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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The Real World
by dtougas on Mon 18th Jun 2012 18:33 UTC
dtougas
Member since:
2012-06-18

I am on the fence about this...

I used to think that having a consistent UI was important, but now I am not so sure. Everything we use in the physical world has a UI specifically designed for it's purpose. Do you think that all door handles, should look the same no matter what house or building they are on? Do you think we should use door handles on cupboards, refrigerators, and cars too?

Our physical world is all about "apps" (i.e. discreet packages of functionality). There is very little consistency between many things we interact with on a daily basis. Why should we expect it to be any different on a "general purpose" computing device? Computers are used for so much more now than they ever were, that I don't think we could ever come-up with a consistent experience that wouldn't suck.

OS developers have no idea what apps people will be writing. There is no way we can expect them to come-up with a UI that will work for everything. We need people to be able to challenge UI assumptions so that we can continue to develop and evolve these ideas. If we all just leave it up to the OS developer to decide on how we should interact with the device, I think that we have a good chance of hindering some really cool advances in human/computer interaction.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Real World
by WereCatf on Mon 18th Jun 2012 18:51 in reply to "The Real World"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Everything we use in the physical world has a UI specifically designed for it's purpose. Do you think that all door handles, should look the same no matter what house or building they are on? Do you think we should use door handles on cupboards, refrigerators, and cars too?


Poor analogy. Door handles actually tend to be very consistent within the set they belong to, ie. it would look extremely silly if every cupboard door et. al. in your kitchen had differently coloured, differently placed and differently shaped handles, wouldn't it? Similarly, in a house the doors that belong to a certain set, e.g. full-size doors meant to allow or disallow passage for humans, almost invariably share similar set of handles unless necessitated by outside requirements/restrictions.

In other words, there is actually a lot of consistency there and you just basically shot your own argument down. Consistency does *not* mean that everything must look and feel the same even if makes it harder for the user and/or task to accomplish a goal or a step to a goal.

Edited 2012-06-18 18:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: The Real World
by dtougas on Mon 18th Jun 2012 19:34 in reply to "RE: The Real World"
dtougas Member since:
2012-06-18

I think you missed my point. The article happened to spend a lot of time talking about how things look. To quote it here:

"Almost every application does things just a little bit differently, has elements in just a slightly different place, and looks just a bit different from everything else."

My point was that real world UI can be very different for similar actions. Cupboard doors and car doors are very different from UI standpoint, yet they essentially do the same thing - open a door. In some cases we twist a handle, in other cases we pull-up on a lever, and yet in others we just pull on a knob. There are doors of all sizes on all kinds of things, and they many of them can behave very differently. We don't expect everything in the real world to behave the same way, that would be ridiculous, so why do we expect that from our applications?

Edited 2012-06-18 19:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: The Real World
by Invincible Cow on Tue 19th Jun 2012 11:31 in reply to "The Real World"
Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

Do you think that all door handles, should look the same no matter what house or building they are on?
Consistency is more about function than about looks. All door handles work the same, you push them down and they open the door.

I once was at an airport with round door handles on the bathroom stalls. The locking mechanism was also combined into the door handle. I couldn't figure out how to lock or even make the door stay closed so I had to take a shit while keeping the door shut with my hand.

I would highly apreciated this door handle and lock to be consistent with other door handles and locks.

Edited 2012-06-19 11:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2