Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jun 2012 12:19 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces It's been one of my major pet peeves on both Android and iOS: the total and utter lack of consistency. Applications - whether first party or third party - all seem to live on islands, doing their own thing, making their own design choices regarding basic UI interactions, developing their own non-standard buttons and controls. Consistency died five years ago, and nobody seems to care but me.
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RE: UI consistency died much earlier
by gan17 on Mon 18th Jun 2012 14:19 UTC in reply to "UI consistency died much earlier"
Member since:

Much earlier than that, actually..... Widgets

Then again, anything outside a terminal session is a mess in my book. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

Laurence Member since:

Much earlier than that, actually..... Widgets

Then again, anything outside a terminal session is a mess in my book. ;)

Not even the terminal is consistent:

Parameters are non-standardised (most annoying of all, the -h / -? / --help switches). And the way in which commands are chained can vary too (eg GNU tools tend to allow single char switches which can be linked as one parameter, where as Sun (RIP) preferred full descriptive terms that had to be individually specified.

You also have some apps abusing STDERR (most notably outputting command usage to STDERR instead of STDOUT).

There's the mismatch of true CLIs which are optimised for shell scripting and text UIs (such as ncurses) which can't be piped at all.

And dadly the problems aren't limited to execution either as app config files can vary massively too. From basic Windows INI style configs to shell parsable envs, XML docs, JSON structures and even completely bespoke layouts.

And don't get me started on incompatibilities that can arise from using the wrong character set or even $TERM.

Going back to the wider problem though - the one Thom raised - I do miss consistency in design elements. But sadly I think it's an inescapable situation. The real problem is as long as you allow 3rd parties to develop software, those developers will have their own ideas about usability. So you either have to accept that inconsistencies will arise, or write the entire stack inhouse. Neither solution is optimal, but such is life.

Reply Parent Score: 4

gan17 Member since:

I agree with all your points about handling and have experienced many of those annoyances myself. Even with most basic usage, having to alternate between "up,left,right,down" Vs "h,j,k,l", or emacs Vs vi bindings can be a mindf*ck (though thankfully I could change that with most applications I've run), though your point about different config 'styles' will come into play then.

I was talking more about appearance though, in that they're all limited to 16/88/256 colors, character map and typeface. With the exception of some apps preferring *color0 over *backgroundColour, I haven't really seen much variation within the same userland/shell, though obviously my experiences (I've never run Sun or NT before) are limited compared to yours.

Either way, I apologize for straying somewhat off topic.

Edited 2012-06-18 21:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2