Re: [Evolution-hackers] PIM application suite

FWIW, and probably not much, we have a design team who addresses this stuff anyway.  They're not active on the hackers list since they don't hack.  I think its a well known fact that engineers (and egads even worse, computer scientists) are the worst people to design UI's - I know i'm a prime example.

On Tue, 2004-04-20 at 20:07 -0700, Tristan O'Tierney wrote:
i just want to make this very clear.  you are making a
wrong decision. basing your arguments off of copying
microsoft shows just how short sighted you are.  if i
wanted to use windows, i'd install windows. the point
of OSS software is not to copy the leaders, but to
look at all available options and choose the best. 
set your standards higher. afterall, wouldn't it be a
better selling point to say your software is easier to
use and learn than that it provides a quick and dirty
transition away from microsoft.  if i wanted second
rate design, and second rate software, i wouldn't be
using linux over windows.  just because it's what
users expect is not what is the best for the users.
take the mac vs windows/linux menu system. it is a
proven fact that the mac menus are 5 times faster on
average, yet people still "say" they prefer the
windows menus because they "think" they are faster.

when you tell me that it's the distros responsibility
you fail to realize that the distros will do nothing
unless evolution directs them that way. by your
argument, nothing will ever get done.

usability is the combined effort of many applications
working seamlessly in an environment. as it currently
stands evolution is the only good contacts, calendar
and mail program for gnome. these programs are
essential to a desktop environment. absolutely
essential.  so you are telling me you want some of the
most important pieces of software in the gnome desktop
world to be some of the hardest to use, and i simply
cannot accept that.

i would not like to put an end to this discussion.
just because you are the main one replying does not
mean others have nothing else to say.  i will however
stop forwarding you emails as of now unless you wish
to continue.

--- Jeffrey Stedfast <fejj ximian com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2004-04-20 at 19:05, Tristan O'Tierney
> wrote:
> > I have taken courses in usability.  I haven't done
> > usability tests on evolution, but I have no need
> to
> > because my basis for comparison has done far more
> > usability testing than you: Apple and Microsoft.
> Microsoft has Outlook, which is pretty much what
> Evolution mimics. This
> is what the market expects and has grown to
> understand and use. There's
> a lot to say for that.
> >   I
> > don't claim to be an expert.  It is however a
> hobby,
> > and one that I spend a lot of time developing and
> > studying up on.  If I were saying that I made my
> > usability assumptions up out of thin air, of
> course
> > that would leave me with little to argue about. 
> > However my proposal to break up the interface is
> based
> > on these reasons:
> > 
> > 1) Gnome software trends
> > 
> > For one moment, I'd like you to consider what
> other
> > gnome apps that are close to the gnome-tradition
> of
> > simple design follow the design of evolution. 
> Taking
> > a brief look at my Gnome 2.6 menus shows this:
> > Browser - epiphany
> > Chat - gaim
> > Movies - totem
> > Music - rhythmbox
> > Files - nautilus
> > Documents - abiword
> > Spreadsheets - gnumeric
> > 
> > just to name a few. 
> you are comparing apples to oranges here. these
> comparisons are
> irrelevant.
> >  I could go in more detail, but I
> > think you get the point.  each one of these apps
> is
> > responsible for one task.  that is not typically a
> > gnome thing, every system should strive for this. 
> is
> > it a HIG requirement that each app have a set
> goal? i
> > do not know this for sure, but you cannot deny
> that
> > it's a software trend. 
> > 
> > 2) Previous usability testing done by large
> > corporations (Apple and Microsoft)
> > 
> > You cannot deny the testing of such large
> companies as
> > these.  They obviously put in millions of dollars
> of
> > usability testing. However the difference is seen
> once
> > you look closer.  Microsoft's design (of which
> > evolution mimics) is Outlook.  Apple's design, is
> > iCal, Addressbook, and Mail (of which kcalendar,
> > kontact, kmail mimic component wise).
> Apparently you haven't seen the direction that KDE
> is going with their
> Kontact application, which is to say that they are
> putting them all
> under a single window :-)
> see here:
> KMail, KOrganiser, etc were originally separate
> applications because
> they were developed independently, not due to any
> usability designs.
> >   We can debate
> > all day which OS is more usable, but most credited
> > interface designers and usability experts will
> agree
> > it's Mac OS.  Apple is known for being better at
> > user-oriented design.
> ...and Microsoft has the market share which means
> that nearly all users
> are familiar with their software - making software
> similar in look/feel
> to software that the user is already familiar with
> goes a long way
> toward helping them to transition to the new
> software package.
> so usable or not, it's the the way to get market
> share.
> part of usability is defining who your users are,
> and in our case - it
> is mostly ex-Outlook (and similar) users.
> Food for thought: why are keyboards still using the
> QWERTY layout? Is it
> really more intuitive? Or is it just what people are
> used to?
> > 
> > 3) Basic principals of human factors and interface
> > design
> > 
> > One of the things they make you do in usability
> 101 is
> > design a clock, radio, phone, alarm, and cd player
> all
> > in one physical device.  It's meant as an example
> more
> > than anything, but what it shows is obvious -- it
> > cannot be done well.  Related functions are not
> the
> > same as differing functions.  When I go to burn a
> CD
> > in iTunes, I don't have to convert all my iTunes
> mp3s
> > to wave files, then import the wave files into
> Roxio
> > Toast, then burn them as an audio CD. iTunes
> should
> > just manage my music, and manage it well.  However
> it
> > should also include related functionality that
> does
> > not all-encompass another application if such
> related
> > functionality enhances the usability of the
> > application but at the same time does not serve to
> > completely replace the functionality of another
> > application.  Can iTunes act as a complete
> replacement
> > for Roxio? no. That is a clear distinction from
> the
> > design of Evolution.  Evolution treats any of the
> > components as subfunctions -- they are all totally
> > separate modes.  Calendar mode is completely
> different
> > from Contacts mode.  Contacts is in no way a
> subset or
> > useful subfunction of calendars.  Calendars may
> > reference contacts, but a calendars program does
> not
> > need a full-fledged contacts system within it. 
> The
> > way Mac OS makes this distinction is apparent
> whenever
> > you add a buddy in iChat.  It asks you to provide
> the
> > buddy's real name by showing a standardized
> contacts
> > widget (
> > 
> > 4) User expectations and their environment
> > 
> > You claim that users want all their PIM features
> in
> > one collective space, and don't want to fool with
> > system menus.  What you're assuming is that the
> user
> > is using only Linux, with only Gnome, and that
> said
> > user does not have direct quick launch icons on a
> > taskbar.  If I had quick launch icons for my
> address
> > book, calendar, and mail all separate that would
> be a
> > lot faster than going through the system menu. 
> Many
> > users do this, and OS X even defaults to having a
> > shortcut for all 3 of these applications (since as
> > another rule of interface design: most users never
> > change the defaults).  Lets change the situation
> > around a bit and say the user is running evolution
> in
> > Mac OS X. This is not far fetched, as it can be
> done. 
> > With 10.3's new expose feature, having individual
> > windows per-application is actually a benefit.  By
> > using fittz law the user can hit the edge of the
> > screen and zoom all windows out, and then click
> the
> > respective window they want to acquire.  This is
> going
=== message truncated ===

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