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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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I believe W7 is very nice if you had Vista, which was said to be crap.

Yeah, most people only said Vista was crap because that was the cool thing to do.

Quote:

because meanwhile the windows change all the time in behind and everything seems semi-transparent.

Yes, if you pause when alt+tabbing, only the window you've selected will be visible (the rest will be transparent/outlined).

bamccaig said:

GNOME 3 (with sufficient graphical processing power) has gotten rid of its "taskbar".

You need extra power to not render a taskbar? WTF GNOME?

Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
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<sarcasm>
Some really valid arguments here, especially from Mark
</sarcasm>

::)

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Neil Walker
Member #210
April 2000
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There's a thread on one of Microsoft's sites about this very issue.

Is it possibly a case of trying to make applications managed like managed memory or how smart phones work? But in a proper multi-tasking environment how will it know you want to close an app or leave it open...

bamccaig said:

GNOME 3 (with sufficient graphical processing power) has gotten rid of its "taskbar"

I tried ubuntu 11 with that modified task launcher/task bar and it was hideous. They seem to have removed any ability to see all your applications easily and I searched for some time trying to get information about the system (like device manager) but all I found was a few high-level pointless bits of information about my sound card and keyboard.

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Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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{"name":"605092","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/b\/e\/be20ffce3f030e0c9c4adcea968482cd.png","w":720,"h":450,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/b\/e\/be20ffce3f030e0c9c4adcea968482cd"}605092
Like a glove. :P

SiegeLord said:

Stop trolling, troll.

I'm seriously not trolling. I'm trying to illustrate the point that computers are too complex, and professional computer users like you and I who are comfortable with the complexities are "inside the bubble." When a company comes along and does something about it, it's not surprising that people inside the bubble react negatively against the change.

I'm trying to make the point that these really are good design changes. As with my previous example using shortcuts, any program that diverges into so many peripheral points of access suffers from a design problem.

If Final Fantasy VI had 6 optional shortcut locations to access a Phoenix Down, that would be a design problem. I fail to see why an OS is held to a different standard.

OICW said:

Reminds me of this video:

That's hilarious. ;D

Dizzy Egg said:

<sarcasm>
Some really valid arguments here, especially from Mark
</sarcasm>::)

I'd like to hear your input.

Mark, I've written a program for you.

Haha, That's cool ;D

Quote:

autohide. ::)

Autohide is worse.

Unfortunately, you can't just hide the taskbar and make it better. Other things need to be reorganized and redesigned to rebalance what the taskbar was used for.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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I'm seriously not trolling. I'm trying to illustrate the point that computers are too complex, and professional computer users like you and I who are comfortable with the complexities are "inside the bubble." When a company comes along and does something about it, it's not surprising that people inside the bubble react negatively against the change.

Wrong. I am dating a non-professional computer user and she also reacts negatively to useless changes in the UI. I had to switch the Win7 tasbar to behave exactly like Vista's and XP's to make her happy. Similarly for tabs location in the Firefox.

On the contrary, I would argue that non-technical users are not knowledgeable enough to say what is "bad" about their UI. They, however, can adapt to that UI and any change from that UI even if for the better according to some know-it-all will be taken as actually worse than the old "inferior" UI.

Yes, I am saying that any change is bad in the UI business. The reason why is because the current UIs are not that bad. It's not worth being mad at the computer for days/months/years trying to learn the new UI just because you'll get a marginal improvement in usability.

Quote:

I'm trying to make the point that these really are good design changes.

No, they are not good design changes and I explained to you why. You're seeing the GUIs through a toilet paper tube, there is far far far far far more room for disagreement about what a good GUI is than you make out to be.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

I would have just dumped the girlfriend. >:(

But I agree with the bit that the average user really doesn't get computers regardless of what the GUI looks like, unless you dumb it down to the point where it can only do one thing. They just memorize exactly what to do to accomplish the task. And so any change is considered bad.

Tablets seem easy to use because you cannot do much with them. Think how simpler Windows 7 would be if you could only run one full screen application at a time, if you couldn't drag and drop, if you couldn't right-click, if there were no menus, if you could only install Microsoft's programs, etc.

Whether you launch a program from a start menu or a desktop full of icons or a Windows 8 start page ... it's all the same thing because it's exactly the same concept.

So the short point is: the only way to make an OS seem easier to use is to remove functionality.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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OICW said:

Gnome 3 and Unity are main reasons I've switched to XFCE and I think I'm gradually sliding towards Fluxbox 8-)

Yes, I haven't been using much of a GNU+Linux desktop lately (I've been in Windows and running a text-only Linux VM for sanity), but I've been increasingly more and more interested in experimenting with minimalist window managers and such. I've seen a few that look kind of neat, but I've been too lazy to give them a try.

BAF said:

Yeah, most people only said Vista was crap because that was the cool thing to do.

