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Re: A really good article on software usability

Today Tim did spake thusly:

On Fri, 2007-01-05 at 10:18 -0600, Les Mikesell wrote:
Does your refrigerator ask you every time you are nearby if you would
like it to keep your food cool or not?  Instead of prompting every
time for whether or not you'd like to save or lose all your work,
why don't programs have a default for how many revisions you'd
like it to keep and always save all changes unless explicitly told
to exit without saving?

Too much like that disastrous re-arrange your mess of the start menu on
Windows (which wouldn't be needed if the thing was organised, in the
first place).

Doesn't happen. You're mistaking the MRUA list for the start menu

Users find, after a little while, that it's changed on them.  That's
disconcerting, in itself.  They also have to go around hunting for
things used occasinally, instead of just being able to find it.

As with everything it's configureable - the start menu doesn't change, the most recently used application list does - this is a new addition in XP, all they've done is make "All Programs" a submenu instead of it being the root. If you go to "All Programs" you get a list that doesn't change. It was deemed more sensible than simply hiding the less frequently used program items and having a "hey, where did my programs go?" bubble - the default in win2000. These days, Microsoft spend more time and energy user testing software than pretty much any other software company, their UI design tends towards being pretty good.

If it ends up saving work you wanted to throw away, then you'd have an
after-the-fact way to fix the unusual case instead of being bothered
every time selecting the obvious choice.

That's not *too* bad, but the opposite is unacceptable.


Scott van Looy - email:me ethosuk org uk | web:www.ethosuk.org.uk
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