keyboard shortcuts + contextual menus

18 Jul 2006 - 10:07am
8 years ago
17 replies
635 reads
mtumi
2004

Hi all -

I was just wondering why there are no keyboard shortcuts for
contextual menus.

Apple HIG's say:

###

Because a user uses a contextual menu as a shortcut to a set of task-
specific commands, it's redundant to display the keyboard shortcuts
for those commands.

###

Isn't the purpose of displaying keyboard shortcuts in the menus to
teach people a faster means of executing commands, and as such, why
is a contextual menu an inappropriate venue to do so? The sentence
above seems to suggest use of contextual menus at all automatically
presumes a certain amount of mastery, but it seems to me if someone
is using a menu item, regardless of whether it is contextual or not,
it would be safe to presume they may not know the keyboard shortcut
for the same command.

Thought it might be interesting to hear what people here had to say.

thanks-

Michael

Comments

18 Jul 2006 - 10:43am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Contextual menus leverage Fitts' Law pretty nicely (the fastest spot to
click is the one where your mouse pointer is resting, so a
single-right-click provides immediate access to the menu), so I'd say that
it's simply unecessary to include shortcuts for right-click specific items -
you can already get to the item very quickly and the shortcut would barely
improve things. If, on the other hand, the contextual menu contained items
that are duplicates of regular menus, I don't see any issue with displaying
the shortcut.

-r-

On 7/18/06, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Hi all -
>
> I was just wondering why there are no keyboard shortcuts for
> contextual menus.
>

18 Jul 2006 - 11:05am
Peter Bagnall
2003

Fitts law also relates to movement of your arm, hand and fingers though! So if your hands are
on the keyboard it's pretty inefficient to move one hand to the mouse, then perform a right
mouse click, etc.

So shortcuts probably do make sense for some tasks, especially if they are mostly keyboard
based tasks. For example, having shortcuts for tasks on selected text in a word processor or
text editor makes good sense.

You can't just assume people work with one hand on the mouse all the time! For some tasks
the mouse might be dominant, for others the keyboard.

Cheers
--Pete

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Contextual menus leverage Fitts' Law pretty nicely (the fastest spot to
> click is the one where your mouse pointer is resting, so a
> single-right-click provides immediate access to the menu), so I'd say that
> it's simply unecessary to include shortcuts for right-click specific items -
> you can already get to the item very quickly and the shortcut would barely
> improve things. If, on the other hand, the contextual menu contained items
> that are duplicates of regular menus, I don't see any issue with displaying
> the shortcut.
>
> -r-
>
>
> On 7/18/06, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
> >
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> > material.]
> >
> > Hi all -
> >
> > I was just wondering why there are no keyboard shortcuts for
> > contextual menus.
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
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18 Jul 2006 - 11:10am
Jeff Howard
2004

Bruce Tognazzini argued in Tog on Interface that keyboard
"shortcuts" aren't actually a faster means of executing commands
than menuing, they just seem faster to the user. His argument is
reprinted here:

http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html

It's a nearly 20-year old position that seems counterintuitive, and
I don't know whether it included contextual menus in the analysis
(which I guess would only strengthen it), but it resulted in a
guideline that still applies.

Command-Keys ... should only be used ... if these "shortcuts" are
not to the detriment of the user of the Macintosh visual
interface."

In this case, if keyboard shortcuts were shown in contextual menus,
those menus would need to be slightly wider and more complex than
they are now in order to accommodate the extra characters. That would
obscure more of the object the user contextually clicked, making the
visual interface slightly worse.

// jeff

18 Jul 2006 - 11:41am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Jul 18, 2006, at 11:07 AM, Michael Tuminello wrote:

> I was just wondering why there are no keyboard shortcuts for
> contextual menus.

Am I missing something here? Use of a contextual menu assumes that
you are clicking on something. The menu is therefore contextual to
the thing clicked on. If I use a shortcut key to access a command in
a contextual menu, what object am I performing the action on? I have
provided no context.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

The World is not set up to facilitate the best
any more than it is set up to facilitate the worst.
It doesn't depend on brilliance or innovation
because if it did, the system would be unpredictable.
It requires averages and predictables.

