Couldn't let this post (below) go by without pointing to the "pilot error" analogy. When a design is just good enough that it is *possible* for the pilot to have taken the correct action (however unlikely in the actual context of use), when the design fails the pilot, the official cause of the failure is "pilot error."
Yes, if users were better-informed, more self-motivated to avoid RSI, altered their behavior accordingly, had wider carpal tunnels, bought the most ergonomically advantageous input devices, they would succumb to fewer RSI's. Does that mean the UX/UI designer has no power to further reduce the user's RSI exposure? Does that mean the UX/UI designer has no reason to consider the actual (human) nature of the user and the user's most probable contexts of use, relative to RSI exposure?
I don't expect Andrei's post was intended to answer those questions in the affirmative. However, taken literally, it comes frighteningly close to doing so.
I have had the painful experience of developing software for many hours a day and months on end via an IDE that was gratuitously pointer intensive. It looked cool and I'm sure it demo'd well in pre-sales contexts. Despite applying carefully my substantial knowledge of RSI-avoidance techniques, installing better pointing devices, and having previously recovered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by doing so, the UI was overwhelmingly injurious.
Sure, we're *only* talking about hovering the pointer here, not eating wrists for breakfast. However, the "R" in RSI comes from "repetitive." The problem being that every little insult to the physiology is additive. To pooh-pooh concerns about that is to deny that designs are for and about the users thereof. If you intended to pooh-pooh the concern Lilly expressed, Andrei, I'm sorry to misrepresent your intent. I've submitted this post because I wouldn't want anyone to mistakenly think you were callously disregarding the well-being of your prospective users. Yes, RSI is far from the only design consideration, but it is always a valid one.
Real designs are for real users, not for the users we wish we could find somewhere. Hmm, kinda reminiscent of Rumsfeld's statement to the effect that you go to war with the army you have, not the one you would like to have. But then, aren't the people who decide to go to war responsible to factor into that decision their knowledge of what army they have?
Sorry, now where was I? Oh, yeah, signing off!
Opinions expressed are necessarily mine, not necessarily those of the Mayo Foundation.
I never claimed there are issues with RSI injuries. I myself am now
suffering from a bit of carpal. The issue for me is that RSI and carpal
have far more to do with poor hardware design (my Apple keyboard in
particular is pretty bad), office furniture and general lack of poor
behavior on the part of people when using computers for long periods of
time. (Not enough stretching, or getting up, etc.) Things like hovering
over a link to reveal more info have little to do with the real issue
of RSI from my experience.
> Having to move my arm to dig deeper into information > I'm not even sure I want *will* affect my level of exploration. I > point this out because perhaps there is another way to present the > additional information.
Having worked on high-profile products, I understand the need to not
cross the boundaries your company lawyers would throw the book at you.
At the same time, if you are going to speak up in public forum -- and I
encourage you to do so -- please know I'm not interested in feedback
which in the grand scheme of things is very minor. Changing ad color,
moving a phrase like "sponsored links" or feeling a hover might induce
RSI tension just doesn't cut it for me in terms of design critique.