Mac vs PC FLAME BAIT Par EXELENCE, was Re: Hang on, isn't Forth , out of date now? 
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 Mac vs PC FLAME BAIT Par EXELENCE, was Re: Hang on, isn't Forth , out of date now?


> And no one should dare give me the BS about "intuitive" GUIs. I saw my
> mother fight with a Mac and lose, and then I helped her with learnung
> Windows. None of these UIs are intuitive until you know them.


> Just because you (and your mother, God bless her) don't find GUIs more
> intuitive to use, doesn't mean they aren't.  Yes you do have to learn a
> GUI before you can use it.
> ...
> intuitive doesn't mean you don't have to learn anything,

> You seem to use a different definition of intuitive than I. For me
> it means that you can understand and deal with it without learning.
> The New Shorter OED has:
> A adj. ... 2a) Of a factulty or gift: innate, not aquired by learning
> 2b) Of knowledge or mental perception: known or apprehended
> immediately and fully without reasoning 3) Of the mind or a mental
> process: acting or comprehending immediately and without reasoning,
> operating through intuition. ...
> Well, is dealing with an UI a faculty, knowledge, or a mental process?

        A knowledge, like any other aquired skill.  Or, at least, a UI
that is restricted to those with an innate gift would be a specialty item
(by definition), and direct computer <-> mind interfaces are not at the
stage for definition (3) to be really applicable, either.

> You seem to see "intuitive" as a synonym for "consistent".

        In the (2b) definition, the intuitive does indeed come from
consistency:  consistency in approaches to the same task in different
contexts, and consistency in approached to similar tasks in a given
context.  The two imply that *if* you learn to do task A in program 1, you
*already* know how to do it when you need task A in program 2 -- without
reasoning it through (see the definition) -- and you can guess how to do
similar task B in program 1, also without reasoning it through.

        There is nothing here that is innate to GUI's, of course.  If I
have a magic-button interface, and "Control-J" always means word wrap the
present sequence of lines, and sequence of lines always means the same
thing, the "magic button" interface becomes intuitive, after enough
experience.  Maybe the problem is that magic button interfaces are too
damn easy, so everybody can do one, so there is not way to standardize the
magic buttons in use.  GUI's, on the other hand, are a royal pain, so
people go out of their way to use code that's already developed, so its
easier to standardize.
        Of course, the most direct way to get an intuitive user interface
is to escape the monolithic application approach, and have the user
interact with the system, and the system interact with the application, so
the application doesn't *have* a user interface.  But then the ability to
use a single user interface depends on the ability of the client or family
of clients to talk to all applications you want to use.  And the fly in
the ointment there is money: as in Netscape and HTML, if you have a good
share of the client side, and you build in hooks to access special
features of *your* servers, competing servers have an incentive to produce
competing clients specialized to their services, and that falls back
toward monolithic applications.


Bruce R. McFarling, Newcastle, NSW

Fri, 26 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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