Re: [Usability] Special Open Source Issue of Interactions Magazine

Hi Jonathan,

I am not going to contribute because I am not an expert in this area. But could you please also look at accessibility at the same time. Accessibility is difficult and it seems to me that it often get overriden by some personal usability style. This is very unfortunate.

Microsoft has been a proponent for accessibility and sometimes they have listen well and done it good. Now I am sitting here with XP (I need it, unfortunately and my latest test of GNU/Linux led to a reinstall of everything - those small little details...). What I see is that Microsoft has recently done the same mistake. The latest Windows Media Player is more good looking than accessible. Bah! Why do they hire that kind of kids that can't keep enough details in their head to do both things - both a nice and accessible GUI.

Well, that is the story in my opinion. It seems like when things gets complicated then accessibility is forgotten. It simply makes it simpler.

That is my belief of course. That the developers or perhaps rather the managers are not good enough. It could be worse. It could be that they do not care. It could be that the time lines are so short that they do not care about accessibility. And that is worse!

Antoher of my favorites when it comes to usability is my frustration about the continous wheel inventing. One time when I installed GNU/Linux everything went very, very fine -- until I should login and start using it. I had no mouse on that system. I tried Ctrl-Esc, the Window Keys, Ctrl-Alt-Del and everything else I learned from my MS Windows experience. Nothing of it worked.

I never got to test GNU/Linux on that system because of that. Too much waste of time. Of mine and a lot of good developers that had worked hard to get the system to me. It all failed because of that reinvention of the wheel. Was it Alt+F2 that I should have hit? I am not sure, but I believed I heard that a month later. However I do not care, I do not want to learn that. Why should I? Instead I tried to get my point through to the developers and usability groups working with GNOME: Try to let the user use their experience. Even if they have experiences from the big EVIL MS. Do not bannish the users for their experience. That is just not the way forward!

Best wishes,

Jonathan Arnowitz wrote:
I am the co-editor in chief for Interactions Magazine, the leading magazine for HCI (and the membership magazine for ACM/SIGCHI). We wanted to have a special section on Usability and Open Source software. We are particularly interested in best practices, challenges and experiences and case studies in making software with a good user experience as well as open source. If you think you might be interested in contributing, please contact me at j s arnowitz acm org <mailto:j s arnowitz acm org>. Best regards, Jonathan Arnowitz
co-Editor-in-Chief, Interactions Magazine

Co-Author, Effective Prototyping for Software Makers
Now Available from Morgan Kaufman <>

j s arnowitz acm org <mailto:j s arnowitz acm org>


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