So, good deeds and brilliant ideas go against the
grain of the social contract almost by definition.
They will be challenged and will require
enormous effort to succeed.

Most fail.
- Michael McDonough

18 Jul 2006 - 12:31pm
Becubed
2004

> Am I missing something here? Use of a contextual menu assumes that
> you are clicking on something. The menu is therefore contextual to
> the thing clicked on. If I use a shortcut key to access a command in
> a contextual menu, what object am I performing the action on? I have
> provided no context.

Presumably you've indicated context by selecting the object already.
Using a keyboard shortcut to delete a file from your desktop is an
example of this.

--
Robert Barlow-Busch
Practice Director, Interaction Design
Quarry Integrated Communications Inc.
rbarlowbusch at quarry.com
(519) 570-2020

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18 Jul 2006 - 4:07pm
mtumi
2004

exactly. in the os x finder if you select an item on the desktop,
you can access "Move to Trash" in the File menu, where it is shown
with a keyboard shortcut (cmd-delete), or via right-click, where the
same command is shown without the keyboard shortcut.

hiding the least amount of the underlying UI sounds like a plausible
explanation, although it doesn't seem to me like that much useful
screen real estate is preserved. It seemed to me that it might be a
holdover from when contextual menus were simpler, screens were
smaller, and right-clicking was less well-used.

thanks for the responses - just a point of curiosity.

Michael

On Jul 18, 2006, at 1:31 PM, Robert Barlow-Busch wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>> Am I missing something here? Use of a contextual menu assumes that
>> you are clicking on something. The menu is therefore contextual to
>> the thing clicked on. If I use a shortcut key to access a command in
>> a contextual menu, what object am I performing the action on? I have
>> provided no context.
>
> Presumably you've indicated context by selecting the object already.
> Using a keyboard shortcut to delete a file from your desktop is an
> example of this.
>
> --
> Robert Barlow-Busch
> Practice Director, Interaction Design
> Quarry Integrated Communications Inc.
> rbarlowbusch at quarry.com
> (519) 570-2020

18 Jul 2006 - 5:34pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com>
>
>Bruce Tognazzini argued in Tog on Interface that keyboard
>"shortcuts" aren't actually a faster means of executing commands
>than menuing, they just seem faster to the user. His argument is
>reprinted here:
>
>http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html
>
>It's a nearly 20-year old position that seems counterintuitive

I recall some of that sort of info from my UI coursework back in 1989 or so, too.

Just thinking about it now, and mentally stepping back and observing how I work, I see a few things not mentioned in the TOG article, which makes me wonder about the tetsing they did at the time and the applicability of the results today. (Too often, user testing seems to be done with novice users, or users with no product experience. Less variables in the mix, but less applicability to "perpetual intermediates" and "power users".)

* The "two-second acquisition of the mouse" bit. In a time where the mouse was a newfangled contraption, something that people maybe had to remember how to use and where it was, I can see an acquisition time like that. Today, though, I have a black mouse with a glowing red spot on it, providing high contrast with my light gray desk, and the mouse is always in my peripheral vision when I'm at the keyboard. Since I always know what it is and where it is -- and since I use it abundantly -- getting to it and using it takes a fraction of a second and negligible thought.

* Familiarity breeds speed, not comtempt. The more the user uses shortcut sequences, the further forward in the memory they are, and the easier they are to use. I worked for abut a decade as a tester of FrameMaker, and app for which 99% of the commands can be accessed via three or four key sequences. Open the Paragraph Format Designer: esc-o-p-d. Shrinkwrap a math equation: esc-m-p. Update master page usage: esc-o-m-u. Etc. Given the sheer number of commands in the app -- 250+ separate dialogs! -- getting to some of the commands could easily involve at least one menu cascade, sometimes two. Mousing to a menu item on the top level of a short menu might be faster, but targetting a casacde in a long menu and then and item in that, and maybe to another level? Hyper-familiar shortcuts must get the edge in there somewhere.

