A look at GNOME 2.6
Posted Apr 1, 2004 14:46 UTC (Thu) by jfranks
Parent article: A look at GNOME 2.6
Epiphany also requires that the user close each browser window individually rather than offering the user the ability to exit all browsers. This may save a user from accidentally closing all of their browser windows when they wish to close only one, but it also requires quite a bit of clicking when a user wishes to exit multiple browser windows.
It is actually worse than that -- you must close each tab in each window separately. This is UI design gone crazy. In order to save new users from occasionally making a mistake all users are significantly penalized -- for ever. This is the one thing which made me abandon epiphany. I really liked many of its features especially the bookmark handling. But I moved to firefox and haven't looked back. Editing bookmarks is something I do rarely, but closing a browser is something I do several times a day. I assume the designers believe that users don't use multiple windows and don't use multiple tabs. I do -- so I chose a browser that supports them conveniently.
I think this is one example among many (especially in Gnome) where "ease of use" has killed functionality. I am worried that Gnome will degenerate to something unsuable except by novices. The novice to which Gnome is catering is a disappearing species. Small children now grow up knowing how to handle fairly complex computer interfaces. It doesn't make sense to design for the senior citizen who is seeing a computer for the first time, but that seems to be what is happening.
The learning curve for a bicycle is much steeper than for a tricycle. And yes, you can get hurt while learning to use a bicycle. But the functionality of a bicycle is so much greater than that of a tricycle that users are willing to pay that price. This lesson has escaped UI designers.
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