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Re: A really good article on software usability



On Friday 05 January 2007 19:26, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-01-05 at 19:14 +0000, Anne Wilson wrote:
> > On Friday 05 January 2007 18:32, Scott van Looy wrote:
> > > This is how software *should* be developed. Programmers all too
> > > frequently forget that they are servicing the user, not telling them
> > > what to do.
> >
> > Absolutely true.  But let's not forget that if you were the first tester
> > and I was the second they would probably see entirely different actions
> > and reactions.  Human differences can't be ignored, and to expect any
> > programmer to know what is perfect for every user is beyond all sense and
> > reason.
>
> There's also the difference between the first-time testing experience
> and
> your acquired tastes after familiarity sets in.  

True.  This is probably why we often hear complaints about applications being 
windows-like.  It's what most people are used to.  If they have always used 
M$Office they need something reasonably familiar when they make the switch, 
or they lose too much functionality.  The fact that I never used M$Office 
does mean that I have different expectations.

> These are much like 
> the differences you want in tutorials vs. reference manuals.  After
> you have been through a tutorial you probably never want to see it
> again.
> Software is often designed to be attractive to first-time users and
> perhaps has to be, but once you have learned it's tricks and it has
> learned your preferences it should adapt to stay more out of the way.
>
Maybe it's terminology that we are arguing about.  I am quite happy with 
software that allows me to turn off features I don't want and turn on those I 
do.

Anne

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