* Muscle memory. Another version of familiarity. With my hands on the keyboard, I always know where to reach for esc-o-p-d. But once I acquire the mouse, I have to figure out where the pointer is -- or just "throw" it to the corner, but who really does that? -- and then I have to target the menu, the cascade, and the item. In practice, every time to mouse to the command, I'm coming at it from a different direction, and I have pay attention to that. I can't just blindly mouse to the exact right place.

* Screen sizes and resolutions have changed. How does target acquisition change between the old 16 point type menu item on an 800 pixel/10" wide screen, vs. now with a 12 point menu on a 1280 wide/19" screen, while the keyboard is laregly unchanged.

-- Jim Drew
Seattle, WA

18 Jul 2006 - 11:01pm
Joshua Gross
2006

> Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 09:10:01 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com>
>
> Bruce Tognazzini argued in Tog on Interface that keyboard
> "shortcuts" aren't actually a faster means of executing commands

I've always been frustrated by this. CMN-GOMS definitely says there's a
difference, and there's 20+ years of supporting evidence in
publication. On the other hand, Apple's interface research is largely
"secret", with only generalizations published, and Jef Raskin didn't
support the Apple conclusions, either.

> In this case, if keyboard shortcuts were shown in contextual menus,
> those menus would need to be slightly wider and more complex
> ...making the visual interface slightly worse.

This is an oversimplification. Keyboard shortcuts require more learning
on the part of the user, so they tend to benefit so-called power users,
and in particular are useful for frequent tasks - cut/copy/paste, and
print are examples. Application-specific shortcuts (and especially
application-specific context-dependent shortcuts) are going to be less
useful because they are so local, but there are examples where I
wouldn't trade them out (for example, in software debuggers).

So to get back to Michael's original question, a good rule of thumb is
that users won't invest time in learning keyboard shortcuts if those
shortcuts are local, hence their infrequency in context menus. However,
if you have an legitimate exception, then they don't actually violate
any rules. Apple Mail has a horrid context menu with sub-menus, and
there are keyboard shortcuts in the submenus!

-Josh

19 Jul 2006 - 10:52am
Juan Lanus
2005

In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
operations that repeat frequently.

When I teach a user to leverage shortcuts as simple as enter for the
accept button and esc for cancel, they are amazed.

This amazes me. Shortcuts are one of the best kept secrets of the Windows UI.
For example, many people ignore they can switch tasks with the
alt-tab-... sequence. Or that all windows are minimized by logo-m and
restored by logo-M. Or that "the other" key opens the properties
contextual menu of whatever is selected.

Also, they ignore that tab forwards focus to the next control: I see
then writing the given name, then grabbing the mouse for to click in
the family name, and returning to the keyboard, and so on. Let alome
selecting text with the keyboard by holding shift.

In a test I recently made with a 75 years old CPA, I confirmed all
this. He uses computers since ever, and PCs since long time ago too.
He was not aware of any keyboard shortcut.

It seems to me that elder people learn from younger ones, may be their
children. For the elder, mastering the mouse is the way to go because
they see the children do it so fast and try to emulate them.
On the other hand, the younger learned to govern the PC with the
mouse. I recal me myself with a 2 year old child in my lap giving him
the control of a "Living Book", a nice interactive book. Now he is 11
and masters the mouse and the keyboard, but the mouse is his preferred
expression channel.
Should he teach me, he wouldn't say nothing bout those shortcuts he
ignores. He'd blame me about not being able to use the mouse like him.

Alan Cooper wrote in his first book "About Face", that the keyboard
shortcuts list should be easily available for the user to see it. I
challenge those who have read this far to find a shortcut list in a
Windows PC: it's hidden so deep as to hinder any attempt to leverage
the shortcut advantage.
Windows has a nice feature: the user can add a "shortcut key" to any
shortcut icon in the desktop or menu. So an application can be opened
at once. For example setting "F" for firefox lets you start, or
recall, it with control-alt-F. But there is no way (that I know) for
to display a list ot the available triggers.
The interest for these shortcuts wasn't high: thay consistently fail
in all versions of Windows since 3.1, which helped keep the users out.

I have yet not seen a software piece to give advice to the user, for
example "Hey user, I've noticed that you are doing lots of paste
operations. Please take note that control-V is equivalent to the menu
action."

