Re: For the love of spreadsheets

Subject: Re: For the love of spreadsheets
From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:52:05 -0700

I lurrrv spreadsheets. So much so that I excel (see what I did there) at
incorporating complex formulas and macros to reduce repetition.

Lately I've been looking to integrate more with databases through a
user-friendly front end that enable me to output a spreadsheet as one of
the reporting formats. This is where things get complicated. When you're
used to working inside a spreadsheet, it's easy enough to add the
information you need. Not so when you're looking at each entry as a
discrete component. But I'll survive.

Good luck to you, Craig.

-Tony

On Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 6:40 AM, Cardimon, Craig <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
wrote:

> To this day, I have yet to use a flow chart, Keith. Interesting.
>
> ~Craig
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:
> techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
> Keith Hood
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:28 AM
> To: Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com>; TECHWR-L (
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com) <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: For the love of spreadsheets
>
> Spreadsheet love comes from the fact the information is presented
> visually. Lots of people do most of their "thinking" by visual processing.
> I do. That's why I was originally an art major. To this day, I sometimes
> run into situations where I literally can't think clearly about something
> unless I can see it laid out visually. That's one reason I love using flow
> charts.
>
> In a spreadsheet the information is not presented sequentially, and people
> think that makes it quicker and easier to find the thing(s) they are really
> interested in. They don't have to read down in a TOC or work their way down
> through a bunch of text. It's quicker and easier for them to run their eyes
> back and forth across one page than to turn pages or drill down. The fact
> that spreadsheets are often too large and too complex doesn't negate their
> value as a way of presenting data. It just means people should make better
> spreadsheets.
>
> The saying is, a picture is worth a thousand words. A spreadsheet is
> closer to being a picture than a Word document.
>
>
> On Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:00 AM, Dan Goldstein <
> DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com> wrote:
>
>
> It might often be a lack of effort, but not always. Sometimes people use
> spreadsheets to deliberately bury unfriendly data. This is especially true
> of spreadsheets that extend eastward for dozens of columns.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mbaker
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:45 AM
> To: 'Cardimon, Craig'; 'TechWhirl'
> Subject: RE: For the love of spreadsheets
>
> I feel your pain. I have no love for spreadsheets either.
>
> My theory is this: most people will take awkwardness over complexity most
> of the time. Or, to put it another way, people will choose conceptual ease
> of use over practical ease of use every time. Or to put it another way,
> don't make me think.
>
> A spreadsheet provides a ready-made grid layout. You don't have to do
> anything to create the grid. You just plop things in where you want them
> and move them around if you need to. It is awkward and time consuming
> compared to a normal word processing document most of the time, and the
> result is much harder to read and navigate, but you don't have to know
> anything about page layout tools to place stuff where you want it.
>
> I see all kinds of cases were people choose to do the awkward time
> consuming thing rather than the simple elegant thing if the simple elegant
> thing requires even a little bit of learning, particularly if that learning
> involves even a little bit of abstraction. Most people are extraordinarily
> concrete in their thinking, something I think it is very easy to forget
> when you work in tech. (It does seem to have been the key thing that Steve
> Jobs understood. I think it is what he meant by saying things should just
> work -- things should require no thought, particularly no abstract thought.
> Thus the skeuomorphic interface.)
>
> The amount of abstraction required to use page layout tools in a word
> processor rather than the ready-made grid may seem very small. But that is
> the curse of knowledge. Once you get it, it is very small. But when you
> don't its huge, scary, and the kind of mental effort people naturally shy
> away from.
>
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References:
RE: For the love of spreadsheets: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: For the love of spreadsheets: From: Keith Hood
RE: For the love of spreadsheets: From: Cardimon, Craig

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