Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Nov 2007 19:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the third article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II]. 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. In part III today, we focus on the desk accessory, popularly known as the widget, applet, mini-app, gadget, or whatever the fashionable term is these days.
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RE: multi-tasking
by Doc Pain on Mon 5th Nov 2007 05:57 UTC in reply to "multi-tasking"
Doc Pain
Member since:

"What was really amazing - from the perspective of an RISC OS/Amiga user - was the hard sell that multitasking needed with some people. "Why would I want to run more than one program at once?"."

Even today, when MICROS~1 are able to run things quasi-simultanously, there are still users out there who dont get familiar with a multitasking concept, expecially when mapped onto GUI elements.

I'd like to illustrate this with a few typical sentences:

- I don't use it at this moment, so I don't want to see it.

- I'm done with it, now I must close the application.

- If I need to see another application, I will have to close this one I'm working at.

- This window annoys me, I don't need it.

So, in order to browse the web for an information, the word processor needs to be closed. Allthoug switching applications on screen, or even screens theirselves (virtual desktops), would be the more comfortable way here, it seems to be too complicated.

Hard to understand, I know... :-)

Then, there are users who want their desktop clean if the computer doesn't do anything, and there are the ones who need everything at once (many applications opened, desktop littered with icons, as many widgets as possible).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: multi-tasking
by npang on Mon 5th Nov 2007 13:06 in reply to "RE: multi-tasking"
npang Member since:

The problem here is the interface. Today's computer systems are needlessly complex and actually works against many human principles. In Jef Raskin's book, the Humane Interface, Raskin shows how the computers of today are needlessly complex and so, necessitates a complete user interaction overhaul. The book also describes one vision of how a general purpose computer system should operate. The system he proposes fixes all of the interaction examples that you have described.

Edited 2007-11-05 13:08

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: multi-tasking
by bryanv on Thu 8th Nov 2007 18:48 in reply to "RE[2]: multi-tasking"
bryanv Member since:

Are you a Raskin blow-hard or something?

Quick! Everyone pay homage to the author of all knowledge of all interfaces by intuitively sucking on this fleshy hose! After all, it looks like it was designed for such use.

If you could present an idea without making it sound like a product placement pitch for a book and it's egomaniac author, it might lend you some credibility.

Reply Parent Score: 1