Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 16th Aug 2008 16:50 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the eighth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI | part VII]. 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 VIII, we focus on the tab.
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RE[2]: deeper problem
by RandomGuy on Mon 18th Aug 2008 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE: deeper problem"
Member since:

I don't think Joe Average has 55+ windows open on average.

Have you ever wondered why?

This is like watching a dog with three legs and claiming "He's fine. He doesn't jump that much anyway."

If there's one thing humans are good at it's coping with (artificial) limitations and working around them. Like app developers using tabs to work around the suckiness in the underlying DE/OS.

The point is that _because_ the taskbar blows chunks at >5 windows (give or take) people are basically emulating a more powerful environment by opening and closing apps repeatedly.

When I only had the taskbar, I'd find myself running about 5 windows at a time. Pushing some apps in the system tray I got to about 10. Using tabbed apps and counting each tab as a window gives me a chance to have about 20 open at a time and still feel comfortable. With virtual desktops this number increases to something between 30 and 60, depending on the situation.

Just about any person I've talked to who has used multiple desktops finds going back to a single one painful to say the least. Even OSX Leopard and Gnome, products with a strong focus on simplicity, have virtual desktops.

I find it very hard to believe that about 50 windows ought to be enough for everybody (tm), some constant of nature like the speed of light or pi...
Likewise I find it naive to assume that Joe Average who started out with single tasking and now runs several programs at a time will never want to run more - not even if advancements in DEs allow him to.

Edited 2008-08-18 14:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: deeper problem
by netpython on Mon 18th Aug 2008 14:53 in reply to "RE[2]: deeper problem"
netpython Member since:

If you want to have 55+ windows open be my guest. I never said there should be a hard limit. Though i doubted wether we are seriously addressing the needs and greeds of the average computer user or we are academics f*cking ants for our own purposes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: deeper problem
by RandomGuy on Mon 18th Aug 2008 15:34 in reply to "RE[3]: deeper problem"
RandomGuy Member since:

My point was that the number of windows the average computer user has open will increase as well, he's just a little behind the curve...

Besides, simple everyday situations can mean a lot of open windows.
Like chatting with a couple of friends, watching a video on youtube, using Google, checking your email, listening to music, editing pictures, ...
Of course you can work around this by opening and closing apps repeatedly but it's just that: a workaround.

I don't buy the assumption lots of windows == rocket science.
Well, maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree...

Reply Parent Score: 2