Why am I still a button pusher?

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2005 - 11:51 AM |

The Tech Zone asks about one of my pet peeves.  Why is the only difference between the input devices I used on my Apple IIe and the ones on my current rig, the number of buttons?  No neat holographic table to interface with, I push more buttons now than I did then.

"So why haven't interfaces changed much in the last 20 years? One possibility is that the desktop

is in some way an optimal representation. More likely, however, is that it is simply a functional

representation; no need to change when change takes effort, right? We expect to be able to sit

down in front of a new interface and immediately be as productive as we were before. We have all

learned to use the desktop and menu-driven interfaces because we haven't had a choice. It has

taken time; just as learning to read and write took years when we were younger. Even the keyboard

and the mouse, although perhaps easier than writing, have taken time and effort to master. New

interfaces will face the same hurdles. Their designs will need tweaking to reduce the learning

curve as much as possible. The users of these new interfaces will need the patience to develop

efficient usage patterns; and the interfaces themselves will need to be entertaining enough to

mitigate the patience required. All these efforts will yield interfaces that are not only more

enjoyable, but faster and more useful."

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