Recently the Eclipse IDE (a Java & other langs development
environment) added a feature that displays a list of available
shortcuts in a window. This might be the way for those editor-like
programs where the shortcut issue is more appropriate.
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

20 Jul 2006 - 12:55pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

>This amazes me. Shortcuts are one of the best kept secrets of the Windows
UI.

>For example, many people ignore they can switch tasks with the

>alt-tab-... sequence.

Consider switching tasks with alt-tab in larger context. I have used alt-tab
with Windows 3. Not anymore. Because it is simply less mental effort to
switch windows by clicking the visible button on the TaskBar in XP.

Letter based shortcuts are vestiges of command interface. The well-known
argument against command interface, and therefore against shortcuts is human
preference of recognition over recall.

Another, less obvious argument is that shortcuts violate consistency
principle. Take for example wordprocessing: as you type you know that if you
need to highlight a word, you reach for the mouse, if you need to rearrange
the text, you reach for the mouse, if you need to check the spelling, you
reach for the mouse. Typing - keyboard, editing - mouse. Now, assume that to
make some text bold you use shortcut key for bold instead of reaching for
the mouse. This keyboard shortcut interaction would create inconsistent
behavior for editing.

Also since I always pause as I work, the unconscious, mechanical interaction
with mouse punctuates my work without breaking the flow.

>In a test I recently made with a 75 years old CPA, I confirmed all

>this. He uses computers since ever, and PCs since long time ago too.

>He was not aware of any keyboard shortcut.

Decision to design for shortcuts should take into account user background.
For instance, mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group of the
'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
scarcity and social proof). 'Engineers' (personality type) love shortcuts.
Accountants, Writers, power plant Operators (occupations) satisfice, and
would rather spend time doing accounting, writing, power plant operating -
the tasks, which extend far beyond the tool, instead of attempting to
memorize shortcuts within the tool.

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On 7/19/06, Juan Lanus < juan.lanus at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
> that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
> operations that repeat frequently.
>
> When I teach a user to leverage shortcuts as simple as enter for the
> accept button and esc for cancel, they are amazed.
>
> This amazes me. Shortcuts are one of the best kept secrets of the Windows
> UI.
> For example, many people ignore they can switch tasks with the
> alt-tab-... sequence. Or that all windows are minimized by logo-m and
> restored by logo-M. Or that "the other" key opens the properties
> contextual menu of whatever is selected.
>
> Also, they ignore that tab forwards focus to the next control: I see
> then writing the given name, then grabbing the mouse for to click in
> the family name, and returning to the keyboard, and so on. Let alome
> selecting text with the keyboard by holding shift.
>
> In a test I recently made with a 75 years old CPA, I confirmed all
> this. He uses computers since ever, and PCs since long time ago too.
> He was not aware of any keyboard shortcut.
>
> It seems to me that elder people learn from younger ones, may be their
> children. For the elder, mastering the mouse is the way to go because
> they see the children do it so fast and try to emulate them.
> On the other hand, the younger learned to govern the PC with the
> mouse. I recal me myself with a 2 year old child in my lap giving him
> the control of a "Living Book", a nice interactive book. Now he is 11
> and masters the mouse and the keyboard, but the mouse is his preferred
> expression channel.
> Should he teach me, he wouldn't say nothing bout those shortcuts he
> ignores. He'd blame me about not being able to use the mouse like him.
>
> Alan Cooper wrote in his first book "About Face", that the keyboard
> shortcuts list should be easily available for the user to see it. I
> challenge those who have read this far to find a shortcut list in a
> Windows PC: it's hidden so deep as to hinder any attempt to leverage
> the shortcut advantage.
> Windows has a nice feature: the user can add a "shortcut key" to any
> shortcut icon in the desktop or menu. So an application can be opened
> at once. For example setting "F" for firefox lets you start, or
> recall, it with control-alt-F. But there is no way (that I know) for
> to display a list ot the available triggers.
> The interest for these shortcuts wasn't high: thay consistently fail
> in all versions of Windows since 3.1, which helped keep the users out.
>
> I have yet not seen a software piece to give advice to the user, for
> example "Hey user, I've noticed that you are doing lots of paste
> operations. Please take note that control-V is equivalent to the menu
> action."
>
> Recently the Eclipse IDE (a Java & other langs development
> environment) added a feature that displays a list of available
> shortcuts in a window. This might be the way for those editor-like
> programs where the shortcut issue is more appropriate.
> --
> Juan Lanus
> TECNOSOL
> Argentina
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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21 Jul 2006 - 9:21am
jbellis
2005

Oleh, you crack me up.

