RE: Windows UI Compliance ; "intuitive"

18 Aug 2004 - 9:46pm
10 years ago
1 reply
642 reads
carl myhill

Hi Jef

Would be interested in any alternatives you can suggest. Here's the

- 5 development sites in 5 different countries
- 10 developers per project, most thinking they know better than follow the
Microsoft style and setting out to prove it
- 40+ projects

How do you produce software that looks consistent in that context, if you
adopt the 'unethical' stance you suggest?

I'm no great fan of microsoft style but I'd rather strictly follow one
standard than none. Microsoft seems to have the most comprehensive style
guide, though even that misses out more than it describes. The Java style
guide for example, is mostly just a think subset of the microsoft one.

Are you really surprised that Microsoft do not 100% follow their own style
guidelines in every detail given their development context?

-----Original Message-----
From: Jef Raskin [mailto:jef at]
Sent: 19 August 2004 06:33
To: Torenvliet, Gerard
Cc: Myhill, Carl S (GE Energy); at
Subject: Windows UI Compliance ; "intuitive"

The Windows UI guidelines are self-contradictory at points (e.g.
recommending noun-verb interaction but going the other way at times), and
lead to the kind of interfaces we all hate. To be an HCI expert and to
adhere to the Windows guidelines is, in my opinion, unethical.

Also, there is no such thing as "intuition" and interfaces are not
"intuitive". What they can be are familiar from previous experience.

For the whole argument see:

Raskin, Jef "Intuitive Equals Familiar," Communications of the ACM 37:9,
September 1994, p. 17


20 Aug 2004 - 2:05pm
Victor Lombardi

--- Jef Raskin wrote:
> For the whole argument see:
> Raskin, Jef “Intuitive Equals Familiar,”
> Communications of the ACM
> 37:9, September 1994, p. 17

It's also online:


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