Exposing the Clipboard

31 Jan 2005 - 6:47pm
9 years ago
1 reply
578 reads
Peter Picone
2003

Greetings all

In a discussion today, the topic came up as to whether a user with basic
Windows experience today would be familiar with the term "Clipboard".

The functionality we are trying to reveal to the user can be accomplished
using only the terms copy and paste. However, there is another level of
complexity regarding multiple levels of clipboard saves that we are trying
not to expose, even though they may help to clarify the underlying model
for the user. That is - in certain modes, the paste operation will paste
different items you saved in different locations. I know that is pretty
vague, but for now it has to be... :-}

In any case, if we had to expose the clipboard - either in the interface
or in instructional material, what are the chances that people will be
familiar with the term now that it has been a part of history for so long?

Thanks for any comments,

-Peter

Comments

31 Jan 2005 - 7:12pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Peter Picone wrote:

> In any case, if we had to expose the clipboard - either in the interface
> or in instructional material, what are the chances that people will be
> familiar with the term now that it has been a part of history for so long?

The larger question IMHO has little to do with whether users will
understand what the "clipboard" is, but whether the functionality you
are providing is significantly useful such that if they take the few
minutes to learn the feature, it will be something they find
significantly valuable.

If the answer is yes, then the task should be to design the feature as
straight-forward as possible with good documentation. If that means
exposing the clipboard and requiring users to learn what it is and does,
so be it.

Andrei

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