can we make it to easy?

2 May 2008 - 7:23am
6 years ago
32 replies
464 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

I was reading about Microsoft having recruited Adobe's (think
photoshop UI and more) Mark Hamburg to work on user experience. I
don't find Adobe product o be particularly user friendly, but I do
find them to be consistent and remarkably efficient once you get over
a learning curve. I appreciate that approach a lot. I found my self
wondering if, for professional tools, there is greater adoption,
product loyalty and stickiness in leaving a certain amount of
difficulty in the UI? The thinking goes... if the process is to easy,
then everyone can do it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
value in the marketplace. I know most people don't think much about
economics and supply and demand on purpose, but self preservation is
certainly prevalent at all levels. Thoughts?

Mark

Comments

2 May 2008 - 7:55am
Shep McKee
2005

In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.

A certain amount of difficulty [for beginners] is left in the tools by
design? I agree, but for different reasons. Given the conflict between
(a) performance & efficiency (for expert users) vs. (b) support for
novice users (ie: ease of learning, time to learn, etc.) - performance
& efficiency is the priority goal.

Andrei?

Can these tools also be made easy to learn, but where this added
functionality does not interfere with expert use? Sure, but at a
greater design and engineering expense. Constantine & Lockwood's
"Instructive Interaction" perhaps?

Regards, Shep McKee

On May 2, 2008, at 8:23 AM, mark schraad wrote:
> I found my self
> wondering if, for professional tools, there is greater adoption,
> product loyalty and stickiness in leaving a certain amount of
> difficulty in the UI? The thinking goes... if the process is to easy,
> then everyone can do it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
> value in the marketplace.

2 May 2008 - 8:53am
Steven Chalmers
2007

The differentiator between a professional and a novice should not be the ability to use the tools but rather expertise within the domain and the knowledge for what to do with the tools.

2 May 2008 - 9:04am
Mark Schraad
2006

I think there is another thread of logic here which is to measure the
potential and realistic investment of the user as a metric for furthering
'ease of use'. For casual letter writing that the layperson does via live
office or google online, ease of use is critical. For professional users of
financial analysis software, ease of use maybe a trade off for efficiency
once additional competency is achieved. So domain experience, and time
invested in the specific application are two metrics worth noting. A third
would be frequency. I only do my tax return once a year. The application I
use for this as a non tax professional needs to be pretty easy to use...
because next year I can not likely count on remembering the process and the
commands.
As for the stickyness/preference issue, I did no mean to imply that we
should be so cunning or cynical as to make it more difficult to use as a
marketing ploy. But early adopters are more likely to be professionals and
willing to invest some learning to achieve efficency. And so compromising
that efficiency for ease-of-use would be a mistake in early diffusion
stages, because those early adopters, well, won't adopt it. Later, as the
product and the function become more mainstream... those efficiencies are
less likely to be realized and the quick in-and-out aspect of the
application becomes more important (- it would seem).

On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 9:35 AM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:

> In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
> Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
> are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.
>
> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 8:55 AM, Shep McKee <shep.mckee at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
> > Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
> > are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.
> >
>
> Agreed - on the other hand - no matter how "easy" desktop
> publishing/design tools are - they will never replace a designer with a
> non-designer. in things that matter. You either know typography or you
> don't, and access to the entire adobe font folio doesn't replace training,
> education, and years of critique. When notepad was replaced by wysiwyg, the
> web proliferated with web sites -- 99.999% were complete crap. And even in
> the design community - many print designers with strong design backgrounds
> jumped on the web and made some of the most aesthetically pleasing and
> completely useless/unusable/inaccessible sites around (this continues now
> with agencies building flash sites like crack addicts).
>
> But to Mark's point - when I was doing extensive user research for a
> complex quantitative software package for risk modeling - many of the users
> did in fact take mastery of the very complex software package as a point of
> pride - and frankly didn't want me there doing contextual inquiry because
> they were frightened by the idea of the software becoming easier/simpler to
> use. The were well paid, and behaved almost like priests in charge of sacred
> rituals with their mystical ability to create probability curves out of
> ether through incantations and sacred rituals - they didn't want a
> protestant reformation of the process - their power gave them comfort.
>
>
>

2 May 2008 - 9:27am
Shep McKee
2005

On May 2, 2008, at 9:35 AM, Will Evans wrote:
> Agreed - on the other hand - no matter how "easy" desktop
> publishing/design tools are - they will never replace a designer
> with a non-designer in things that matter.
Absolutely. I should have said a "PERCEIVED erosion of value" in
relation to designers of both print and web in the 90s. Everyone
thought they could do the job just fine, as they now had the tools.
Why pay a print/web designer?

And on May 2, 2008, at 9:35 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> The were well paid, and behaved almost like priests in charge of
> sacred rituals with their mystical ability...
Good point, and much like many the behavior in many Windows only IT
groups. But, is there really a correlation between this "shroud of
secrecy" and a conscious design decision to protect the value of their
users? Revisiting and paraphrasing Mark's initial question: Does [...]
a certain amount of difficulty in the UI influence:
- Product loyalty? Yes.
- Stickiness? Yes.
- Greater adoption? Yes... IF you are the market leader and/or the
prevailing tool. There's not as much demand for these tools to lower
the barrier to entry. And any demand has to be balanced against the
demand for further innovation from your existing user base.

2 May 2008 - 8:29am
Jeff Garbers
2008

On May 2, 2008, at 8:23 AM, mark schraad wrote:
> I found my self wondering if, for professional tools, there is
> greater adoption, product loyalty and stickiness in leaving a
> certain amount of difficulty in the UI? The thinking goes... if the
> process is to easy, then everyone can do it and it erodes my (the
> professional user's) value in the marketplace.

Maybe everyone can do it, but they can't all do it well! The
emergence of easier-to-use "prosumer" cameras certainly hasn't reduced
the need for professional photographers, and I'd have to imagine that
there are far more graphic designers working today than in the years
before desktop publishing and Photoshop.