Let me see if I've got this right. You perceive, in the matter of software
keyboard support, issues of class struggle and id/ego conflict? I thought I
was creative... but this is profoundly imaginative. (You don't have your
father wrapped in duct tape and locked in a closet, do you?)

And all this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people
seek
to constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
unconditional, and it therefore yields several benefits, speed among them.

-Jack
www.workAtHomeWednesday.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Oleh Kovalchuke" <tangospring at gmail.com>

> ... mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
> learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group of the
> 'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
> scarcity and social proof).

21 Jul 2006 - 9:54am
Navneet Nair
2004

Hi Jack

Actually what Oleh says makes a lot of sense to me. I'm sure you have some
very valid reasons to disagree, but I think this response is uncalled for
and I'm sure the topic can be debated without demeaning anybody.

Kind Regards
Navneet

On 7/21/06, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Oleh, you crack me up.
>
> Let me see if I've got this right. You perceive, in the matter of software
> keyboard support, issues of class struggle and id/ego conflict? I thought
> I
> was creative... but this is profoundly imaginative. (You don't have your
> father wrapped in duct tape and locked in a closet, do you?)
>
> And all this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people
> seek
> to constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
> unconditional, and it therefore yields several benefits, speed among them.
>
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Navneet Nair
> Interaction Architect
> onClipEvent: form follows function();
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
> Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/
>

23 Jul 2006 - 7:43pm
jbellis
2005

Navneet,
You're to be commended for trying to return the discussion to matters concerning users.
I'd love to discuss the merits of the individual points. Which point appealed to you?
Thanks, Jack
----- Original Message -----
From: Navneet Nair
Actually what Oleh says makes a lot of sense to me. I'm sure you have some very valid reasons to disagree, but I think this response is uncalled for and I'm sure the topic can be debated without demeaning anybody.

Kind Regards
Navneet

24 Jul 2006 - 4:16pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Hello Jack,

Well, I think if you don't crack up at least one person, then the message is
not worth writing, don't you agree? Thanks in turn for your thought
provoking message - those are to be treasured.

You make two curious points.

First you argue that productivity-minded people would find speed desirable
and beneficial:

*"...productivity-minded people seek to constantly [learn X - OK] because
... it ... yields ... speed."*

It is true indeed that speed of task performance *often* leads to higher
productivity for that particular task. However, the point I was trying to
make in my message is that Productivity is multilayered concept, it has
different meanings depending on user goals (speed of particular task
performance could be only one of those goals, but not necessarily primary
goal), or to rephrase it: "*Not all people are productivity-minded*". I
believe that design should take into account considerations of
nonproductively-minded people.

You second point is on the scope of applicability of UCD/GDD, namely at
which cut-off point you stop thinking about user goals and begin to "just do
it!":

*"You perceive, in the matter of software keyboard support, issues
of*[motivation due to creativity and proficiency, AKA
self-actualization and
self-esteem - this is what I wrote in my original message - OK]. *And all
this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people seek to
constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
unconditional* [their motivation is reliability and usability - OK] *"*

This second point is more interesting to argue because it is only once
removed from the "just code it" approach, the all-too familiar attitude in
the current software development environment.

To me UCD/GDD is more than simply a collection of useful usability
guidelines. There are many examples where consistent application of
guidelines, without knowledge of their origins has been counterproductive in
unanticipated context. This is why I begin to design with a concept, and
attempt to take into account user motivations. Once I have the concept of
user interaction, maintaining user centered approach becomes quite
effortless even in the small matters of shortcut implementation.

