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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Comment by Radio
by Radio on Mon 18th Jun 2012 14:27 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Sorry, but I disagree and I wrote a long answer...

Is consistency really necessary to fluidity and ease of use? I do not think so.

-Because the learning phase is short anyway, the cost is not very high.

-We are still inventing new, original way to make an application work. Consistency kills a lot of potential inventivity in UI interaction, especially moving to the rather recent and unexploited touch-based input (think that trackpads did not have multi-touch before! Two-finger scrolling should have been there earlier, instead of the shitty invisible "zones" on the sides of the trackpad).

-I have a really hard time accepting what is implied: that there is out there a "one-size-fits-all" set of UI guidelines. That seems to me a belief without grounds. Sure, it does look sensible; is it? Another illustration that the difference between theory and practice is practice.

-There is another fundamental difference between desktop and mobile computing you overlooked: mobile apps are "glanced at" in a hurry, in a time-out, in-between real-life activities or in the middle of one. The large differences between apps helps me get instantly which one it is. I am sure I launched the right one, and if I come back to my device, I know which one I am looking at or switching to.

Nevertheless, I see the interest in having some core functions of a device being consistent. That is already the case, as Apple and Google usually develop those applications themselves: email, text, contacts, maps, app management, etc.

But would you recriminate against the fact a FPS does not have the same controls than a flight sim or a RTS? Those are all games, aren't they? Why should I relearn how to do things? (Do you see the flaw?)

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Radio
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 18th Jun 2012 15:29 in reply to "Comment by Radio"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

But would you recriminate against the fact a FPS does not have the same controls than a flight sim or a RTS? Those are all games, aren't they? Why should I relearn how to do things? (Do you see the flaw?)


You just proved my point. Equating applications to games is the very problem! A game is entertainment, an experience - it doesn't help you accomplish a task. The game itself is the goal.

A game in and of itself is an end - not the means to anything.

An application, on the other hand, should be the means to an end - not the end itself.

See the flaw?

Edited 2012-06-18 15:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by Radio on Mon 18th Jun 2012 15:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

No, I don't. The fact that a game defines its own goal(s) is irrelevant. And are you sure a game UI "doesn't help you accomplish a task"? You must have played only really bad games :-P

More to the point, the "entertainment" or "experience" is more related to the content of the game, not to its UI. You can argue the opposite since the apprition of kinect/move, but for the vast majority of games, it is just keyboard+mouse and really diverse, genre-specific UI and behaviors (right-click gives a different response in each game genre, and even between RTS titles, for example).

Once a task is defined - whatever it is, whoever defines it -, the best way to get it done may not be one "standard" UI, and games are an extreme proof of that.

If you think there is a standard UI which is able to encompass all possible data input and manipulation - or a set rich enough to feel "complete" -, I expect to see a proof of that. I am genuinely interested.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Radio
by daedalus on Tue 19th Jun 2012 07:31 in reply to "Comment by Radio"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

But would you recriminate against the fact a FPS does not have the same controls than a flight sim or a RTS? Those are all games, aren't they? Why should I relearn how to do things? (Do you see the flaw?)


But hold on, games is way too broad an area like that. Different game styles do different things, and so different controls are a necessity. FPSs and flight sims are as different as word processors and calculators. Take FPSs though - they tend to all have similar controls and even displays. You can go from one game to another by a different publisher and just start playing, no need to re-learn everything. WASD and the mouse and you're sorted...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Radio
by Archimboldo on Tue 19th Jun 2012 18:21 in reply to "Comment by Radio"
Archimboldo Member since:
2012-06-19

I agree. On a desktop, consistency in menus and dialog boxes is about all the consistency I need, knowing where to open files, print, create a new document, how to navigate to directories ... etc.

On a tablet running iOS where "only one application is visible at any given time", isn't that a virtue for a limited screen?

What would a good alternative look like? That's not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know.

Reply Parent Score: 2