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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.


William Case: 
> I am sorry. but the normal human IQ (IQ substituting for the word
> intelligence) is one standard deviation in each direction from average
> -- about 80 to 120.

Where people are concerned, I find it quite hard to use the term
"normal," they're all so different from each other.

> People with an 80 IQ should be just as welcome using a computer as
> someone with a 120 IQ and beyond.

I'm not saying they're not "welcome," but some just do not have the
aptitude for it.  Even disregarding computers, some just cannot grasp
the idea that a machine is going to work the same way each time (barring
bad design), and they'll keep trying to do something the same way hoping
for a different outcome.  Or that if they want to keep some data they
have to file it intelligently.

I find it somewhat bemusing that people who have little interest in
computing, little understanding of it, continually bash their head
against a brick wall over it.  The majority of people I see using a
computer have little idea what they're doing, a significant number of
them just don't manage it (and never will).  Between the two of them,
they have a box that rapidly becomes unusable (or unused).

Microsoft's ideas about defaults, supposedly to make it easy for them,
always seem to be the easiest route to being attacked by viruses,
trojans, and what not.  And they're not the only ones to do that.

I see people using that OS, supposedly it's designed for them to be an
easy thing to use.  But there's no way that they're going to avoid
getting infections from their browser or mail client, because they don't
know what they're doing, and it doesn't protect them from outside
attack, nor themselves.

> The point about 'sync' is well taken.  However, in it's rawest form
> Linux has far more 'Help' than other systems.  There is an answer for
> the meaning of 'sync' out there.  Finding in a timely fashion it is the
> hard part.

To me, sync would be to make the two the same.  The trouble is that
different software authors have different ideas about what that means,
and give no indication, anywhere, what they thought it meant.  You might
as well have a black box with just one button labelled "do something".

It's also near impossible to have a standard definition of what sync
might do on a computer.  Certainly not without prompting a user.  If you
tried to sync two folders with some differences in content, the obvious
thing (to me) would be to copy the missing content from one to another.
Others might regard that anything that was deleted from one ought to be
deleted from the other.  Then there's modified files.  Do you blithely
assume that the latest version must replace an older version?



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