Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jun 2007 13:44 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Federkiel writes: "People working with Apple computers are used to a very consistent user experience. For a large part this stems from the fact that the Lisa type of GUI does not have the fight between MDI and SDI. The question simply never arises, because the Lisa type of GUI does not offer the choice to create either of both; it's something different all along. I usually think of it as 'MDI on steroids unified with a window manager'. It virtually includes all benefits of a SDI and and the benefits of an MDI." Read on for how I feel about this age-old discussion.
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RE: That's only a part of it
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 24th Jun 2007 15:01 UTC in reply to "That's only a part of it"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

And that's what they try to do and it doesn't always work that's when they start complaining.

You just don't seem to get it. If a user knows how to do action A on Windows just fine, and then OSX uses a different method (which you deem 'easier', something you cannot prove AT ALL), then it doesn't mean either of the two is "the hard way". It means just that - that both employ a different mean to achieve the same end.

On top of that, dragging and dropping is overrated. It is actually a VERY complicated and muscle-straining way of doing things. Using keyboard shortcuts or context menus to copy/paste things can not only be faster, but also easier on the muscles.

So actually when you make a switch it's always better to forget what you knew completely and start from scratch.

And that's something you cannot do, so this is a completely irrelevant remark.

Otherwise however productive and helpful Mac interface can be in theory, a user wouldn't be able to take advantage of it.

Ok, you REALLY didn't get it. The interface that is the best for user A is the interface that makes them do tasks in a way that is easiest and most familiar for them. If a user has been using Windows for 15 years, then the Mac is simply (probably) not the best way of doing things. It MIGHT become the best way, but that can take years - it might not happen ever.

Experience and training is not something you can just brush aside - something many self-proclaimed "usability experts" seem to do all too easily.

Edited 2007-06-24 15:05

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: That's only a part of it
by twenex on Sun 24th Jun 2007 15:19 in reply to "RE: That's only a part of it"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Ok, you REALLY didn't get it. The interface that is the best for user A is the interface that makes them do tasks in a way that is easiest and most familiar for them. If a user has been using Windows for 15 years, then the Mac is simply (probably) not the best way of doing things. It MIGHT become the best way, but that can take years - it might not happen ever.

I think there's something you aren't getting either: Everyone is different. Fred Brooks reports that in the old days, when everyone who had a computer could afford to pay onsite programmers, each company would have its own payroll program, and that payroll program would be written to mimic, as best as possible, the company's paper accounts system. Now that everyone and his dog uses Excel, everyone fits their accounting practices to it (and it would be the same if they were all using Oo.org Calc, VisiCalc or 1-2-3).

In the same way, since not everyone has the time, inclination, or ability to design and write a user interface for their operating system and applications, everyone makes do with the one they're given (whether their system of choice/work is Mac, Linux, or Windows). Even Linux, which in theory allows you to use any number of interface designs, is moving towards "the big two".

But that's far and away a different kettle of fish than if someone did studies (on virgin subjects) to determine which (if any), of a myriad of different interface styles people liked. And the one that grabbed the most amount of people in total is very much more likely to be the one that the greatest amount of people disliked least, than the one they liked best.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think there's something you aren't getting either: Everyone is different.

Exactly, which is what I said in the article. And because of this, it is hard (impossible) to claim that one design is better than the other - you can, at best, claim that one design is better than the other, for you.

But that's far and away a different kettle of fish than if someone did studies (on virgin subjects) to determine which (if any), of a myriad of different interface styles people liked. And the one that grabbed the most amount of people in total is very much more likely to be the one that the greatest amount of people disliked least, than the one they liked best.

How nice that is in theory, that research would most likely prove to be fairly useless in the western world, since everyone here basically has experience with graphical user interfaces.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

And the one that grabbed the most amount of people in total is very much more likely to be the one that the greatest amount of people disliked least, than the one they liked best.


That and had the brightest shiny. My roommate's girlfriend had him install Ubuntu on her laptop <s>because of</s> for Beryl after she saw him playing with it. ;)

Not saying that it would be the only reason that people would choose one but attractive packaging does help.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: That's only a part of it
by Buck on Sun 24th Jun 2007 16:25 in reply to "RE: That's only a part of it"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

We're talking absolute values here. Okay, somebody might be accustomised to doing everything in Norton/Midnight commander and doesn't want to learn a real CLI or GUI at all. Does it make them more productive? Is it a better way? The answer is "no", just because somebody doesn't want to learn to do things better doesn't mean that Norton Commander is the best interface out there. Same thing for Windows and Macs. It takes a Windows user 15 steps to complete a task while in MacOS it would take only 4 steps, so naturally if the user learns how to do things right it would save him time and make him more productive. The truth is, computer interfaces limit humans in different ways and we're in constant search of new and different ways to make the user more productive. That means learning or re-learning. And honestly I never understood that kind of stubbornes - "I won't learn because I WILL NOT!". One explanation that comes to mind is that people are so afraid of computers that it's a miracle when tasks can be successfully accomplished. Then even if it takes them 30 steps to do something, they'd rather go the longer route because they're afraid that a different method will break everything. It's psychology. It doesn't mean that doing things the way a user doesn't know is inferior. Crying about it doesn't validate it. Consider a photographer who used to do everything on film and is being confronted with the digital workflow. There's no reason to dismiss it and live in the stone age, so he goes and learns Photoshop and Aperture and the color space theory and everything.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Okay, somebody might be accustomised to doing everything in Norton/Midnight commander and doesn't want to learn a real CLI or GUI at all. Does it make them more productive? Is it a better way? The answer is "no", just because somebody doesn't want to learn to do things better doesn't mean that Norton Commander is the best interface out there.

If that user prefers Commander, then yes, it is the best interface - for him. Just like how you prefer the Finder - making Finder the best interface, for you.

It takes a Windows user 15 steps to complete a task while in MacOS it would take only 4 steps, so naturally if the user learns how to do things right it would save him time and make him more productive.

The world isn't that simple. The tasks a computer has to perform cannot be brought down to "a task" requiring "x number of clicks". Using a computer involves millions of little tasks which all require a certain amount of user input. I'd think you'd have a very hard time trying to prove that the Mac requires fewer click to operate than a Windows box.

And even if you could, it is irrelevant, since a trained Windows user might perform his 15-click task faster than the equiv. 5 click action on the Mac, due to training, and preference.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"It takes a Windows user 15 steps to complete a task while in MacOS it would take only 4 steps, so naturally if the user learns how to do things right it would save him time and make him more productive."

Show me a task that takes 4x more steps on a Mac. I'll be waiting.

Reply Parent Score: 1

godzillopiteco Member since:
2007-06-25

If a user knows how to do action A on Windows just fine, and then OSX uses a different method (which you deem 'easier', something you cannot prove AT ALL)


he talked about being "more intuitive", not "easier"

On top of that, dragging and dropping is overrated. It is actually a VERY complicated and muscle-straining way of doing things. Using keyboard shortcuts or context menus to copy/paste things can not only be faster, but also easier on the muscles.


maybe. but it's LESS INTUITIVE. do you get it?

And [starting from scratch] that's something you cannot do, so this is a completely irrelevant remark.


why can't you? I did it, and a lot more people out there are doing it... windows -> macos, windows -> linux... and the larger part of them are not complaining at all.

If a user has been using Windows for 15 years, then the Mac is simply (probably) not the best way of doing things. It MIGHT become the best way, but that can take years - it might not happen ever.


that's YOUR opinion. I switched to Mac two years ago, having used Windows since Win 3.0. It took about *two weeks* to be as productive as in Windows. I'd never go back. so?

Reply Parent Score: 3