Re: Toolbars

Subject: Re: Toolbars
From: Shmuel Ben-Artzi <sba -at- NETMEDIA -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 12:48:10 +0200


>>It's good to hide complexity from new users, but some of that complexity
>>is what will help them to go from being beginners to using the software
>>efficiently and effectively. Buttons are good for fast, easy, default
>>Saves and default Prints. But it's also good to know that there are
>>options other than the defaults. This is not playing but learning.

In principle, I would agree with you. Anyone who has used Windows or a Mac
for any length of time knows that there are almost always differing routes
available to them to issue a particular command. These include straight
mouse clicks (single or double; left, right or center), straight keypresses
(single-key or multi-key), mouse/menu selections and keypress/menu
selections. (No, I haven't forgotten the others, like pens, trackballs,
voice recognition and more. But let's just keep it relatively simple for now.)

Now personally, I use them all. And I don't always make the same choice in
every instance. If I'm in the middle of typing a document, the hot key
approach might be fastest. Other time, I might use the mouse.

*But* when I am teaching a beginner to use a new program or a new GUI, I
will invariably teach one particular method. Usually this will be to use the
mouse for everything, including menu pulldown. That will give them a unified
command structure, which in turns gives them a sense of order, which in turn
helps them to feel more secure with the command interface. There will be
time enough to learn the shortcuts once they start to develop some
familiarity with the product and become comfortable with it.

Shmuel Ben-Artzi
Netanya, Israel
sba -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il

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