Some random thoughts on usability(OT)

Subject: Some random thoughts on usability(OT)
From: Tim LaDuca (
Date: Thu Aug 10 2000 - 21:32:12 CDT

This doesn't deal directly with anything currently going on with
AbiWord, but certainly deals with it's eventual goal...

Menu bars will NEVER be user friendly. The fact that most applications
have both toolbar buttons and menu bars will always be a source of
confusion for the masses and the menus often go little used. One thing
that has really caught my attention as having great potential in the
user friendliness area is my own Gnome desktop. Right now it has a very
colorful scheme. The various 48x48 pixel buttons I have are quite
self-explanatory and practically jump out at me because the buttons'
backgrounds are a different color than the button bars background. A new
user is too often confronted with a see of grayness. Gray boxes gray
buttons, gray menu bars, gray scroll bars. I countless times see new
users totally unable to distinguish between a dialog that has just
popped up and the rest of the screen. User friendly applications will
learn to make better use of color and better use of pictorial(icon)
representations of various actions that can be performed. The menu
bar(menu's altogether?) has to go and tool bar buttons must become fewer
and larger.


Tim LaDuca

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