Re: [Usability]widget style vs window decoration, (was "cheat to window-manager integration")

fre 2002-07-26 klockan 23.59 skrev Sunnanvind Fenderson:
> > > > we are here to present people with a usable desktop, and preferrably
> > > > regardless of their previous familiarity with certain design
> > > > terminology.
> > > 
> > > Yes. This does not mean that we have to go to extreme lengths to dumb
> > > things down, however.
> > 
> > Oh, please, not the "let's not dumb things down" trollfest again. If you
> > think usability is about dumbing things down, you have misunderstood a
> > lot of things, and this forum is a very bad choice for you.
> > 
> > Believe it or not, this forum has previously had and should have a
> > practical purpose in encouraging *creative* discussions that can
> > directly improve the usability of GNOME. "Let's not dumb things down"
> > trolls aren't just plain wrong about what this is about, they are also
> > directly counterproductive.
> Oh, please, not the "you're a troll and you don't share my exact views
> word-for-word so you don't even know what usability is so I'm not
> going to listen to what you say" flamefest.

I never mentioned my views in this.

Computer usability is about improving user interfaces so that they
better fit with how our users think and work, sort of making the
interface more "intelligent", which is the *exact* opposite of dumbing
down. So people (or more correctly trolls) calling usability work in
improving interfaces "dumbing down" will usually be laughed upon, sighed
upon, or often just plain ignored.

> As you very well know (as we've discussed this before, and as my other
> posts should hopefully make apparent), I like simplicity.
> Simplifying things is in itself a good thing, but sometimes the
> "simplifications" have detrimental effects that actually make it
> harder to use the UI. In those cases, I use the expression "dumbing
> things down".

Well we aren't and shouldn't be doing that, so there's no reason for
using that terminology.

> > It *is* jargony and complex terminology, because:
> > 
> > * Widgets are hard to describe. Widgets aren't like each other. They
> > don't resemble each other much. There's not much that makes a button, a
> > check box and a selection list look like each other. Terminology that is
> > used as a collective name for lots of different things are by nature
> > harder to learn.
> Yes, it's hard to describe without a word for it. That's why we need a
> word for it!

You've missed the point. The point is that in most cases, we don't
*need* to describe this complex concept of widgets, and how they really
implementation-wise are the same thing, to the end user, and introduce a
completely new word for it. In all cases, calling it "buttons" and "text
boxes" (or whatever the specific controls are in that case) or plain
"controls" is sufficient and preferrable.

> > * "Widget" is an invented word that doesn't use any real-world metaphor
> > (not any that I know about at least), so you have not a big chance of
> > guessing what it is if you don't know it already. "Controls" is better
> > in this case since you can make the connection to real-world controls
> > (real buttons, levers etc.).
> >From WordNet (r) 1.7 [wn]:
>   widget
>        n : a device that very useful for a particular job [syn: {appliance},
>             {contraption}, {contrivance}, {convenience}, {gadget}, {gizmo},
>             {gismo}]
> There's your real-world connection for you, right there. It *is* used
> for physical objects too, you know.

Congratulations, you've just described how "widget" can be used for
virtually anything and hence is worthless as a metaphor.

> "Controls" is very ambiguous and is used for many things in the both
> the real and the computer world. It's a noun, it's a verb, it can mean
> anything from the physical monitor controls, to the volume control, to
> the control center.

Granted, there is some ambigiousity here, but that problem is much more
pleasant than forcing the user to learn new special-case terminology.

> (Calum pointed out that it was in the standard, though, which is a
> good case for it.)


> > * The widget concept is not just hard to describe, in most cases you can
> > successfully describe these things by using the terminology of what they
> > are (buttons, check boxes, etc.) which in most cases don't have the
> > above problems.
> "In most cases"? I'm talking about a particular case here.

Yes, and that's why it doesn't make sense to introduce a completely new
word for this only case.


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