[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity (UIs, etc.)

Ed Carp erc@smi.kicks-ass.net
Sun Oct 5 11:39:08 PDT 2003

On Sun, 5 Oct 2003, Nathaniel Smith wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 05, 2003 at 12:46:29PM -0400, Bill Bogstad wrote:
> > I recently took a course on human factors issues and computer interfaces
> > and my understanding is that the HCI people have scientifically shown
> > that gui's are inherently better than command lines in most ways and the
> > less you ask a user to configure the better.  I had a very negative
> > reaction to this to the extent that I wish I had the time to read the
> > original studies and examine their methodology.  Still, the 'best'
> > research seems to say that I (and it seems some of the people on this
> > list) are mutants and the interface style that we like is not right for
> > most people.
> You may be willing to give the researchers the benefit of the doubt,
> but I'm going to simply not believe this without reading the papers in
> question.  I think I've never seen a paper that actually measured
> "inherent goodness" of _anything_... and many, many papers that
> claimed to measure inherent goodness, but actually measured something
> entirely different.  Like "ability of people with no familiarity with
> the interface to accomplish a single task within a fixed amount of
> time".

The original poster mischaracterized the evidence.  A GUI interface is
*not* inherently better than a CLI, it's just faster to find stuff if
you're a novice.

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