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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"If is was a usability issue (i.e. people need the functionality wrapped up in DAs), then I would argue that all of these modern DAs would be pointless.

That sentence makes no sense. Care to elaborate?

I should have said that these DA environments (like Dashboard and DesktopX) do not add much in terms of usability. I've used DesktopX before, and everything that it adds to the screen could be accomplished through a regular application that doesn't have DesktopX as a dependency. Much the same can be said for Dashboard, with the (arguably) minor difference that all Dashboard widgets are on a single layer.

"A vanilla C application would do the job just as well. All you have to do is tweak the UI and avoid adding a glut of features.

No, a c application would not do the job just as well, because a c application is a lot harder to write.

Didn't I say that distinction exists from the perspective of the developer. At any rate, it is a pointless distinction from the perspective of a user.

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