Subject: Intuitive?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 1996 20:16:00 EST

Jesus Holy God, is there a single topic that doesn't raise the hackles on
somebody's back? I understand the objections to a non-intuitive interface.
If it's possible to make a new thing work like an old one, then that's
wonderful. But let's face the fact that technology rarely works that way.
It's not intuitive to move faster by depressing the right foot while
releasing pressure on the left. It's not intuitive to look at flashing
lights that tell us if stuff is racing down wires. Yes, perhaps it's
worthwhile making an onscreen file cabinet LOOK like a filing cabinet, but
what did the inventor of the first filing cabinet have as a model? Stacked
boxes? And what did the inventor of the stacked box have?

Sometimes we have to leave the old paradigms behind. People will grumble,
but new things call for new symbols, actions, and responses. I'm sure the
inventor of the folio, the folding page, caught hell for not making it as
"intuitive" to read as a scroll. And just imagine the firestorm around the
fellow who first proposed the zero!

Sure, intuitiveness is a valid standard, but it's rather far down on my
list, unless the gadget is specifically meant to replace an implementation
of an old paradigm with a new implementation of the old paradigm. Otherwise
we may have to move on and learn a new thing that will rapidly become the
standard for curmudgeons to mumble about.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support

Makers of DuoFrame, giving you online help and paper
documentation from a single parent FrameMaker document.

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