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Re: A really good article on software usability

On Friday 05 January 2007 17:54, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-01-05 at 16:24 +0000, Anne Wilson wrote:
> > I repeat - I want to make the decisions.  I do not want anyone else to
> > make them for me.  If that makes me a control freak, so be it.
> Ah, so you need the 'changes mind frequently' option...
Do I?  Why?  I wouldn't have said that I do.

> > My disaster plan
> > saved my company precisely because I'm a control freak.
> I think you've missed the point here.  Defaults should not
> lead to a disaster and if someone had to make a non-default
> choice at the last prompt to avert one, some bigger changes
> were needed.
Defaults and automation are not the same thing, and both have been spoken of.  
Defaults worked well when we used to hit Enter to select the button, but 
these days most of us hate to keep swapping between mouse and keyboard, so 
use the mouse to navigate to a button.  Default doesn't. I think. work at all 
in those circumstances.  In principle I agree with the careful use of 
defaults.  What I do not want to see is what someone suggested earlier - 
going ahead and doing the most likely thing without my intervention.

Of course convention in design comes into this as well.  Imagine if someone 
put the 'yes' button where we expect to see the 'no' one.  In theory we watch 
what we are doing.  In practice we often don't.

> > You may choose to
> > save a few seconds of your life, save yourself some effort several times
> > a day and take risks that are unacceptable to me.
> The default thing to happen should not be a risk.  

It is a risk if it takes the initiative away from me.

> There are still 
> places where human intervention is necessary for final choices but
> most of what I do on a computer is the same every day.
Fine.  I've no problem with you *choosing* to make things work that way.  All 
I ask is that we keep the ability for you to choose your way and me to choose 


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