Re: [Usability] An Attempt at tasks for the FOSD

On Sun, 2003-09-14 at 14:27, Maynard Kuona wrote:
> I think stuff like previews is mostly unnecessary for most people out
> there. 

Do you have any factual basis for this?  Maybe some people don't like
previews, but I hardly think that "most" don't.  Anyway, the real reason
behind preview icons is that it transcends language barriers and
culture/age based user mental models.  Instead of showing a movie reel
to depict what an AVI file could be you show a thumbnail of the actual
movie.  If someone doesn't know that movies used to (and still do
sometimes) come on reels and be played on projectors then your generic
mime-icon just broke that users mental model; they have no idea what a
reel is and therefore don't know what your icon is trying to convey.  If
you have the book About Face 2.0 you can reference what I'm talking
about with a Mental Model of the user.  People of all walks can relate
very easily to files they've either seen before or created through
recognition of what the file looks like.  This is why the
preview/thumbnail is necessary for most people and provides globally
understood look at what the file is.

> One BIG issue IMO is the app rembering where it last was. I think
> there shold be something in the API for this. I think its safe to
> assumes most people keep their text documents in the same place, so it
> is good for the app to remember where and also a lot of people probably
> want to go to the place they worked last. I really hate having to
> navigate to the same folder 20 times. This should be default behaviour.

This is a good point and should certainly be implemented in the dialog. 
Applications should remember where the user last saved and opened a
file, and bring the user right back to that point. 

~ Bryan

Bryan W Clark
Graduate Student
Math && Computer Science Dept.
Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY USA

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