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Re: [desktop] why kde and gnome's menu situation sucks



Hi,

On Fri, Oct 25, 2002 at 03:07:55AM +0200, Malte Cornils wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> On Thu, Oct 24, 2002 at 06:39:58PM -0400, Luke Seubert wrote:
> > Rather, I was just pointing out that there are going to be some types of
> > computer users who literally don't know that Internet Explorer is a type of
> > browser.  (My stepmother comes to mind ;-)
> > 
> > So even if we try to make the Debian Desktop menu layout as simple as
> > possible for newbies, by using labeled apps in the menu such as "Web Browser
> > (Galeon)", some of these totally ignorant types of users will STILL be
> > confused.
> > 
> > Frankly, for the total ignoramus like that, I don't think it is possible to
> > design a simple and usable UI.
> 
> <LUSER'S ADVOCATE>
> Well, a task description like "Surf the web" for $BROWSER should be
> understandable for even the most clueless user, you could even dumb it down
> further by using a common but wrong terminology: "Surf the Internet". That
> one *is* going too far IMHO, but "Surf the web", "Check e-Mail", "Write a
> letter" and "Write a book" _are_ easier than "Web browser" (what's a browser),
> "Mail client" (a client? why should the user know? He may remain ignorant and 
> still use the computer successfully), "Word processor" (a processor? ugh)
> and "WYSIWIM composition" (which would be LyX).
> </LUSER'S ADVOCATE>

This is a very good idea, in principle. I think that verbs instead of
nouns for things to click on make the computer more predictable,
generally.

> This level of debrainifying should only occur after the user has titled
> herself as "absolute computer newbie". 

I agree, but I disagree with calling this 'debrainifying'. We're only
too easy in assuming that there are only two categories of users: 1.
competent ones, 2. stupid people.  There's actually a third category
that's probably most important of all, that's 3. intelligent people
without feeling for or experience with computers.

> I don't even know why an expert wouldn't want "easy" names except for
> two things: you can't search google for "search the web" and find
> instructions on how to use mozilla; you can if the app is named "Surf
> the web (Mozilla)" or "Mozilla Browser". And of course the coolness
> factor, and honouring the original app name.

True. However, I'm somewhat convinced that once you set up an UI for
that category 3 above, even experienced computer users will find it
pleasant to use. Apple really shines in this respect sometimes, looking
how they phrase things in their UI.

Cheers,


Emile.

-- 
E-Advies / Emile van Bergen   |   emile@e-advies.info
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153        |   http://www.e-advies.info

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