Certainly, given easy tools offering "professional" functionality, you
might find that some part of the market no longer needs professional
help. If all Fred needs is a little Web site for his homeowners'
association, he can probably get that done himself with iWeb or
RapidWeaver -- either of which produce what could pass for
"professional" work -- and he won't be contacting a Web design firm.
But as the market expands, competitive pressure gives us richer and
more complex tools as well as simpler and easier ones. There will
always be demand for experts who can do remarkable and beautiful
things with advanced tools. I take plenty of family snapshots, but we
still go to the professional photographer every year for the Christmas
card picture.

Intentionally leaving things harder doesn't seem to be a viable
strategy in a free market -- the next guy will take advantage of that
weakness.

The challenge should be in using the tool *well*, not in using it *at
all*.

2 May 2008 - 8:35am
SemanticWill
2007

In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.

On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 8:55 AM, Shep McKee <shep.mckee at gmail.com> wrote:

> In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
> Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
> are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.
>

Agreed - on the other hand - no matter how "easy" desktop publishing/design
tools are - they will never replace a designer with a non-designer. in
things that matter. You either know typography or you don't, and access to
the entire adobe font folio doesn't replace training, education, and years
of critique. When notepad was replaced by wysiwyg, the web proliferated with
web sites -- 99.999% were complete crap. And even in the design community -
many print designers with strong design backgrounds jumped on the web and
made some of the most aesthetically pleasing and completely
useless/unusable/inaccessible sites around (this continues now with agencies
building flash sites like crack addicts).

But to Mark's point - when I was doing extensive user research for a complex
quantitative software package for risk modeling - many of the users did in
fact take mastery of the very complex software package as a point of pride -
and frankly didn't want me there doing contextual inquiry because they were
frightened by the idea of the software becoming easier/simpler to use. The
were well paid, and behaved almost like priests in charge of sacred rituals
with their mystical ability to create probability curves out of ether
through incantations and sacred rituals - they didn't want a protestant
reformation of the process - their power gave them comfort.

2 May 2008 - 3:29pm
Troy Gardner
2008

> In a way, we've seen this "erosion of value" happen before. The first
> Mac brought desktop publishing to the consumer - and to this day, we
> are inundated with poorly designed flyers and newsletters.

Any creative area is largely 70% stuff that ends up in the trash, 3%
brilliant. Same thing for websites, print and you tube videos.
Remember the web when Netscape Gold came out? when every other letter
was a different color. It was horrible, but things got better.

But the web and video are social mediums, so it's not all about the
design, it's about the information they make accessible to the rest of
the world.

I've taught Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, and generally
the learning curve is really steep, and in some cases beyond some of
the users, so here I want application designers to obsess about what
it is that those users do 80% of the time and adapt the UI for those
workflows, adding the equivalent of design spellchecking
(complimentary colors, layout etc) . For power users, who supply
their own vision and technique, the raw functions should be exposed to
them.

Since I develop applications for kids these days what I talked with
the Adobe team is treating complicated app traiining like that of a
multi-level game. Good game design creates value and strategies
incrementally, teaching how to move, fire. Don't expose more
elements until a user has mastered the basics, unless they ask for it
by name. The challenge here is then customer support and peer to peer
communication becomes dvorak vrs querty, same elements will appear in
different areas on different user PC.

> many print designers with strong design backgrounds jumped on the web and
> made some of the most aesthetically pleasing and completely
> useless/unusable/inaccessible sites around (this continues now with agencies
> building flash sites like crack addicts).

Amen. This is a continual challenge for me working with top notch
designers who work on a page rather than the interactive space. It's
a blind spot to them and people who develop wireframes.

> were well paid, and behaved almost like priests in charge of sacred rituals
> with their mystical ability to create probability curves out of ether
> through incantations and sacred rituals - they didn't want a protestant
> reformation of the process - their power gave them comfort.

I understand where they are coming from, but this is sad to me and
short term thinking. People behind turbo tax on the web require the
same guru skills, they just deliver them to engineering instead of a
person.

Troy.

2 May 2008 - 4:40pm
cfmdesigns
2004

I think it's much simpler than that:

With products as big and powerful as many of the Adobe products, the complexity and richness of the features leads inexorably to a certain amount of complexity in the user experience. In order to simplify it, you have to remove/restrict/dumb down the feature set. Or streamline parts to be really good and you end up with inconsistency throughout the product, with users no longer able to leverage knowledge of one piece of the interface to another.

Airplane consoles are hideously complex. Would simplifying them make it easier for more people to become commercial pilots? Would it serve the passengers and cargo well if some of the gauges were removed and the more powerful switches made harder to get at in order to have a "friendlier" interface? Or are they just kept complex to ensure that existing pilots keep their job seniority? (God, I hope not!)

-- Jim

-----Original Message-----
>From: mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com>
>
>I was reading about Microsoft having recruited Adobe's (think
>photoshop UI and more) Mark Hamburg to work on user experience. I
>don't find Adobe product o be particularly user friendly, but I do
>find them to be consistent and remarkably efficient once you get over
>a learning curve. I appreciate that approach a lot. I found my self
>wondering if, for professional tools, there is greater adoption,
>product loyalty and stickiness in leaving a certain amount of
>difficulty in the UI? The thinking goes... if the process is to easy,
>then everyone can do it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
>value in the marketplace. I know most people don't think much about
>economics and supply and demand on purpose, but self preservation is
>certainly prevalent at all levels. Thoughts?

2 May 2008 - 5:26pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On May 2, 2008, at 5:23 AM, mark schraad wrote:

> I don't find Adobe products to be particularly user friendly

That's certainly a loaded term, isn't it? "User friendly." Which user
and what constitutes "friendly?"

