Re: Fw: Upper Management Knowledge of GUIs

Subject: Re: Fw: Upper Management Knowledge of GUIs
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 01:21:55 -0400

Anonymous Poster wrote:

> Have you had to explain what a GUI is? To upper levels
> or boss types?

Are we talking about boss-types in IT businesses, or just consumers who
happen to be bosses? Users are users. We don't say "GUI" to GUI users.

But if they're peripherally in the business ...

"GUI" isn't a term that gets explained. It's elemental shorthand. If
it's being tossed around and you don't know what it means, keep quiet
for ten minutes and you will.

It just doesn't happen that a higher-up sits through a meeting without
figuring it out or, if somehow he or she were still mystified, it'd at
least be clear it's too embarrassing to ask (it'll hardly be the only
acronym to learn). There's printed matter that'll clue you in. There's
Google. It's not *impossible* that somebody would ask aloud, "Uhh,
what's a GUI?", just damned unlikely.

I can see how someone might not have encountered the term. A lot of
apps are all about the GUI -- or at least the concerns of certain
management-types are confined to the GUI. If, say, a marketeer stumbled
into software development as a consumer-level Windows user and nothing
more, he might not see the need for a term like GUI. It's only useful
to distinguish from a command-line interface (CLI). If you've never
seen a CLI, the whole world is GUI, like the natural world. Pine trees
and marriages and desserts and fist-fights and most eggs are gooey.

I'd like to say it's a dated term and not much needed, but that's really
only true for *consumers* of MS Windows and Web apps. OS X and desktop
Linux users (and other POSIX-world users) are at least aware of the
command line if not intimate with it, and any Windows user old enough to
remember DOS will see the need for terms that distinguish between
executing typed commands and mousing-around in a GUI.

So in terms of boss-types, it's unlikely that somebody (1) wouldn't know
what GUI means in the first place, (2) figure it out on the spot, or (3)
quickly check out the term in private. Whomever's left just might be in
the wrong business.

Now, if these boss-types aren't in the business at all -- that is,
they're just consumers -- we don't use "GUI" at all. My mom's quite
PC-savvy (I'm so proud), but if I started prefacing every explanation
with "GUI" I'd confuse her. And for no reason.



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Fw: Upper Management Knowledge of GUIs: From: Anonymous Poster

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