Usability Views Article Details
 home | timeline | recent | popular | e-reports | userati | books | about 

The cranky user: Usability off the beaten path (13 Mar 2006)
It's hard to really see the assumptions you make until you see them from the outside. The assumptions of how video games, which use the WASD cluster for movement, should be made were unexceptional to me until I learned Dvorak. Users who grew up on the Amiga, or on X11, find virtual desktops habitual and usual; users on other platforms often find the very concept alien and confusing. The tendency for user interfaces to be built in terms of incremental improvements on other interfaces keeps learning curves fairly low, but limits the potential for real innovation.

That said, if you're designing a new program, please don't invent your own concept of window management for your application alone. Consistency does offer some virtue.

This week's action item: If you use X11, spend a couple of hours experimenting with Ion. The development tree for Ion3 is stable. You might need to give it some hints about specific programs to make it interact nicely with them.
Add this article to

Article URL:

Read 264 more articles from IBM sorted by date, popularity, or title.
Next Article: Websites reflect true face of an organization
  RSS 0.91  Subscribe with Bloglines  Add to My Yahoo!  Preview in Google Reader
Books about Usability | Information Architecture | Information Visualisation | Technology History

Some of the people who make up the Userati group
This site is a labour of love built by Chris McEvoy

Popular Items
> Top Knitting Sites
> Ajax Sucks
> What if Jakob Nielsen had a blog?
> Kate Bush and Pi
> Simply Google