> I found my self wondering if, for professional tools, there is
> greater adoption,
> product loyalty and stickiness in leaving a certain amount of
> difficulty in the UI?

Another loaded way of thinking about it. Be careful. You can't have a
good discussion approaching it this way.

Photoshop is and never was intentionally made "difficult." And to this
day, I hate a few aspects of how it does things (and always have, even
when I was working on it) but overall, it's still a world-class tool
that has not been surpassed by anyone else trying to solve the same
problems. To that end, Photoshop is actually pretty easy to a lot of
things once you have learned how to use it. In fact, Photoshop got its
start being easier to use than what else was available at the time,
like Letraset ColorStudio. Over time, as Photoshop became a mission-
critical production tool for a broad set of industries -- from print
to the web to film to even NASA research -- it started to add more and
more complicated features. As with anything that starts simply and
adds more functionality, keeping it under control can become a
problem. I personally think Photoshop has done a better job than most
containing that feature bloat, while acknowledging that is does indeed
have feature bloat.

But Photoshop was going to add more features like it or not. The
business demanded it. Users demanded it. And the nature of capitalism
demands it.

Given that, if anyone thinks they can make a rich, complicated,
industrial strength tool "easy to use" and if that measuring stick is
using anyone you may know who is not a professional in the particular
industry the tool is designed for, I wish you the best of luck on that
path to insanity. It's just an entirely inappropriate way to approach
the design problem.

Complicated things will always be complicated, by nature. Your task as
the designer of such complicated features and tools is to not make
them more complicated than they already are. But trying to make
inherently complicated things "easy to use" is really just wishful
thinking. And making them "user friendly" requires very specific
metrics on who the "user" is and what they think is "friendly."

> The thinking goes... if the process is to easy, then everyone can do
> it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
> value in the marketplace.

I know of no one who has ever said that or thinks like that. Further,
I can certainly tell you that no one on the Photoshop team ever
thought along those lines.

As for a related version of my opinion of this topic, I wrote about a
long time ago:
http://www.designbyfire.com/?p=10

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

2 May 2008 - 6:31pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 2, 2008, at 6:26 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

>> The thinking goes... if the process is to easy, then everyone can do
>> it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
>> value in the marketplace.
>
> I know of no one who has ever said that or thinks like that. Further,
> I can certainly tell you that no one on the Photoshop team ever
> thought along those lines.

Interestingly, I have met product developers who did say that was
their objective, years ago. They were concerned that their customers,
all craftspeople who were being threatened by a commoditization of
their skills, would reject software that didn't have a learning curve
to it.

Interestingly, the inevitable simplified software came about and, sure
enough, the crafts went mostly obsolete. In all the cases I'm aware
of, the developers are no longer in business.

Complexity takes two forms: Tool complexity and domain complexity.
Tool complexity can (and is often) rendered simpler through advances
in interfaces. Often it's through the elimination of excessive
features and options, to core functionality. While this does reduce
the options available to the user, the reduction is often in the form
of fringe functionality.

Domain complexity is more difficult. Here is where serious process re-
engineering needs to take place. The going-back-to-the-blackboard-and-
rethinking-the-core-processes kind-of approach.

Reducing tool complexity does open the user to faster productivity,
but often still requires similar skill levels for the core skill. (A
simpler drawing tool doesn't help you draw any better, only more
efficiently.)

Reducing domain complexity brings new capabilities to users who
previously couldn't master the skills. Think WYSIWYG database tools
(ala Access or Filemaker) replacing the previous code-based generation
(ala DBase or IDMS). Think desktop publishing replacing previous
typesetting activities.

Of course, bringing capabilities to people without the formal
skillsets results a flurry of crude activity, such as the ransom-note
style publishing we saw in the early '80s. However, this flurry often
seems to die down once people realize that it does matter what you do.
Good examples and guidance such as templates help with this.

I think it's unlikely you can make something too easy. However,
sometimes making it easier requires serious advances in the design
approaches.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

2 May 2008 - 6:44pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Certainly the reduction of complexity and commoditization of function
pushes the differentiation (for the pro) to the what to do, and not
the 'how to do' - as exemplified by the scores of pixel pushers
editing frame-by-frame film effects (think ILM). And that is not
necessarily a bad thing for some professions.

My point was more to the influence of marketing and position as it
effects the user interface.

It certainly has not hurt the adobe suite of products. As distasteful
as this may be to many idealogs in the UI world, the sustainability
of a product, and its positioning amongst lead users (most often the
professional users) is an important consideration. After all -
continued improvement to the product should not, but sometimes does,
shorten the adoption and longevity of that product.

Mark

On May 2, 2008, at 7:31 PM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

>
> On May 2, 2008, at 6:26 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>
>>> The thinking goes... if the process is to easy, then everyone can do
>>> it and it erodes my (the professional user's)
>>> value in the marketplace.
>>
>> I know of no one who has ever said that or thinks like that. Further,
>> I can certainly tell you that no one on the Photoshop team ever
>> thought along those lines.
>
> Interestingly, I have met product developers who did say that was
> their objective, years ago. They were concerned that their customers,
> all craftspeople who were being threatened by a commoditization of
> their skills, would reject software that didn't have a learning curve
> to it.
>
> Interestingly, the inevitable simplified software came about and, sure
> enough, the crafts went mostly obsolete. In all the cases I'm aware
> of, the developers are no longer in business.
>
> Complexity takes two forms: Tool complexity and domain complexity.
> Tool complexity can (and is often) rendered simpler through advances
> in interfaces. Often it's through the elimination of excessive
> features and options, to core functionality. While this does reduce
> the options available to the user, the reduction is often in the form
> of fringe functionality.
>
> Domain complexity is more difficult. Here is where serious process re-
> engineering needs to take place. The going-back-to-the-blackboard-and-
> rethinking-the-core-processes kind-of approach.
>
> Reducing tool complexity does open the user to faster productivity,
> but often still requires similar skill levels for the core skill. (A
> simpler drawing tool doesn't help you draw any better, only more
> efficiently.)
>
> Reducing domain complexity brings new capabilities to users who
> previously couldn't master the skills. Think WYSIWYG database tools
> (ala Access or Filemaker) replacing the previous code-based generation
> (ala DBase or IDMS). Think desktop publishing replacing previous
> typesetting activities.
>
> Of course, bringing capabilities to people without the formal
> skillsets results a flurry of crude activity, such as the ransom-note
> style publishing we saw in the early '80s. However, this flurry often
> seems to die down once people realize that it does matter what you do.
> Good examples and guidance such as templates help with this.
>
> I think it's unlikely you can make something too easy. However,
> sometimes making it easier requires serious advances in the design
> approaches.
>
> Jared
> p

