Re: Refresh vs Update

Subject: Re: Refresh vs Update
From: Marc Santacroce <santa -at- TFS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 09:28:00 PDT

At 10:05 PM 4/7/95, Robert Plamondon wrote:
>>I am responsible for all user documentation and on-screen text in an
>>application geared towards non-techie users. We need a name for the
>>command and toolbar button that describes what happens when the screen is
>>refreshed to display any changes made in the last little while.

>Do you really mean to say that you have an application that doesn't
>update the screen as changes are made, which you think is geared toward
>non-technical users? Weird. You really have to hit a button to see
>what it was that you just did? And you think that ordinary users
>will not be confused by this?

>>The software people here think that Refresh is just fine and very intuitive.
>>They feel that Update implies changes that the user would have to perform.
>>A few non-techies (English language editors) had no idea what the Refresh
>>command would do. They preferred Update.
>>I'm easy either way, but would like to choose one of them ASAP.

>To an engineer, anything inside their own narrow specialty is intuitive.
>Their opinions on such things are valueless unless the target audience
>is in the same specialty. Youre "non-techies" are, of
>course, correct. Most people think that "Refresh" has to do with having
>a Coca-Cola ("the pause that refreshes").

>I don't like "Update," either. Since I don't like the concept of
>your interface, I'm attracted by calling the button "Huh?" or "Show
>me now, dammit!" -- but maybe "Repaint" would be okay.

>>Which do you use? Is Refresh standard computer jargon? Perhaps it's not a
>>bad idea to help the users learn these type of standard terms and bring
>>up their level of computer literacy.

>"Refresh" is standard computer jargon, but it's also standard
>computer jargon to say that you use "threads" to weave your "lightweight
>processes." But educating the user that the Emperor is wearing very
>elegant clothes is outside the scope of your assignment, I think --
>and there's always the chance that a user might see things differently.

> -- Robert

How about "Redraw"


M_a_r_c_ A. _S_a_n_t_a_c_r_o_c_e_________________________
Technical Writer/Trainer TRW Financial Systems, Inc.
300 Lakeside Dr. Oakland, CA 94612-3540
santa -at- tfs -dot- com santacroce -at- aol -dot- com

"All I want is a chance to prove that money can't buy happiness."

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