Do I agonize over id/ego/superego conflict when I think about which hot key
to use in my design? Not really. Might I consider user motivations to learn
and his cognitive limitations, when I think about adding effort-demanding
interaction to the design I make? You bet.
--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On 7/21/06, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Oleh, you crack me up.
>
> Let me see if I've got this right. You perceive, in the matter of software
> keyboard support, issues of class struggle and id/ego conflict? I thought
> I
> was creative... but this is profoundly imaginative. (You don't have your
> father wrapped in duct tape and locked in a closet, do you?)
>
> And all this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people
> seek
> to constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
> unconditional, and it therefore yields several benefits, speed among them.
>
> -Jack
> www.workAtHomeWednesday.com
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Oleh Kovalchuke" <tangospring at gmail.com>
>
> > ... mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
> > learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group of
> the
> > 'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
> > scarcity and social proof).
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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>

24 Jul 2006 - 6:48pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Jack,

I would like to admit the crucial mistake in my previous reply to you: I
have misunderstood you - you were not arguing with my description of
motivation for the "Slackers", you were referring to the 'Power Users'.

In my original message I have mentioned that self-esteem could be the
motivation behind memorizing the keyboard shortcuts for 'Power Users'. I
wrote:

"*Decision to design for shortcuts should take into account user background.
For instance, mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group of the
'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
scarcity and social proof). 'Engineers' (personality type) love shortcuts.
Accountants, Writers, power plant Operators (occupations) satisfice, and
would rather spend time doing accounting, writing, power plant operating -
the tasks, which extend far beyond the tool, instead of attempting to
memorize shortcuts within the tool.*"

You, on the other hand, argue that keyboard mastery is goal good enough to
justify life-long study; no further motivations to learn should be implied,
thank you very much... Well, if that were true, why not give people any
gadget at all and they will happily spend the rest of their very short lives
exploring it because it is right there, in front of them to master. Why
would we need to design for interaction at all?

I certainly would like to differ with this position. I strongly believe that
people, including 'Power Users' do have other reasons to learn the stuff
they do aside from the sheer challenge of complexity of the task at hand.
Achieving high social status in their niche is very much one of those
reasons, if only to bring more little 'Power Users' in this world.

So the *real* question I would like to ask you is this: In your opinion,
what makes people productivity-minded?

By the way, my references are Maslow's pyramid of needs, Cialdini's
psychology of influence and Dawkins et al evolutionary psychology. Could you
provide me with yours so I will not spend the rest of my life studying the
unnecessary complexity of human psychology?

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On 7/24/06, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hello Jack,
>
> Well, I think if you don't crack up at least one person, then the message
> is not worth writing, don't you agree? Thanks in turn for your thought
> provoking message - those are to be treasured.
>
> You make two curious points.
>
> First you argue that productivity-minded people would find speed desirable
> and beneficial:
>
> *"...productivity-minded people seek to constantly [learn X - OK] because
> ... it ... yields ... speed."*
>
> It is true indeed that speed of task performance *often* leads to higher
> productivity for that particular task. However, the point I was trying to
> make in my message is that Productivity is multilayered concept, it has
> different meanings depending on user goals (speed of particular task
> performance could be only one of those goals, but not necessarily primary
> goal), or to rephrase it: " *Not all people are productivity-minded*". I
> believe that design should take into account considerations of
> nonproductively-minded people.
>
> You second point is on the scope of applicability of UCD/GDD, namely at
> which cut-off point you stop thinking about user goals and begin to "just do
> it!":
>
> *"You perceive, in the matter of software keyboard support, issues of*[motivation due to creativity and proficiency, AKA self-actualization and
> self-esteem - this is what I wrote in my original message - OK]. *And all
> this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people seek to
> constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
> unconditional* [their motivation is reliability and usability - OK] *"*
>
> This second point is more interesting to argue because it is only once
> removed from the "just code it" approach, the all-too familiar attitude in
> the current software development environment.
>
> To me UCD/GDD is more than simply a collection of useful usability
> guidelines. There are many examples where consistent application of
> guidelines, without knowledge of their origins has been counterproductive in
> unanticipated context. This is why I begin to design with a concept, and
> attempt to take into account user motivations. Once I have the concept of
> user interaction, maintaining user centered approach becomes quite
> effortless even in the small matters of shortcut implementation.
>
> Do I agonize over id/ego/superego conflict when I think about which hot
> key to use in my design? Not really. Might I consider user motivations to
> learn and his cognitive limitations, when I think about adding
> effort-demanding interaction to the design I make? You bet.
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is Design of Time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>
>
>
> On 7/21/06, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> > material.]
> >
> > Oleh, you crack me up.
> >
> > Let me see if I've got this right. You perceive, in the matter of
> > software
> > keyboard support, issues of class struggle and id/ego conflict? I
> > thought I
> > was creative... but this is profoundly imaginative. (You don't have your
> >
> > father wrapped in duct tape and locked in a closet, do you?)
> >
> > And all this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded
> > people
> > seek
> > to constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
> > unconditional, and it therefore yields several benefits, speed among
> > them.
> >
> > -Jack
> > www.workAtHomeWednesday.com <http://www.workathomewednesday.com/>
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Oleh Kovalchuke" < tangospring at gmail.com>
> >
> > > ... mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
> > > learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group of
> > the
> > > 'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
> > > scarcity and social proof).
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
>
>
>

