"monotony" vs. "redundancy" (was RE: Cut and Paste vs. Move (was: Make it quantitative...))

10 Sep 2004 - 11:31am
1078 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

I have to agree w/ what Jenifer said regarding monotony vs. redundancy in a
GUI.

Even w/in my own habbits I do things in so many different ways.
Take the "back button" in a browser.
I have a thumb click on my mouse, I have alt+leftArrow, and I have well the
back button. Oh! The one I never use is in the menu or context menu, but I
have seen many people do right-click+back b/c it means they don't have to
move their mouse (I have to remember that one).

Anyway, my point is that sometimes the context of what you're doing and the
different context of different hardware setups make a user choose various
behaviors to achieve the same goal--i.e. going back one level of history on
a web site.

I also agree with all the reasons that Jenifer said as well.

I think that there is a difference between a movement towards simplicity and
a movement towards clarity. If the options are "intuitive" (meaning they
come easily to the user) either b/c they are familiar or because they are
learnable in context of task and flow, then g-d bless 'em.

I also think that a lot of this discussion falls back onto something Peter
Merholz mentioned in a different thread and that is around labels and
metaphors. Do the metaphors of "open" and "close" and "save" and "cancel"
still work or work well enough? Are there new language and new metaphors
that we should explore? Thanx Peter, for bring up writing and language as a
vital component for GUI design. When I was working in an ad agency all
buttons and navigation were written by copy writers and technical writers.
Today I try really hard to involved my technical writing staff on all
label/button decisions.

-- dave

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