and less intuitive.
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It's all in the little things
by cerbie on Thu 25th May 2006 00:45 UTC
cerbie
Member since:
2006-01-02

For basic file management, we're good. Explorer, Finder, Konqueror, and even Thunar are quite good.

I can do just about anything well in KDE, XFCE, E17, and Explorer (as of WinXP). The trouble comes in not telling me useful info (it takes no more real space to give me MB/s, ETA per file, etc., like Konueror when moving/copying files), or adding too many steps (Safely remove device wizard--need I say more?), or even using file management that only works within a small subset of applications (network shares in OS X, FI).

All of those types of things can add minutes to simple tasks. That's without even invoking Fitts' Law!

You need to learn how to operate applications your computer. Some people are just stupid (as opposed to merely ignorant--this includes non-techies who buy a crappy Dell because it's half the price of a Mac, when they need a Mac), and there's no help for them. The rest of us can learn.

Streamlining does not need to be at the expense of options. An advanced tab, or little arrow things that Gnome and OS X use, are good ways to handle it. We just need people to tell the geeks making it work, "this is stupid, it should work like this." Then get that working well before adding too many more features.

Unfortunately, it's the pretty stuff that sells at the store.

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