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

Any realistic person who reads the preceding outline of the Anti-Mac interface will realize it is mostly impractical with the current state of computers and software. Language understanding is still in its infancy; most of the population are having their first encounters with computers; and most users know better than to trust computer-based agents with a free rein on their systems. Today’s standard WIMP interfaces are fairly well suited to current hardware and software capabilities. But hardware designers are not slowing down, and the challenge for application and interface designers is to

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

Figure 2a shows an error I have frequently made myself. The file icon is dragged to the icon representing backups, and not to the Trash icon as intended. This mistake constitutes a lexical level error since the syntax of dragging an icon on top of another icon has been correctly specified. It just happens that the second operand of the command has been given an erroneous value. Further analysis shows that the problem is due to a “capture error” (Norman 1983) because the two commands “delete file” and “backup file” start out almost identically by a gesture sweeping the file icon towards the

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

User interface standards have become the object of increasingly intense activities in recent years [Abernethy 1988; Holdaway and Bevan 1989], including work in the International Standards Organization (ISO) [Brooke et al. 1990] and the European Community [Stewart 1990]. Work is also going on in national standards organizations [Dzida 1989] and in several major computer companies [Berry 1988; Nielsen 1989b]. These activities are part of a general current interest in information processing standards [Berg and Schumny 1990] but are also based on the widely held feeling that consistency is one of

Assessing the Usability of a User Interface Standard



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Design | Why Frames Suck (Most of the Time)