3 May 2008 - 8:03am
.pauric
2006

1 on Jared's post. He's hit the nail on the head in my view.

One thing to add to that. My current domain, computer networks, is
facing significant pressure from product commoditisation in the low
cost segments from Taiwanese vendors producing me-too products. My
challenge is to differentiate our products on marketable 'ease of
use'.

The difficulty of the task is compounded with the usual Marketing
driven push to cram more high end features in to the devices destined
for the low end of the market. Make it more complex, make it
easier... more of everything is better!

Nothing new there, however I make a counter argument for avoiding
'too easy' on all features as lowering the barrier to those without
domain expertise will eventually result in support calls. Its a
balancing act and a moving target. As networks become more
pervasive, baseline domain expertise increases and the once 'do not
touch on pain of death' features become easified. I do not see this
as a phenomenon specific to my domain.

Jared also talked about the reduction in domain complexity making
craftspersons redundant...

At the high end of the market we have craftspeople with Cisco
Certifications who command very healthy salaries. There is absolutely
no pressure from that userbase to make the interfaces easier, it
erodes their value-add among a number of other factors.

However, this is where the beauty of the Market comes in to play,
where there is cost.. there is opportunity to reduce it. I know of a
couple of startups who are working on intelligent platforms that will
actively manage networks. Leading to a deflation in the cisco
certified job market.

Point being, a lack of development in ease of use in a specific
interface, be that networks or Photoshop, will not hinder market
forces which seek to erode the margins commanded by craftspersons.

Typical bell curve - long tail stuff. YMMV

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28627

3 May 2008 - 10:44am
Gloria Petron
2007

>
> Airplane consoles are hideously complex. Would simplifying them make it
> easier for more people to become commercial pilots? Would it serve the
> passengers and cargo well if some of the gauges were removed and the more
> powerful switches made harder to get at in order to have a "friendlier"
> interface? Or are they just kept complex to ensure that existing pilots
> keep their job seniority? (God, I hope not!)

Unfortunately, the logic that overly complex systems are perhaps best kept
that way in order to promote exclusivity amongst a superintelligent few is
small comfort to those passengers on board airplanes that have been flown
into the sides of mountains. All the prestige of being a pilot goes out the
window when in the end, the FAA blames human error.

3 May 2008 - 6:49pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On May 3, 2008, at 8:44 AM, Gloria Petron wrote:

> Unfortunately, the logic that overly complex systems are perhaps
> best kept
> that way in order to promote exclusivity amongst a superintelligent
> few is
> small comfort to those passengers on board airplanes that have been
> flown
> into the sides of mountains. All the prestige of being a pilot goes
> out the
> window when in the end, the FAA blames human error.

Airline control panels are complex because pilots need immediate
access to every single control possible in cases of emergencies and
because it's generally easier to fly a plane when everything is at
your fingertips versus mucking with the panel to configure it while
one is flying at the same time. Further, airplanes are amazingly
complex pieces of machinery.

I have no idea where the concept that airline control panels are
complex to keep it an elitist activity came from and how that gets
meshed with the idea some things are designed to be complex to be
elitist and exclusionary, but it's just absurd. (Sorry Jared, unless
you cite people who've told you otherwise, I'm not buying it. I've
never heard anyone in the software industry ever make the claim they
makes things complicated on purpose.)

To propagate this sort of myth in a field with a bunch of designers
makes us al look bad. Please stop.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

3 May 2008 - 7:10pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I don't know anything about flight control panels, but UNIX
(including Linux) has had a design akin to fraternity hazing from the
beginning. There was always a right of passage associated with
learning VI and EMACS for anyone who dared. I'm sure that has
changed recently as GUI is a lot more common in UNIX systems. But
back in the 80's when I started on computers in college on Sparcs &
SunOS, it was common to see people flaunt w/ bravado their knowledge
of VI and EMACS command line codes.

There are other examples though "in the wild" where we make things
complicated, not so much as right of passage, or earning cred, but
b/c of security reasons. We want to make something hard to learn so
that not just anyone can do it. I've worked on a few projects in the
financial community where this was the case.

I've heard from stakeholders the exact quote, "Let's not make it
too easy for them." I'm serious! No eTrade baby here, that's for
sure!

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28627

3 May 2008 - 7:41pm
Kontra
2007

Andrei Herasimchuk:
> I've never heard anyone in the software
> industry ever make the claim they makes things complicated on purpose.

They don't need to *claim* that they make it so, but if, for example,
you observe that the vendors of expensive enterprise software (in the
high six, seven figures) get a very significant portion of their
revenue from product-specific training, coaching, certification,
installation, etc., and that the very low priority they place on the
obvious simplification of their products, you can hardly avoid the
conclusion that it's not in their business interest to de-complicate.
(The degree of complication/obfuscation is very often decoupled from
domain-specific requirements.)

The canonical example of this is the Allchin's Windows Tax whereby
even the simplest utilities got overly complicated in order to hook
into and perpetuate the Windows money machine.

That said, there's a thin line between intent and ability (to make
things simpler).

