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Posted Jan 30, 2013 18:06 UTC (Wed) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
In reply to: Seigo: by aseigo
Parent article: Seigo:

the vast majority of people absolutely suck at hierarchical navigation

You make all these sweeping statements, but you don't provide evidence to back them up. Could you provide some evidence?

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Posted Jan 30, 2013 21:25 UTC (Wed) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

I think at least THAT statement is a quite well known fact. People like you and me are at least reasonably good at managing hierarchy's (I'm personally actually to unorganized for it - I create 'temp' folders everywhere in which I just dump 'temporary' files which I keep there for years. But I get the concept just fine).

But go an look at the desktop of the office workers doing your tax papers. They dump most of their files in a single folder... Lots of people do it and I think Mac OS X, with Spotlight, has already shown that search is far more usable than folders for the 'average' person. Now imagine taking that dumb full-text indexing and augmenting it with smart meta-data extracting (including the ability to grab tags from the web etc), linking files to usage paterns etc etc - and you can hopefully imagine how much easier it gets to find what you're looking for with very little effort.


Posted Jan 30, 2013 21:29 UTC (Wed) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Wow, you're really reaching. Are you really disagreeing with the statement you quoted?


Posted Jan 30, 2013 21:45 UTC (Wed) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630) [Link]

I agree that most people don't use hierarchy to organize files and folders. But I disagree that most people are bad at navigating an existing hierarchy.

At my work, we've organized all our documents in Subversion and even the non-technical people have no problem keeping things in a nicely-organized hierarchy: agreements, leads, quotes, etc.

Once you show people a hierarchy and show how easy it is to use, they just get it in my experience.

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