Saturday, December 16, 2006

Humanized Interface Puzzler #1

Enter a contest to solve interface design puzzles ...

"Welcome to the first installment of the Humanized Interface Puzzler. For your fun, bafflement, and desire for free stuff, we'll pose an interface design puzzler on a semi-regular basis. To enter, simply send your answer to by the deadline. We'll select the best answer and post it on our blog. Then, we'll send the winner a limited-edition* Humanized shirt and entrance to our beta program.

The first puzzler is about modes and cars.

An interface has modes if one gesture can mean different things, depending system state. Modes are at fault when you miss a call because your phones in silent mode. And there's little worse than having the final bars of Appalachian Spring – with harmonies as delicate as frozen cobwebs – thrashed by a cellphone who's owner has forgot to put it into silent mode. Perhaps there is something worse: having it be your cellphone. You can read all about modes, modes errors, catastrophic mistakes, and some solutions in our article Visual Feedback: Why Modes Kill.

Modes can cause misery and sometimes they can be dangerous. Automatic cars have at least two modes: drive and reverse. It's a mode because the same gesture (stepping on the gas pedal) does one thing if the car is in drive and another in reverse. I've had run-ins with other cars and a wall because my car was accidentally in reverse. I'm sure that others have had the same experience."    (Continued via Humanized)    [Usability Resources]

Automatic Gear Shift - Usability, User Interface Design

Automatic Gear Shift


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