1728RE: [agile-usability] user expertise and progressive usage (was RE: norman)
- Nov 3, 2005Well if you're fishing then I guess you caught me :)I can say for first reaction the faux wood backgrounds and gradients around the controls really turned me off as did the non-standard widget look and file browse UI in Windows. You would think being a self-proclaimed usability guy I'd try to put my preferences aside and wait for the test data.Jade OhlhauserProduct ManagerRPM Softwarewww.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727 x704<disclaimer>
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jon Kern
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: [agile-usability] user expertise and progressive usage (was RE: norman)
okay... I had something to do with this UI. i went phishing for some initial reactions.
we deliberately threw out all manner of UI convention and tried to start from scratch with a "zero mass" design... it was based on seeing our "moms" (really) struggling horribly with all manner of "standard" photo apps.
just like the aeron chair was met with distaste at first, it grew on people after they began to really use it. you can get a feel for the software by looking at the 10-minute "walkabout" viewlet. But even better to try it out.
if you give tidepool a spin, try to organize a few hundred images, create some stories, and share photos with friends, maybe you would have a different opinion from your first gut reaction.
Jon Kern said the following on 11/3/2005 8:24 AM:
"Nice find with that photo app Jon, oh man is that bad. It's almost too painful to compare it to something like Picassa 2. "
btw: yes, it is a bit exploratory as far as the UI goes, i think. i bet it is going for a different audience and is purposely trying not to look like every other photo program on the planet (like Picasa). They wanted to make the ability to organize and tag photos through simple "who/what/where" info via drag-n-drop or simple type to get a list of tags or create tags. and to make it so your "Mom" can even share photos with friends.
it's actually easy to use and I don't mind not having a stupid "file" or "edit" or "help" menu. click one button to share one or more photos... click tags to sort: "Jonny" "Mountain" "Nepal" to narrow down to all pics of Jonny, then Jonny with Mountains, then Jonny + Mountains + in Nepal.
And praise for Word? That squiggly is what IDEs have been doing for a while: catching errors as you make them.
Jade Ohlhauser said the following on 11/2/2005 1:12 PM:Well said Larry.I agree having a single control that changes the UI or other sort of interface "expertise" modes is not a good idea. You're asking the user to make a decision without a lot of information on what the consequences and rewards are and what their own needs are. Also, it's a disruptive jump moving "up to the next level". It's not quite back to square one, but it's a real and/or perceived step backwards in the user's journey to application mastery. Finally, I think if there's something so bad about something that it needs to be removed from the UI for a so called "beginner" user, then it should probably be redesigned.Nice find with that photo app Jon, oh man is that bad. It's almost too painful to compare it to something like Picassa 2.And if I may slip in one more UI praise for Word that in my opinion makes up for a lot of bad, the red squiggly. I'm talking about underlining misspelled words right away instead of waiting for a spell check. Brilliant. Of course, they ended up taking the superficial element of the concept too far with the Smart Tags. Talk about missing the point.Jade OhlhauserProduct ManagerRPM Softwarewww.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727 x704
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