RE: tech word for user interface

Subject: RE: tech word for user interface
From: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 09:39:44 -0500

> From: Carnall, Jane[SMTP:Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com]
> The SME's for a new product have come up with terminology to describe
> various interfaces within the product, based on the positioning of the
> interfaces in a diagram (similiar interfaces are grouped together in the
> diagram).
> The interfaces at the top are called "northbound", those at the bottom are
> called "southbound", and to left and right "eastbound" and "westbound".
> Is this a standard way of identifying interfaces?
The skeptic in me has a knee jerk reaction when SMEs come up with
terminology. I realize this is probably a prejudice on my part, but almost
all of the SMEs I've known have been wonderful people who are seriously
challenged when it comes to simple English (either the American variety or
the British).

That said, I am not sure that the use of "northbound" to mean to top of the
screen, "southbound" to mean the bottom, etc. is really helpful to the user.
What is wrong with "top," "bottom," "left," and "right?" I think that users
would find that much easier to use as orientation than compass point
directions that have to be translated into something that makes sense on
their screens. Currently, when I look at my screen I am faced South. I'll
concede that I may be smart enough to figure the directions out. I'm just
curious as to why I should have to?

Tom Murrell

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