Thursday, February 23, 2006

UI Design And Understanding The User

An interesting discussion about UI philosophy ...

"Apparently Greg of the Greg's Head UI design blog had a little argument about Gnome usability with Linus Torvalds. Quotes of choice:

Greg: The majority of end-users want a simple printer dialog. In fact most people will just hit the Print button without changing any settings. These users are not 'idiots' they just have better things to do then futz around with printer settings.

Linus: It's a total logical fallacy to think that the intersection of two majorities would still be a majority. It is pretty damn rare, in fact, because these things are absolutely not correlated. And the technical term for somebody who claims to do user interface design and not understand this fact is a "F***ING IDIOT". And this has _nothing_ to do with "technical users". Even totally non-technical users care about something. In fact, it might be their printer, and having a way to set the paper type and resolution by hand.

I think this is interesting, not just because Linus shows how representative for the "majority" of the Linux community he actually is in matters of politeness, but because we rarely get to see the clash of those two extremes in UI design so close together."   continued ...   (Via Udo Schroeter's Blog)


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