[mythtv-users] Why Free Software has poor usability ?
jerrymr at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 16:04:05 UTC 2008
On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Jay R. Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 08, 2008 at 11:30:44AM -0400, Jerry Rubinow wrote:
> > On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Jay R. Ashworth <jra at baylink.com>
> > On Thu, Aug 07, 2008 at 06:44:09PM -0400, Jerry Rubinow wrote:
> > > I've used Office 2K7 with the ribbon interface. (IMHO) MS has
> > > clearly put a lot of thought into useability with this. It's one
> > > of the most well-designed and intuitive interfaces I've ever
> > > and I believe a lot of smart people spent a lot of time on it.
> > > playing around with it with an objective eye, not as a comparison
> > > to the previous version of Office.
> > Alas, "that's all well and good", but it doesn't take into account
> > probably tens of millions of manhours that have been spent learning
> > teaching the old interface.
> > There are two versions of Office. Why would you upgrade if you like
> > and want to stick with the old interface? 2003 accounts for all of
> > those people. 2007 accounts for all the people who find the old
> > interface hard to use, and for anyone new to Office who will likely
> > find it much easier to learn.
> It's *called* Office for a reason.
> You've never been an office temp, have you?
> If I upgrade my whole office to 2k7, then I probably have to pay more
> for temps, who have to learn 2 versions of Word instead of only 1.
Perhaps I'm missing something in your reasoning here. Why would you upgrade
your office if this was an issue?
There is a rather large section of the user base of Office which consists of
managers, tech people, home users, etc, who aren't in the office
temps/secretaries/etc category. People who haven't had professional
training, who only use the parts of Office they've been able to find by
experimentation (an extremely small subset of the functionality). I think
this category can benefit greatly by the new UI, if they give it a chance.
> And it completely violates the "Windows is a pretty neat idea
> > because you only have to learn how to run apps once" argument in
> > favor of WIMP interfaces in general.
> > 1. The utility of that paradigm breaks down when you start getting
> > to the point of hundreds of menu items. 2. It's arguable whether
> > it's even true in the first place, but regardless, it doesn't mean
> > that one should never try to improve the UI.
> Perhaps. But one must consider the height of the hill one is climbing
> when one does that, and Microsoft never ever ever does. (Microsoft
> apps have violated the User Interface Guidelines -- such as they are --
> more regularly than those from all other vendors combined, forever.)
No argument there, but I would point out that the ribbon UI actually has
pretty strict UI guidelines. To use the ribbon, one must agree to follow
the UI guidelines Microsoft has for it. So perhaps they are changing in
> Efficiency: fixing the problem right ectiveness: fixing the .
> > Effright problem .
> > The purpose of O2K7 was to fix its usability problems, from what
> > I understand, and I think they made good strides in doing that.
> But you go talk to the head of Personnel One and see what *they* think
> of it. The Law of Unintended Consequences marches along.
See first comment on advisability of upgrading.
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