24 Jul 2006 - 8:49pm
Anthony Armendariz
2006

Oleh,

Thank you for that very educated and cited reply. I don't think we
really need to get attitudes in this discussion group. Also while
citing historical references is helpful, times are a changing and
everyone and I mean everyone does things differently. Just as we all
act, contribute and interact differently, we also have differences in
our professional opinions. This is why people hire us, to solve
problems, and look at things from many angles. There is no formula
that solves every problem. Well maybe if its a mathematical equation,
and even if so, there is more than one way to "skin a cat".

I also think the group might like to know that in the time that I
have used my Mac, I know about 5 total keyboard short cuts, and I'm
doing just fine.

Thanks,
Anthony

On Jul 24, 2006, at 7:48 PM, Oleh Kovalchuke wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Jack,
>
>
>
> I would like to admit the crucial mistake in my previous reply to
> you: I
> have misunderstood you - you were not arguing with my description of
> motivation for the "Slackers", you were referring to the 'Power
> Users'.
>
>
>
> In my original message I have mentioned that self-esteem could be the
> motivation behind memorizing the keyboard shortcuts for 'Power
> Users'. I
> wrote:
>
>
>
> "*Decision to design for shortcuts should take into account user
> background.
> For instance, mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-
> esteem. As one
> learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive group
> of the
> 'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via authority,
> scarcity and social proof). 'Engineers' (personality type) love
> shortcuts.
> Accountants, Writers, power plant Operators (occupations)
> satisfice, and
> would rather spend time doing accounting, writing, power plant
> operating -
> the tasks, which extend far beyond the tool, instead of attempting to
> memorize shortcuts within the tool.*"
>
>
>
> You, on the other hand, argue that keyboard mastery is goal good
> enough to
> justify life-long study; no further motivations to learn should be
> implied,
> thank you very much... Well, if that were true, why not give people
> any
> gadget at all and they will happily spend the rest of their very
> short lives
> exploring it because it is right there, in front of them to master.
> Why
> would we need to design for interaction at all?
>
>
>
> I certainly would like to differ with this position. I strongly
> believe that
> people, including 'Power Users' do have other reasons to learn the
> stuff
> they do aside from the sheer challenge of complexity of the task at
> hand.
> Achieving high social status in their niche is very much one of those
> reasons, if only to bring more little 'Power Users' in this world.
>
>
>
> So the *real* question I would like to ask you is this: In your
> opinion,
> what makes people productivity-minded?
>
>
>
> By the way, my references are Maslow's pyramid of needs, Cialdini's
> psychology of influence and Dawkins et al evolutionary psychology.
> Could you
> provide me with yours so I will not spend the rest of my life
> studying the
> unnecessary complexity of human psychology?
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is Design of Time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>
>
>
>
> On 7/24/06, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hello Jack,
>>
>> Well, I think if you don't crack up at least one person, then the
>> message
>> is not worth writing, don't you agree? Thanks in turn for your
>> thought
>> provoking message - those are to be treasured.
>>
>> You make two curious points.
>>
>> First you argue that productivity-minded people would find speed
>> desirable
>> and beneficial:
>>
>> *"...productivity-minded people seek to constantly [learn X - OK]
>> because
>> ... it ... yields ... speed."*
>>
>> It is true indeed that speed of task performance *often* leads to
>> higher
>> productivity for that particular task. However, the point I was
>> trying to
>> make in my message is that Productivity is multilayered concept,
>> it has
>> different meanings depending on user goals (speed of particular task
>> performance could be only one of those goals, but not necessarily
