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Why Are User Interfaces Programmed so Poorly?

Apr 15, 2009, 21:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Edward J. Joyce)

"To focus the focus, you take your hand off the keyboard, find the mouse, grab it, begin sliding it to position the cursor over the edit box, whip the mouse back and forth in fly-fishing side-casting motion to unravel snarled mouse cable, click the mouse button over the edit box – with by this point a hammering force that could drive nails through hardwood furniture – and the computer responds with a flashing cursor awaiting your input.

"If the programmer had programmed the focus on the edit box, there would be no need for all this hocus-pocus to focus the focus.

"Besides a user-friendly default focus, user interface builders often forget the default action of the Enter key. Going back to the previous example, once that user name or ID is keyed in, the next action is to send it and proceed to the next web page.

"Web pages typically have a Login, Continue or Go button beneath the edit box for performing that action. If the programmer was looking out for the user, the Enter key would also perform that action by default so you could key the characters and press Enter without removing your hands from the keyboard.

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