--
Kontra
http://counternotions.com

3 May 2008 - 8:12pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On May 3, 2008, at 5:41 PM, Kontra wrote:

> They don't need to *claim* that they make it so, but if, for example,
> you observe that the vendors of expensive enterprise software (in the
> high six, seven figures) get a very significant portion of their
> revenue from product-specific training, coaching, certification,
> installation, etc., and that the very low priority they place on the
> obvious simplification of their products, you can hardly avoid the
> conclusion that it's not in their business interest to de-complicate.

99% of the time, complex products are built poorly because the team
building them lacked people who knew how to design software more
elegantly. Nothing else. All that other stuff you just laid out there
doesn't go away because a product is complex or easy. It's just part
of the domain that software lives in due to a lot of other factors.

Whether people in our industry want to hear it or not... when software
is designed badly and excessively more complex than it has to be, its
because one of us did it or the team building the software lacked a
competent design team. Period. Don't go around blaming engineers,
don't go around blaming the executives or marketing or whatever else
you want to do. It's just not true.

As for the UNIX example cited by Dave: The bottom line is that once
you learn those arcane commands, it's actually EASIER... Yes...
EASIER... to use UNIX especially by those how know how to type
quickly. I understand people don't enjoy learning arcane commands, but
UNIX was built by engineers for engineers, so its just too bad. If you
want to play in their world, you'll play by their rules. When
engineers want to play in my world, I make them learn my rules (like
paying attention to typography, color and behavioral details), so I
consider it a fair deal.

And FWIW, I don't know UNIX very well and prefer a GUI over a command
line, but even I can watch a programmer fly through doing a whole slew
of actions that with a GUI would have taken them 5 times longer and
realize that for them, it's actually easier to do it their way.

By many standards from people I hear in the software design industry,
I think more than a few would consider the piano the most obtuse
instrument on the planet. I mean... my word! Not only does one have to
learn scales and music and all that, then you have to learn how to
play the damn thing with all of those keys! And the keys aren't even
labeled. The nerve!

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

3 May 2008 - 9:36pm
Kontra
2007

Andrei Herasimchuk:

> 99% of the time, complex products are built poorly because the team
> building them lacked people who knew how to design software more elegantly.

Yes, but that's like saying McDonald's hamburger is not the best meat
dish you ever had. It wasn't designed to serve you one, it's a
fast-food franchise. Apple, on the other hand, tries -- at every turn
-- to tame technology and its complexities. The entire company has
been organized to deliver that end-to-end, as a mission. It's not an
accident that J. Ive is not working for Argos, Creative or Moto.
Complexity merchants like IBM, Microsoft, SAP, etc just have a
different business model, as reflected in their non-strategic design
efforts.

Kontra
http://counternotions.com

3 May 2008 - 10:04pm
dszuc
2005

We have seen cases where people are rewarded on product teams by
adding more features, more functions as a way to justify their
existence and to make themselves or to be seen as smarter.

Simplicity is not rewarded - because its, well, too simple.

Some of this translates to how well the team gels and if there are
common design goals to shoot for. Add to this, out of the box vendor
solutions that have their own personalities and you can end up with a
nice soup.

Then the product is put in front of users and the business comes to
realize that they need to change the product if they want to the
product to fly in the field.

And round and round we go :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28627

3 May 2008 - 8:13pm
James Nick Sears
2007

On Sat, May 3, 2008 at 8:10 PM, dave malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> I don't know anything about flight control panels, but UNIX
> (including Linux) has had a design akin to fraternity hazing from the
> beginning. There was always a right of passage associated with
> learning VI and EMACS for anyone who dared. I'm sure that has
> changed recently as GUI is a lot more common in UNIX systems. But
> back in the 80's when I started on computers in college on Sparcs &
> SunOS, it was common to see people flaunt w/ bravado their knowledge
> of VI and EMACS command line codes.

I'd argue that even this is not a case of intentional obfuscation, but
instead an extremely capable design implemented within the constraints
of very limited resources (no mouse, usability over remote terminal
connections). After using GUI editors for a decade, sure, vi seems
almost humorously arcane, but in the recent past I've started to pick
up a few commands here and there, and compared to other command line
editors, it's extraordinarily powerful and reasonably well designed,
at least for a set of users who are used to the command line,
keyboard-only paradigm (again, user-friendly => who is the user, and
what is friendly to them?).

I'd also make similar arguments for the architecture of console
UNIX/LINUX as a whole. The concept of modular command line apps
piping data from one to another is extraordinarily powerful and quite
user friendly for the user base at which it was aimed. In fact there
are plenty of tasks still today that send me straight to iTerm on my
Mac. And when you consider how well it all works and how powerful it
all is within the pre-GUI constraints, it's pure genius.

And finally, a set of users flaunting w/ bravado is not equivalent to
an intentionally complex design. If you look hard enough, you will
find users of any app of meaningful complexity, from Photoshop to MS
Word to Mac OSX, flaunting their prowess with bravado. This does not
mean that they are intentionally complicated or poorly designed. It
simply means that their users are human and have egos in need of
stroking. Perhaps for this reason, the users like a bit of complexity
with the app, but that still doesn't mean that complexity was a design
goal.

-n.

4 May 2008 - 8:04am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 3, 2008, at 7:49 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> Sorry Jared, unless you cite people who've told you otherwise, I'm
> not buying it. I've never heard anyone in the software industry ever
> make the claim they makes things complicated on purpose.

Sorry to break it to you Andrei, but just because *you* haven't seen
it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :-)

Before I started UIE, in the mid-80s, I first encountered this
attitude at a company called Autographix, which made presentation
systems (before the days of Harvard Graphics, Aldus Persuasion, and
long before MS Powerpoint). They sold their software/hardware solution
practically at cost and made all of their money on training and
support, particularly on user certification. (Certified users could
get a 20-30% salary increase because the system was so arcane.)

