[LAU] Some new things to play with

Arnold Krille arnold at arnoldarts.de
Wed Oct 13 22:52:50 UTC 2010

On Wednesday 13 October 2010 22:21:04 you wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 07:52:29PM +0200, Arnold Krille wrote:
> > [*] No, I don't have references at hand. I just look at the big projects
> > with their usability experts and their guide-lines. Which they create so
> > that developers like you and me don't have to worry about colors,
> > knob-behavior, widget movement and key shortcuts...
> A few comments:
> "Usability experts" in big projects are more often than not just
> market researchers. Which means that whatever they produce amounts
> to the desires of a population whose preferences are in most cases
> not the result of any rational process but of commercial manipulation
> combined with ignorance. And in any case what they turn up would be
> completely irrelevant in the context of any specialised application
> domain. I'll let audio engineers tell me how an audio app should
> look on screen, not any of those 'experts'.

That is not very fair to the usability experts working in universities, doing 
usability-studies on free software and for free software. Yes, they try to 
sell something. Free software for example...

> I've *never* seen any serious 'pro' audio application conforming
> to whatever desktop usability standards you may suggest. And the
> same goes for applications in the other domains I've worked in:
> space telecom and military (sonar and artillery management).

Ok, so my suggestion of using CTRL+Q for 'quit' is bad. Probably my suggestion 
for using 'whatever the user wants as shortcut for quit' is also bad.
And using the colors the user wants (or needs!) instead of inforcing ones own 
ideas is also bad.

> As an example, the typical GUI toolkit slider is a *joke* for pro
> audio. It's just good enough to control the volume of a media player.
> One could expect it to be useful as well for e.g. controlling the
> gains of a soundcard, but even in that modest role it fails (see a
> recent thread about an improved envy24control).

I agree on the typical slider. The typical rotary knobs are bad too.
But that doesn't really mean that every app should use its own invention with 
own graphics and own use-method, does it?

Have fun,

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