Re: Intuitive (was Minimalism)

Subject: Re: Intuitive (was Minimalism)
From: John Ahlstrom <jahlstro -at- CISCO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 1997 14:59:33 -0800

Robert Plamondon writes:

>Really good intuitive design eliminates the need for a lot of documentation.
>So does less-intuitive design if it's part of a universal standard.
>I've never seen a piece of documentation telling the user to raise the
>little red flag in his mailbox when he wants the carrier to pick up
>a letter.

(Tiny little spark warning)
What does "intuitive" mean? What did it mean before the Mac
folk adopted it? What did they want to convey when they
adopted it?...

The only meaningful meaning of "intuitive" that I can
understand is "familiar". Does anyone have another?
If "familiar" is what we mean by "intuitive", can we
please start using "familiar" instead? If that is not
what you mean by "intuitive", please help me understand
what you do mean.

I think that if we dropped "intutive" and used "familiar",
we would not get into traps and textbook examples like
the red flag on the US rural mailbox because it would be
very clear that to some people red flags on mailboxes
are familiar and to some they aren't. Using "intuitive"
sounds like some universal, human, psychological characteristic.

(Please retain this for your records. In the future I will
just refer to "Flame 17".)

Thank you

John Ahlstrom
jahlstrom -at- cisco -dot- com

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but, I am
not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
-- Casey Stengel (?)

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