The Anti-Mac User Interface (Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen)

In some sense, WYSIWYG is equivalent to the horselike tractor we discussed earlier in connection with metaphors. WYSIWYG assumes people want paper-style reports: Information might be produced (and even consumed) on screen, but it should still be structured the same way it was on paper. These days, however, who has time to read all the documents we get? In reality, people rarely read information from beginning to end the way they would have read a report in the good old days where even busy managers got at most a single report per day. Instead, electronic information should be modularized and

The Anti-Mac User Interface (Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen)
Layered Interaction Analysis of Direct Manipulation (Jakob Nielsen)

If the file foo.txt was a text file and the application required a graphics file, this command would constitute an error on the semantic level of the dialogue even though it was syntactically correct. Therefore, the user would get some kind of error message ranging from “ILLEGAL FILE” to “The file ‘foo.txt’ is a text file and cannot be opened since [Name-of-Application] only supports graphics files”-depending on the attention to usability engineering during the design of the application. In any case, assuming that the user actually wanted to open foo.txt in the current application, the

Layered Interaction Analysis of Direct Manipulation (Jakob Nielsen)
Assessing the Usability of a User Interface Standard

We studied the actual use of an in-house user interface standard at a medium sized Danish company which we will call The Data Company. This company is a mixture of a software house and a service bureau and supplies several software products to its customers. The software is mainly mainframe software for traditional, text-only terminals, and each system typically contains between 50 and 300 screens. Because of this fairly large number of screens in each product, consistency is a highly desirable usability attribute for The Data Company. Also, several customers use more than one product

Assessing the Usability of a User Interface Standard



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Design | Computer Screens Getting Bigger