That's the only reason most people do anything. ::) On the other hand, those of us that are power users said it because Vista is crap. :-/

BAF said:

You need extra power to not render a taskbar? WTF GNOME?

GNOME 3 is probably a bit more like Windows 7's Aero. It uses transparency and live views of Windows, etc. Aero doesn't work without a decent GPU too. WTF Windows? GNOME just reverts back to the plain old look if you don't have sufficient power (which, oddly enough, is more usable, IMHO :P).

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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I would have just dumped the girlfriend. >:(

I'd have to dump myself too, as I made the exact changes and more to make my Win7 install on my laptop look exactly like my WinXP install on my desktop :-[.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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_Kronk_ said:

What is that? I'm assuming Linux right? What distro?

Debian 6, running xmonad from the debian repo and two instances of dzen2, custom-built to support anti-aliased fonts, plus a kick-ass xmonad config and a nice little shell script to drive the second dzen2 (the one one the right; the left one is driven directly from xmonad's stdout).

It's not for the faint at heart though, but the comfort of never having to reach for the mouse to do anything is almost enlightening.

---
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Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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SiegeLord said:

Yes, I am saying that any change is bad in the UI business.

I guess I'm saying that UIs need to start from a simpler foundation.

I agree with what you're saying about configurability. A person should be free to do their own computing, their way. No methods should be forced.

But we can certainly make better initial presumptions about the way a computer could be used. And configurability should only accessible to power users, so poor grandma doesn't get bogged down with toolbars.

Quote:

Yes, I am saying that any change is bad in the UI business. The reason why is because the current UIs are not that bad. It's not worth being mad at the computer for days/months/years trying to learn the new UI just because you'll get a marginal improvement in usability.

Under better design, that suffrage period is significantly smaller for everyone.

[edit]

So the short point is: the only way to make an OS seem easier to use is to remove functionality.

While this is partially true, I'm arguing for re-prioritization of functionality.

It's not for the faint at heart though, but the comfort of never having to reach for the mouse to do anything is almost enlightening.

;D Seee... now Tobias is a real man! 8-)8-)8-)

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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Under better design, that suffrage period is significantly smaller for everyone.

Smaller than 0 that's afforded by staying with the current GUI? I don't think that's possible.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
avatar

While this is partially true, I'm arguing for re-prioritization of functionality.

;D Just for hyperbolie and cause I think it's funny:

This is bad:
{"name":"605095","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/1\/6\/169cba7f38ff6bdf421e0f78fbf8de3f.png","w":720,"h":450,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/1\/6\/169cba7f38ff6bdf421e0f78fbf8de3f"}605095

This is better.
{"name":"605096","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/e\/0\/e0011634347e4a0b7f8420d4f1c2b172.png","w":720,"h":450,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/e\/0\/e0011634347e4a0b7f8420d4f1c2b172"}605096

That's all I'm sayin'. ;D

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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Seee... now Tobias is a real man!

8-) I feel more manly each time I hit Shift-Super-Enter to fire up another xterm.

SiegeLord said:

Smaller than 0 that's afforded by staying with the current GUI? I don't think that's possible.

I don't think the suffering is zero for any user. Power users tend to suffer from a lack of automatability, regular users are still overwhelmed and confused at times; at best, each user (including myself) builds up a comfort zone of sub-optimal workarounds, reducing the amount of manual effort to operate the machine to 'tolerable' (but seldom 'optimal').

An ideal GUI should feel like driving a car: once you get the basics down, you don't have to think about operating the wheel, gearbox and pedals anymore, and they never annoy you. I've never had this feeling with any computer UI (although my current setup is pretty close).

---
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---
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Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Oh no. Change. How ever will I cope. Time to panic.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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I don't think the suffering is zero for any user. Power users tend to suffer from a lack of automatability, regular users are still overwhelmed and confused at times; at best, each user (including myself) builds up a comfort zone of sub-optimal workarounds, reducing the amount of manual effort to operate the machine to 'tolerable' (but seldom 'optimal').

I meant suffering due to adapting to a new interface, rather than suffering while staying with the interface. I am claiming that with the current level of GUIs the former is always greater than the latter.

Quote:

An ideal GUI should feel like driving a car: once you get the basics down, you don't have to think about operating the wheel, gearbox and pedals anymore, and they never annoy you. I've never had this feeling with any computer UI (although my current setup is pretty close).

Yeah, except when someone comes along and puts the steering wheel on the side of your chair and converts pedals into levers on the other side. Why use feet AND hands when you can just use hands all the time?

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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So the short point is: the only way to make an OS seem easier to use is to remove functionality.

Or the other way around - remove the user 8-)

bamccaig said:

but I've been increasingly more and more interested in experimenting with minimalist window managers and such. I've seen a few that look kind of neat, but I've been too lazy to give them a try.

So far I haven't befriended myself with Fluxbox that much. That thing creeps me out. Probably xmonad mentioned by Tobias creeps me even more :)

bamccaig said:

GNOME 3 is probably a bit more like Windows 7's Aero. It uses transparency and live views of Windows, etc.

