[Thunar-dev] hello, user interface design, and spatial thoughts

David Feldman mailing-lists at interfacethis.com
Thu May 5 23:30:44 CEST 2005

>> If you're curious about my
>> qualifications check out my web site at http://InterfaceThis.com.
> I haven't gotten a chance to really look at the site, but I love the
> domain name ^_~.

Thanks :)

It was originally an act of desperation (everything else I came up  
with was taken as a .com), but people tend to react really well to it.

> Excellent.  I agree fully:

Thanks! I'm anticipating nasty flames from some, so it's nice to have  
the first response be a positive one.

> 3) A lot of people (myself included) shoot their mouth off about their
> favorite metaphor, without much (or any) real research or case studies
> to back up their assertions.

Well, to be fair we all do, and as I said near the end that's not a  
bad thing. I didn't get concerned enough to post a whole article  
until I saw how much of an impact this particular discussion was  
having while still remaining fairly speculative and polarized.

> I especially found noteworthy your point that, while some people find
> the Windows filesystem hierarchy confusing, or the use of Windows
> Explorer confusing, that alone really says nothing about how users  
> deal
> with hierarchies, and it's possible (and likely, IMHO), that the  
> Windows
> file hierarchy is just designed poorly.

Yeah. It's rarely discussed, but I actually think of the filesystem  
hierarchy as a significant advantage of Mac over Windows - it eases  
the transition from user to power user to admin.

> But, then again, I'm just a software dev, and the buzz-phrase of the
> year is that devs can't design UI to save their lives ^_~.

That's certainly the stereotype, but I think it's really that some  
people can't design UI, many people have strong opinions about UI  
design anyway, and developers are the ones who make the UI. Many  
graphic designers can't write good code, but it's not a problem  
because no one asks them to.

> I have a
> layman's knowledge of usability and UI design - I've read a lot of
> random stuff, but have no formal training.  That probably just  
> makes me
> more dangerous...

Well, so far I like your thinking, for what it's worth :-).

BTW, I notice your email is a Cornell one. Are you a student or alum?  
I grew up in Ithaca, and both my parents, two grandparents, and an  
aunt and uncle are all alums.


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