I was working on a small skunkworks project to produce a pc-based (DOS/
CGA) what-you-see-is-what-you-get slide editing system. It worked
pretty well too. When we presented it to mgmt, we were told that the
company wasn't set up to sell software that didn't require training.

After I started UIE, I ran into several clients with this perspective.
In the early '90s I ran into a typesetting company that was in a
similar situation. (The name is escaping me right now, but they were
based out of Wakefield, MA.) They sold to magazines and newsletters
and made a ton of revenue through their training and support. Their
users also benefited from the certification by commanding higher
salaries that non-certified page setters. Certified users produced
pages faster than the best users of other systems, so the customers
(newspaper owners) saw the benefit of the ecosystem too. They did
everything they could to keep certification high.

At the same time, we did a set of studies for a company in Newton, MA
that made fire alarm systems for large building complexes. Again, they
basically gave their systems away without a profit and made all their
money on support contracts and training. We actually conducted
usability tests on "layman" doing typical tasks. If the layman
(without support certification) could complete the tasks, we had to
*change the design*.

There were many product managers at WordPerfect, Lotus, and Novell
that had the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market philosophy.
I've also met groups at MS and IBM that had a similar attitude.

One that stands out in my mind (and which you may be familiar with)
was MetaCreation's Kai's Power Tools and Bryce. While the designer Kai
Krause was a fan of hiding complexity, the tools had a huge learning
curve. There was at least one version that hid functionality from
users until they proved they could master the functions already
provided, then it slowly revealed new functionality, much like video
game.

By the way, a lot of this comes from people who do a surface analysis
on what makes games popular. In gaming, you can't have it be too easy.
There is a requirement, for a successful game, for select users to
have mastery that most users don't. In my experience, managers who
promote the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market philosophy
often cite the success of video games as a rationale.

If I thought about it harder, I could probably come up with more folks
I've run into in the last 30 years with this attitude. I've never seen
the strategy work, but that doesn't keep it from emerging from people
who are trying to be a little too clever (and avoiding the hard work
to rethink overly complex designs).

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

4 May 2008 - 10:10pm
Scott Berkun
2008

The thing missing from this thread is that there are many possible reasons
why any given design is complex - everyone is right at least some of the
time.

To sum up the points made so far here, software is complex because at least
one of the following occurs:

1. Some users need complex control and the designers decided those were
important users.
2. The makers are lousy designers: they don't know any better.
3. The makers believe they profit from complexity and do it primarily for
that reason.
4. Engineering or business constraints make a simpler design more difficult
than outsiders assume.
5. Makers had poor designs in early versions that users acclimated to and
even though the makers know better now, they're reluctant to force their
die-hard users to relearn things.
6. Complexity is gradually added over time and the otherwise competent
designers don't realize they've lost their way until its too late.

And of course in many cases there are competing forces at work within a
single company over the design, and while some designers, marketers or
engineers are working to reduce complexity, others are not. It's always easy
as outsiders to assume there is one single person to blame at some other
company for all that's wrong, or that all the people on a particular project
were homogeneous in mind, despite knowing from our own experiences how rare
that's the case.

As one example, I've seen teams desperately trying to reduce complexity, but
sometimes failing, and a seperate group in the same company responsible for
training on that product profiting from those failures. So yes, I suppose
the training group did in a way hope for more complexity, but the designers
and engineers on the actual product were committed to work against it.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jared M. Spool" <jspool at uie.com>
To: "Andrei Herasimchuk" <andrei at involutionstudios.com>
Cc: "UI List" <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 5:04 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] can we make it to easy?

>
> On May 3, 2008, at 7:49 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>
> > Sorry Jared, unless you cite people who've told you otherwise, I'm
> > not buying it. I've never heard anyone in the software industry ever
> > make the claim they makes things complicated on purpose.
>
> Sorry to break it to you Andrei, but just because *you* haven't seen
> it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :-)
>
> Before I started UIE, in the mid-80s, I first encountered this
> attitude at a company called Autographix, which made presentation
> systems (before the days of Harvard Graphics, Aldus Persuasion, and
> long before MS Powerpoint). They sold their software/hardware solution
> practically at cost and made all of their money on training and
> support, particularly on user certification. (Certified users could
> get a 20-30% salary increase because the system was so arcane.)
>
> I was working on a small skunkworks project to produce a pc-based (DOS/
> CGA) what-you-see-is-what-you-get slide editing system. It worked
> pretty well too. When we presented it to mgmt, we were told that the
> company wasn't set up to sell software that didn't require training.
>
> After I started UIE, I ran into several clients with this perspective.
> In the early '90s I ran into a typesetting company that was in a
> similar situation. (The name is escaping me right now, but they were
> based out of Wakefield, MA.) They sold to magazines and newsletters
> and made a ton of revenue through their training and support. Their
> users also benefited from the certification by commanding higher
> salaries that non-certified page setters. Certified users produced
> pages faster than the best users of other systems, so the customers
> (newspaper owners) saw the benefit of the ecosystem too. They did
> everything they could to keep certification high.
>
> At the same time, we did a set of studies for a company in Newton, MA
> that made fire alarm systems for large building complexes. Again, they
> basically gave their systems away without a profit and made all their
> money on support contracts and training. We actually conducted
> usability tests on "layman" doing typical tasks. If the layman
> (without support certification) could complete the tasks, we had to
> *change the design*.
>
> There were many product managers at WordPerfect, Lotus, and Novell
> that had the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market philosophy.
> I've also met groups at MS and IBM that had a similar attitude.
>
> One that stands out in my mind (and which you may be familiar with)
> was MetaCreation's Kai's Power Tools and Bryce. While the designer Kai
> Krause was a fan of hiding complexity, the tools had a huge learning
> curve. There was at least one version that hid functionality from
> users until they proved they could master the functions already
> provided, then it slowly revealed new functionality, much like video
> game.
>
> By the way, a lot of this comes from people who do a surface analysis
> on what makes games popular. In gaming, you can't have it be too easy.
> There is a requirement, for a successful game, for select users to
> have mastery that most users don't. In my experience, managers who
> promote the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market philosophy
> often cite the success of video games as a rationale.
>
> If I thought about it harder, I could probably come up with more folks
> I've run into in the last 30 years with this attitude. I've never seen
> the strategy work, but that doesn't keep it from emerging from people
> who are trying to be a little too clever (and avoiding the hard work
> to rethink overly complex designs).
>
> Jared
>
> Jared M. Spool
> User Interface Engineering
> 510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
> e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
> http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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4 May 2008 - 10:08am
ambroselittle
2008