Maybe that's why I've switched to classical look on Windows 7. The new UI is polished, yes, but the transparency began to get on my nerves. Now the classic grey looking windows are finally usable. Though I think they've made them quite uglier than before to make you want to switch on Aero.

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MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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Here's your new Windows 8 mouse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Apple_Mouse.jpg

That's what I feel like when I use a touch screen device.

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Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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OICW said:

So far I haven't befriended myself with Fluxbox that much. That thing creeps me out. Probably xmonad mentioned by Tobias creeps me even more

You need to bring a serious hatred for pointing devices to the table, otherwise you'll hate it. If you like controlling your computer through pointing devices, xfce is probably a much better fit - it's like Gnome minus the cruft.

As far as touch screens go: I hate them even more than mice. You have to actually touch the screen, which rules out combining computer activity with hand-held snacks, and even with clean hands, the screen gets smeared; there is no tactile feedback at all, so touch typing is practically impossible; my finger obscures the area I'm trying to hit at the crucial moment, which makes for very inaccurate pointing; and most of all, using a touch device makes you look outright silly.

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Me make music: Triofobie
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"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

van_houtte
Member #11,605
January 2010
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I'm seriously not trolling. I'm trying to illustrate the point that computers are too complex, and professional computer users like you and I who are comfortable with the complexities are "inside the bubble." When a company comes along and does something about it, it's not surprising that people inside the bubble react negatively against the change.

I agree.

And a lot of apps are going into the internet cloud, a lot of applications have already been ported to the browser. Might as well simplify UI as most people want something quick and easy to use.

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Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

Here's your new Windows 8 mouse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Apple_Mouse.jpg
That's what I feel like when I use a touch screen device.

The third one is the one I had on my first Mac. And it was a really good mouse!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Years of thorough research have revealed that the red "x" that closes a window, really isn't red, but white on red background.

Years of thorough research have revealed that what people find beautiful about the Mandelbrot set is not the set itself, but all the rest.

AMCerasoli
Member #11,955
May 2010
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I could swear that Windows 8 would have this new "table style UI" and the normal Desktop UI wasn't?

So the short point is: the only way to make an OS seem easier to use is to remove functionality.

No, I think the problem is that the UI is targeting an audience too big. It's targeting to professional, students and casual users. By removing functionality you don't make the OS 'seem' easier, actually it will automatically be easier. But the contrary doesn't apply when you want to make it seem more complicated, you could create a very complicated OS with the same functionality than an easier OS.

So I think the problem is that, if you as a GUI designer create an unique UI to aiming to everybody, there is always going to be a proportional amount of users that will complain. If it's too simply professional guys won't like it and if it's too easy casual user won't like it.

Therefore, by making and "Advance" and a "Normal" interface, you'll make them all happy.

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

If Windows had an advanced and normal mode, everyone would complained how fucked up the advanced mode would be and no one would discuss the normal mode at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Years of thorough research have revealed that the red "x" that closes a window, really isn't red, but white on red background.

Years of thorough research have revealed that what people find beautiful about the Mandelbrot set is not the set itself, but all the rest.

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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My take at it: The problem with Windows is that there is quite some tension between wanting to embrace new UI paradigms with every new version, but being backward-compatible (both technically and functionally) with previous versions at the same time. So what happens is the windows team tries to build a new shiny UI and add all sorts of features, but they are being too conservative to go all the way. The end result is a system where core system components are spread out over four or five contradicting GUI paradigms, sometimes overlapping.

Apple regularly says "fuck legacy code" and just drops support for OS 9 binaries, PowerPC CPUs, and a bunch more, with just a few iterations of their OS. This allows them to introduce quite radical changes, which in turn keeps the entire system relatively transparent and consistent, at the cost of not supporting older hardware and software, which means it is practically mandatory to buy new stuff every few years (but then, running windows 7 on a ten-year-old PC isn't exactly a thrilling experience either).

Open Source systems mostly solve the problem by providing source code; switching to, say, a newer libc version then may require recompiling all applications, but as long as the code is API compatible on both sides, it will work, despite binary incompatibility. Providing source code also gives the user the option to either compile with full legacy support at the cost of reduced performance vs. compile with just the current features.

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Me make music: Triofobie
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Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Until I got a new PC I was using Win98SE. Only reason I have Vista is because I purchased a new computer due to my old one being back from 1992. This one is now from 2006 and has Vista on a 2TB drive, Ubuntu on a 260 GB drive, and PC-BSD on a 80 GB drive(though I may remove this for XP just so I can play two of my favorite Win95/98 games that crash in Vista. I have no plans to update to newer windows version just because I don't feel like blowing $100 for Windows 7 or 8 (assuming it isn't higher on first release).

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Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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I purchased a new computer due to my old one being back from 1992. This one is now from 2006

You were using a 486 in 2006? :o

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