InfoWorld: What makes a useful user interface?
Oct 29, 2000, 16:28 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ana Orubeondo, Lori Mitchell)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"Lori: ...I believe we will go through a period of network-based
UIs called Webtops before post-PC devices become widely used.
Webtops are much closer to viability than the devices you mention.
... One example of this metaphor can be found in implementing Linux
desktops that use a browser to access the aforementioned
applications, including Sun's StarOffice on the network. This
metaphor frees end-users from traditional client/server GUIs,
decreases learning curves, and reduces end-user computing
"Ana: The installation, configuration, and setup process should
be easy for all users. But, Lori, I have to disagree with you about
approach. I find some wizards and setup tools to be annoying,
painful, and time-consuming. Advanced users and experienced
administrators should be able to bypass the wizard-based approach
should they so choose. A large number of configuration options
don't normally need to be changed. Besides, experienced users will
have the skills and knowledge to make the proper modifications.
In my opinion, most Linux setups do a nice job of accounting
for both new and experienced users. I like having the flexibility
to choose advanced setup and configuration so that I can avoid
annoying routines that waste my time. However, less
experienced users should also have the flexibility to choose setup
and configuration options that do a bit more hand-holding."
"Ana: ... I'd like an interface that is specifically
personalized for my needs. As an end-user, I shouldn't have to care
if it's Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS/2, Macintosh, or some other
platform. What matters the most to me is having the right tools to
do the job. An interface that is customized by the end-user will
surely be more effective than the traditional graphical user
interfaces we currently use."