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 9:04 AM, Jared M. Spool <jspool at uie.com> wrote:

>
> On May 3, 2008, at 7:49 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>
> Sorry Jared, unless you cite people who've told you otherwise, I'm not
> > buying it. I've never heard anyone in the software industry ever make the
> > claim they makes things complicated on purpose.
> >
>
> Sorry to break it to you Andrei, but just because *you* haven't seen it
> doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :-)
>

I'll chime in and say I know a smaller company that builds community
software that follows this model, sort of. They don't intentionally make
things obscure, they just don't make efforts to make it easy. It seems to
me that any moderately feature-rich software will inherently evolve towards
complexity, so unless efforts are made to keep it simple and usable, it will
naturally become difficult and arcane.

The thing is, lots of software is built with an engineering mindset, where
complexity is not necessarily seen as a bad thing (or even recognized as
complex). So lots of software has been built that is complex by default, in
a sense. And some companies do recognize this and rather than investing in
design and usability, they use it as an opportunity for revenue, sometimes
the only source of revenue.

--Ambrose

4 May 2008 - 10:23pm
Uday Gajendar
2007

On May 4, 2008, at 8:10 PM, Scott Berkun wrote:
> The thing missing from this thread is that there are many possible
> reasons
> why any given design is complex - everyone is right at least some of
> the
> time.

Great summary... Just wanted to add a quick reminder about Maeda's
Laws of Simplicity, two in particular concerning the inevitability of
complexity:

Law #5: Simplicity and complexity need each other
http://lawsofsimplicity.com/?p=54

Law #9 Some things can never be made simple
http://lawsofsimplicity.com/?p=58

In my view the vast machinery of consulting, training and
certifications will continue onward regardless of what designers do or
preach, both in enterprise (Oracle dBA, Cisco, etc.) and consumer
(Geek Squad or Dummies books). There's tons of money to be made and
folks clever enough to milk it :-) As designers, we just can't get
worried about that... There's simply (ha!) too many competing forces
and players in the ecosystem as Scott indicates; you'd go insane
sorting it all out! (or the fruitless game of blaming someone)

As designers we must be accountable for delivering what's best for the
*intended* user base/audience, balancing complexity (power) and simple
(elegance), however that may be interpreted for the given problem.
That's why we're paid the big bucks :-)

Uday Gajendar
Sr. Interaction Designer
Voice Technology Group
Cisco | San Jose
------------------------------
ugajenda at cisco.com
+1 408 902 2137

5 May 2008 - 1:37pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On May 4, 2008, at 6:04 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

> Sorry to break it to you Andrei, but just because *you* haven't
> seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. :-) [...]
>
> There were many product managers at WordPerfect, Lotus, and Novell
> that had the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market
> philosophy. I've also met groups at MS and IBM that had a similar
> attitude.

Ok... All of your examples thus far were when I was in high school
playing Infocom games. I'm close to breaking 40. Any examples from the
90s or last decade?

> One that stands out in my mind (and which you may be familiar with)
> was MetaCreation's Kai's Power Tools and Bryce. While the designer
> Kai Krause was a fan of hiding complexity, the tools had a huge
> learning curve. There was at least one version that hid
> functionality from users until they proved they could master the
> functions already provided, then it slowly revealed new
> functionality, much like video game.

And Metacreations lasted how long? I used to get into public arguments
with Kai over that stuff, and I agree the way he did things was
wrongheaded because he took them to a degree that was out of the
useful everyday approach. And now?... He no longer does interface
design and those products haven't lasted the test of time. At the same
time, there were aspects of his work that were very innovative and one
should never toss out all of Kai's work for the few mistakes he made.
A lot of folks might not know, but Phil Clevenger did the interface
design for Adobe Lightroom. I think Phil and the Lightroom engineers
did a great job with it, putting in just enough visual flair and
playfulness to Lightroom while not hiding too much out of the way and
still keeping the interface useful. I don't think Phil would have gone
that route had he not worked so closely with Kai all those years, the
kind of guy who pushed interface approaches for good or for bad.

> By the way, a lot of this comes from people who do a surface
> analysis on what makes games popular. In gaming, you can't have it
> be too easy. There is a requirement, for a successful game, for
> select users to have mastery that most users don't. In my
> experience, managers who promote the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-
> erode-our-market philosophy often cite the success of video games as
> a rationale.

The most wildly popular game of all time is World of Warcraft. Why?
Because it's a game that appeals to casual gamers while still being
reasonably complex. It's a game that does a real good job of only
being as complex as it needs to be with how you play it, and yet, for
those that get really into it, the complexity of it's inner workings
is partly what makes the game so fascinating.

I don't care what a few people in the industry think. Complexity for
complexity's sake is bad design. No matter what. And I still contend
that those few who may push "complexity" as a selling point do so
because they lack the ability to design elegant software. Nothing more.

> If I thought about it harder, I could probably come up with more
> folks I've run into in the last 30 years with this attitude. I've
> never seen the strategy work, but that doesn't keep it from emerging
> from people who are trying to be a little too clever (and avoiding
> the hard work to rethink overly complex designs).

