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Letters: Modal vs A-Modal Design (01 Jul 1999)
The issue with Modal vs A-Modal is one primarily of predicting what the User wants to do and in what order. This problem becomes more and more difficult as the scale of a system gets bigger. The more features in a system, the harder it is to predict who will use it and what they will do precisely. Going with an A-Modal design allows the designer to delegate that choice to the user. If you have modal system, the user is linked into a procedure or process which the designer envisaged for them. With A-Modal they get to choose for themselves.
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