[plt-scheme] fafebook

From: Norman Gray (norman at astro.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Mar 17 20:56:09 EDT 2010


[trimming back to just the list address]

On 2010 Mar 17, at 17:29, ebellani at gmail.com wrote:

> Usually those things are a design issue, not one of user intelligence.

And it's not just the design of the specific interface they're using.

I remember some while ago helping out a colleague with his computer.  He was getting on in years, and not technical, but was a very clever chair professor, and a highly literate man.

His problem was that whenever he shut down his windows box, it rebooted.  It turned out that the shutdown panel radio button had been changed from 'shut down now' to 'reboot my computer'.  Thus his interaction with the machine consisted of a box on an otherwise blank screen saying (I forget the precise language) 'I'm about to reboot now, is that OK?': Professor X presses 'OK' and is surprised when the machine reboots.

Whatever the vices of this particular UI element, the point, it seems to me, is that he so little expected to understand anything the machine did, that it simply didn't occur to him to read the _one_ sentence on the screen in search of an explanation.  That's not stupidity on his part, but the result of exposure to an interface which was so rarely meaningful, that he no longer expected to extract any meaning from it at all.

Best wishes,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk

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