Discussion Archive: August 2004

19 Aug 2004 - 2:27pm
Mark Canlas

Displaying stati in situations where statusinformation is unavailable

I immediately see a Perl-type philosophy coming into play. Something along
the lines of "anything in, controlled (or consistent) out" meaning that a
good Perl script or system should be able to accept anything thrown at it,
and respond to it in a very consistent way, regardless of if it could handle
it or not.

So, your original system consisted of one user in two states, logged in or
logged out.

19 Aug 2004 - 11:11am
Jef Raskin

Re: Morality and Windows UI Compliance


The Mac interface is hardly better than Windows. The differences are
mostly trivial. I have written a number of critiques of it.

You ask for alternative guidelines: Have you seen my book?

"Also, we're in business, our customers demand
> windows compliant stuff - and yes, this is exactly what they do demand
> however unfortunate that is."

I am in business, too.

19 Aug 2004 - 9:50am
Jens Meiert

Displaying stati in situations where status information is unavailable

I'd appreciate an additional opinion -- how do I display a status the most
elegant when I encounter situations where this status information is not

Precisely: Operating a large portal including ASP services [1] we indicate
some sort of status via 'login' and 'logout' links -- as you can imagine, if
a user is logged in, he gets a 'logout' link, if he is logged out, he can
log in.

Now we ran into trouble having external partners who are 'seamlessly'
included in our portal application but (for whatever reason) not able to
display that status -- and per default, we now show the 'login

18 Aug 2004 - 9:46pm
12 years ago
1 reply
carl myhill

RE: Windows UI Compliance ; "intuitive"

Hi Jef

Would be interested in any alternatives you can suggest. Here's the

- 5 development sites in 5 different countries
- 10 developers per project, most thinking they know better than follow the
Microsoft style and setting out to prove it
- 40+ projects

How do you produce software that looks consistent in that context, if you
adopt the 'unethical' stance you suggest?

I'm no great fan of microsoft style but I'd rather strictly follow one
standard than none. Microsoft seems to have the most comprehensive style
guide, though even that misses out more than it describes.

18 Aug 2004 - 4:49pm

Looking for visual designer for web application


We are looking for a couple folks who have expertise in visual design for
web and desktop applications to do some contracting work for us.
Specifically, we have two projects in mind:

(1) One of our clients would like to redesign the visuals of their web
application and would like someone to work in house for 4 weeks to develop a
color palette, visual style guide, and associated assets (i.e. buttons,
icons, etc).

18 Aug 2004 - 1:32pm
12 years ago
5 replies
Jef Raskin

Windows UI Compliance ; "intuitive"

The Windows UI guidelines are self-contradictory at points (e.g.
recommending noun-verb interaction but going the other way at times),
and lead to the kind of interfaces we all hate. To be an HCI expert and
to adhere to the Windows guidelines is, in my opinion, unethical.

Also, there is no such thing as "intuition" and interfaces are not
"intuitive". What they can be are familiar from previous experience.

For the whole argument see:

Raskin, Jef “Intuitive Equals Familiar,” Communications of the ACM
37:9, September 1994, p. 17

18 Aug 2004 - 10:33am
12 years ago
4 replies
Jef Raskin

Re: I need some advice

Some workers in a situation similar to yours have briefly called in
well-known (and highly paid, to impress management) experts to back
them up.

A "big name" whose work in HCI has resulted in millions or billions of
dollars in sales can often speak directly to top management and make a
case that a lower level employee cannot.

18 Aug 2004 - 4:17am
12 years ago
5 replies
Joe Leech

I need some advice

I have just started working at a medium size web development company
based in the South West of England after finishing an MSc in HCI. The
job market being as it it for us newbies (ie tough to get into) meant
that I stated applying for a web developers jobs. I got to the
interview for the company I work for now and the interviewer asked me
nothing about my web development skills and a lot about my HCI skills.

I was offered the job of web developer and I have been working here for
around 6 months now.

17 Aug 2004 - 9:45pm

RE: Intuitive" designs

Re: Intuitive" designs

I haven't had the opportunity to use Turbo Tax but if asked to design an
application in that realm i would want to reference the layout, task flow,
information chunking, and vocabulary terms being used in Tax forms in order
to start brainstorming.

Now assuming that we all have tried to file our own taxes the old way at
least once, then the chances that this is a readily available mental model
for most users will be increased.

17 Aug 2004 - 8:58pm

Re: Reset Button Icon

RE: Reset Button Icon

If you're stuck in finding an icon do revisit the task flow and
the task goal, see if you can find alternate routes or solutions.

Also, consider an On-screen button.