Posted Aug 15, 2012 1:49 UTC (Wed) by rgmoore
(✭ supporter ✭
In reply to: The Desktop
Parent article: The GNOME project at 15
In point of fact, the interfaces for many devices have undergone dramatic changes. In cameras, for instance, the change from mechanical to electronic mechanisms and manual to automatic focus have radically changed the interface. Even the shutter release isn't the same, since it's now overloaded to control the autofocus and autoexposure. And as somebody who grew up with a rotary phone, I can assure you that the interface there has been completely revamped.
The underlying point is that interfaces have to be changed to keep up with technology and changing expectations of what the device or system is supposed to do. Many of the usability nightmares we deal with are a result of trying to expand the function of a device without an equal expansion of the user interface tools. Voicemail is a great example. 12 buttons and a spoken list of options are not enough tools to make a good interface, which is why visual voicemail on smartphones is such a huge win. Keeping the interface stable is great for usability until you push so far that the old interface is inadequate, and then you may need a radical rethink.
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