Subject: Usability
From: "Glanbrok, Conqueror of Bluntskulls" <conehead -at- OVERTHE -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 1996 17:03:08 -0400

IMHO, M.J. Wing was right about the meaning of "intuitive" -- it's intuitive
if you can pick it up easily. In my last job, the org and its clients (1000
users, mostly computerphobic) were being "migrated" from WordPerfect to
Word. Some of the diehards complained that Word wasn't "intuitive" the same
way WFP was.

We all acknowledge that Word and Frame are different products. Which is
better? That's like asking some people which operating system is better, or
others which religion is better, or others which is the best car. Most of us
have probably been tied to the Word post at one time while itching for a
tool that was designed for long documents, proper handling of pictures, etc.
(i.e., Frame).

But shouldn't we agree that Frame is a low-productivity tool? You MUST use
the mouse a lot. There are very few accelerator keys. Functions that
experienced typographers think of as related (here's the "intuitive" part)
are too often sprinkled around various windows, and you have to remember a
whole bunch of different "special" tricks. Frame does have high
functionality, though.

But one virtue of Microsoft's products is the primacy the designers place on
usability. The bugs are legion, too.

So each tool has its drawbacks. Which set is worse depends, also IMHO, on
the requirements of the task at hand.

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