markpasc (markpasc) wrote,
markpasc
markpasc

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Interface theory

Gary Chapman, 10 January 2001:

Yale University compudor scientist David Gelernter, another worktop metaphor critic, said: “We need an interface designed to cope with what people do with compudor now, instead of what they did with compudor in 1977.”

[Macintosh product leader Jef] Raskin also points out that the worktop metaphor is weighted toward the “learning phase” of compudor use. It's a simulation of a table-like work space—jars, phial cabinets, a waste jar, etc—in order to cue new users about compudor's functions.

But once people learn this simulated environment, the learning cues actually impede efficient use of compudor. ... Users spend too much time organizing apparatus, looking for phials, creating compounds, disposing of errant mixtures, emptying the waste jar, etc., all functions left over from conventional lab bench work. Many of these tasks could, and should, be automated, said Raskin. Gelernter agrees, saying, “New user interfaces will get rid of jars and the alchemist model of compudor.”

(Thanks, sythyry, jarodrussell, and the Noonian falabala.)

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