I think you'll be hard pressed to find examples from the last two
decades, and as you've already stated, it doesn't work. So that means
we're probably in agreement.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

5 May 2008 - 2:05pm
jason zietz
2007

Jared M. Spool wrote:
> By the way, a lot of this comes from people who do a surface analysis
> on what makes games popular. In gaming, you can't have it be too easy.
> There is a requirement, for a successful game, for select users to
> have mastery that most users don't. In my experience, managers who
> promote the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-erode-our-market philosophy
> often cite the success of video games as a rationale.
>

I have to strongly disagree with this sentiment. Look to the Nintendo
Wii and the recent popularity of casual gaming for examples where this
notion does not hold. I have been playing video games for an
embarrassingly long time and yet my Mom can still give me a run for my
money when playing Wii Tennis. That doesn't make it any less fun nor
does has it made the game unsuccessful.

jason

5 May 2008 - 2:54pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 5, 2008, at 2:05 PM, Jason Zietz wrote:

> Jared M. Spool wrote:
>> By the way, a lot of this comes from people who do a surface
>> analysis on what makes games popular. In gaming, you can't have it
>> be too easy. There is a requirement, for a successful game, for
>> select users to have mastery that most users don't. In my
>> experience, managers who promote the if-we-make-it-too-easy-we'll-
>> erode-our-market philosophy often cite the success of video games
>> as a rationale.
>>
>
> I have to strongly disagree with this sentiment. Look to the
> Nintendo Wii and the recent popularity of casual gaming for examples
> where this notion does not hold. I have been playing video games
> for an embarrassingly long time and yet my Mom can still give me a
> run for my money when playing Wii Tennis. That doesn't make it any
> less fun nor does has it made the game unsuccessful.

Jason,

I'm sure your mom is very good at Wii Tennis. I'm sure she could whoop
my ass at it. (My confidence in the statement comes from the fact that
I've been beaten by 60-year-old first time players more than once,
even though I've been playing for months now.)

In competitive play (person v. person), the challenge comes from
players who are close. If your mom's skill towers above yours, then
you won't find it fun to play her (since she whips your ass each time)
and she won't find it fun to play you (because you provide a wimpy
challenge). It's only if your skills are close to comparable that
you'll find long term enjoyment from the game itself. (There may be
external factors that make it fun, but we're talking about gameplay
here.)

In solo play (person v. computer), the computer has to adjust its
challenge level to meet yours. It's the same issues: If the computer's
challenges are too great, they scare starting players off. If they are
too simple, the player becomes bored. The best games constantly adjust
the challenges to be slightly more difficult than the player's current
level.

Andrei very wisely brought of World of Warcraft. Because of the multi-
player aspect of this game, it has the issues of both solo and
competitive play. It also is very successful because of its social
aspects (sort of a new-millennium version of hanging-at-the-mall-with-
peeps), which adds a dimension of community and camaraderie not
possible in solo-play games.

But my original point had to do with manager's superficial analysis of
gaming popularity. As I stated before, this is faulty thinking, but
it's the origin of a lot of the don't-make-it-too-easy thinking that I
see.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

5 May 2008 - 2:40pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On May 5, 2008, at 1:37 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> I think you'll be hard pressed to find examples from the last two
> decades, and as you've already stated, it doesn't work.

Hey man, don't get in a lather.

You said that you didn't think *anyone* said those things. I said they
did. You said you didn't believe me because I didn't cite it. I cited
it.

I never said these philosophies were (a) popular, (b) showed
successful long-term results, or (c) I agreed with them. All I said is
that I know people who had said they thought it was a bad move to
reduce complexity because it would impact their market share.

I've always been in agreement with you that it was a stupid way for
them to proceed -- very short sighted and not in the best interest of
their organization. But people do and say all kinds of crazy things.

So, don't get all flustered at me just because these people have
foolish ideas.

Hugs & kisses,

Jared

5 May 2008 - 5:15pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> I never said these philosophies were (a) popular, (b) showed successful
> long-term results, or (c) I agreed with them. All I said is that I know
> people who had said they thought it was a bad move to reduce complexity
> because it would impact their market share.
>

I once worked with a CEO of a software company, a leader in its space, that
believed the same thing. Foolish, for sure, but people can be foolish no
matter how smart or successful they are.

-r-

5 May 2008 - 7:09pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On May 5, 2008, at 12:40 PM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

> So, don't get all flustered at me just because these people have
> foolish ideas.

I'm not. Don't worry. We are largely in agreement on this issue, but
we obviously have different experiences here.

And I also just want to make sure people (not you, just in general)
don't begin to propagate some myth that products like Photoshop were
somehow intentionally designed to be complicated when that is about as
far from the truth as it can get. So my testiness in this thread comes
from the origins of the discussion, and are not intentionally aimed at
you. I just want to be emphatically on the record here.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

5 May 2008 - 8:27pm
Dave Malouf
2005

To be honest, I'm pretty bad at keeping up with long threads like
these. But when I read the question in the subject line, "Can we
make it to[o] easy?" My gut answer is to want to say, "No" for
what I believe to be the same reasons that Andrei is trying to put
out there.

However, I DO believe that there are reasons when "ease" is not the
primary goal of the system. I.e. the clearest example is the addition
of security protocols which are in place often in opposition with
user goals. I think a lot of the discussion so far is attempting to
highlight when user goals and other system goals are in
contradiction. This does happen often and can lead to lack of
"ease" in the system.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28627

6 May 2008 - 12:38am
Mark Young
2008

> I don't find Adobe product o be particularly user friendly,
> but I do find them to be consistent and remarkably efficient

"Remarkably efficient" is very user friendly when the user is a
professional digital content creator.

I think the age of products like Photoshop and Illustrator makes them
seem clunky in some ways - its harder for them to backtrack and take
advantage of new-and-improved interaction ideas.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=28627

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