>> primary
>> goal), or to rephrase it: " *Not all people are productivity-
>> minded*". I
>> believe that design should take into account considerations of
>> nonproductively-minded people.
>>
>> You second point is on the scope of applicability of UCD/GDD,
>> namely at
>> which cut-off point you stop thinking about user goals and begin
>> to "just do
>> it!":
>>
>> *"You perceive, in the matter of software keyboard support, issues
>> of*[motivation due to creativity and proficiency, AKA self-
>> actualization and
>> self-esteem - this is what I wrote in my original message - OK].
>> *And all
>> this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded people
>> seek to
>> constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its precision is
>> unconditional* [their motivation is reliability and usability -
>> OK] *"*
>>
>> This second point is more interesting to argue because it is only
>> once
>> removed from the "just code it" approach, the all-too familiar
>> attitude in
>> the current software development environment.
>>
>> To me UCD/GDD is more than simply a collection of useful usability
>> guidelines. There are many examples where consistent application of
>> guidelines, without knowledge of their origins has been
>> counterproductive in
>> unanticipated context. This is why I begin to design with a
>> concept, and
>> attempt to take into account user motivations. Once I have the
>> concept of
>> user interaction, maintaining user centered approach becomes quite
>> effortless even in the small matters of shortcut implementation.
>>
>> Do I agonize over id/ego/superego conflict when I think about
>> which hot
>> key to use in my design? Not really. Might I consider user
>> motivations to
>> learn and his cognitive limitations, when I think about adding
>> effort-demanding interaction to the design I make? You bet.
>> --
>> Oleh Kovalchuke
>> Interaction Design is Design of Time
>> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm
>>
>>
>>
>> On 7/21/06, jackbellis.com <jackbellis at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>>> material.]
>>>
>>> Oleh, you crack me up.
>>>
>>> Let me see if I've got this right. You perceive, in the matter of
>>> software
>>> keyboard support, issues of class struggle and id/ego conflict? I
>>> thought I
>>> was creative... but this is profoundly imaginative. (You don't
>>> have your
>>>
>>> father wrapped in duct tape and locked in a closet, do you?)
>>>
>>> And all this time I thought it was simply that productivity-minded
>>> people
>>> seek
>>> to constantly add to their keyboard repertoire because its
>>> precision is
>>> unconditional, and it therefore yields several benefits, speed among
>>> them.
>>>
>>> -Jack
>>> www.workAtHomeWednesday.com <http://www.workathomewednesday.com/>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Oleh Kovalchuke" < tangospring at gmail.com>
>>>
>>>> ... mastery of shortcuts can be used to build self-esteem. As one
>>>> learns shortcuts, he might claim membership in the exclusive
>>>> group of
>>> the
>>>> 'Power Users' (instant three-prong boost to self-esteem via
>>>> authority,
>>>> scarcity and social proof).
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

24 Jul 2006 - 9:06pm
jbellis
2005

Oleh,
I fold. I see that our perspectives, goals, and assumptions are so irreconcilable that the discussion won't be very productive. Specific answers below. Thanks for taking my comments in good spirit.
- Jack

----- Original Message -----
From: Oleh Kovalchuke
> what makes people productivity-minded?
I don't know and don't think it's likely to improve user experience.

>By the way, my references are Maslow's pyramid of needs, Cialdini's psychology of influence and Dawkins et al evolutionary psychology. Could you provide me with yours so I will not spend the rest of my life studying the unnecessary complexity of human psychology?

I use no psychologists' work in my UI punditry. I don't even know who Cialdini and Dawkins are. I study designs and make inferences. I feel that much scholar-ism, even such things as Fitt's Law, is far, far into diminishing returns for UI work. We don't need an equation to know that small, distant targets are hard to hit.

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