Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Jan 2009 13:46 UTC
Editorial With Windows 7 having made its grand debut, and with KDE4's vision making leaps and bounds forward with every release, we have two major software projects that have decided to implement some fairly drastic interface changes. Such changes are bound to receive some harsh criticisms - but the funny thing is, these criticisms usually come from people you least expect it from.
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The problem is...
by pantheraleo on Tue 27th Jan 2009 18:30 UTC
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More often than not, these changes are nothing more than visual effects at best, and a step backwards in usability at worst. For example every attempt to replace the taskbar has usually resulted in something even worse. When it comes to virtual desktops, Apple's "Spaces" is a usability nightmare. The four little boxes on the taskbar on GNOME for switching desktops are simple, effective, and get the job done.

It's not that I have an aversion to change. It's that most of these changes are nothing more than showing off visual effects--often at the expense of usability.

Edited 2009-01-27 18:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

pg--az Member since:

a step backwards in usability at worst.

I have been unable to figure out how to quickly make the folder-tree-index at the left of a Windows7 Explorer instance go away, in just that one instance. Definitely in the context-menu for folder-shortcuts, there used to be "Explore" just below "Open", and EVERY DAY I would often choose "Open" because I don't need to move-around from some folders and I want to conserve on my screen-space. This is a great example because from a coding point of view it is impossible to imagine a scenario in which providing this functionality would cause any difficulty. You've already got the information - to just clip the viewport is enough to make the folder-pane go away ! I conclude that it can be nothing other than some minimalism-guru who is responsible for this nice feature being discarded.

I searched all of the comments and found no homage paid to Jef Raskin's "The Humane Interface". I know of no other work which goes so deep into the importance of Trained Habits. Except, you can search slashdot for the keyword BLINDSIGHT, and you encounter exactly one hit, what will become a classic textbook case on the "Habit" part of your brain.

Reply Parent Score: 1