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osOpinion: GUIs and Inclusiveness Knock Heads

Feb 21, 2001, 07:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Monty R. Manley)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"GUIs have become more colorful and more sophisticated, but there's nothing that a Mac user of 1984 wouldn't recognize. The standard WIMP (window/icon/menu/pointer) metaphor has become so entrenched that it seems the natural order of things. We have trouble imagining any alternative way for interacting with a computer."

"And yet the GUI as we know it has failed many people. To the seeing-impaired, to the physically handicapped, to those who have very different linguistic or cultural backgrounds -- the GUI ranges from suboptimal to completely unusable."

"To these people, almost the entire computing universe is an exclusive club they are not allowed to join."

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