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Re: A really good article on software usability

Tim wrote:

If the user does not use their brain, then all is lost.  There's a
number of people I've come very close to telling that they're too stupid
to use a computer.  No matter how many years of instructing, no matter
how many years they complain about the same thing going wrong, they
don't learn, they don't pay attention to the explanations, they just
whinge at you while you're talking to them.

Yes, that's the point.  For a lot of things, software should work
like an appliance.  If the thing that needs to be done can be
predicted, just do it without offering any choices.  Doesn't work
for everything of course, but in many cases the best user interface
is no user interface.  Consider how itunes syncs with an ipod for
example. If everything fits, you plug it in and do nothing.  The
device syncs with your library and charges up. It is the obvious
thing to do and it does it with no annoying questions about
whether you would like to sync now or charge the battery or
anything else.  Likewise if you subscribe to podcasts you can set
it up to always download new ones when available - and to remove them
after listening - and the 'listened' status propagates back from
the ipod during a sync.  And you can make a 'smart playlist' that
has new podcasts.  So, with this setup you just plug the ipod in
occasionally and you always have up to date podcasts available
and in a playlist.  Where's the Linux software that matches this
ease of use?  Or that even lets me set up something once by picking
from a few selections, then never asks again?

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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