Re: [linux-audio-user] Opening up the discussion

From: Brett McCoy <idragosani@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Mon Jul 25 2005 - 19:00:01 EEST

Randy Kramer wrote:

> Or, in a slightly different example, if a computer user understands how to use
> one (mainstream) word processor, he should be able to quickly understand and
> use at least the main features of other mainstream word processors (if there
> are more than one). (And further, a goal or criteria of a word processor
> human interface would include how many of the more subtle features of a
> different word processor a newbie user can pick up without the manual.)

I don't think a word processor is a good comparison -- it is meant to
emulate a piece of paper in a typewriter (and I have met people who find
even this had to tackle). Most people can deal with this metaphor and
pick it up quickly, especially for the basics of typing a letter.

Now, to take this one step further, high-end publishing/layout
applications like PageMaker or QuarkXPress (or, heh, LaTeX) are not as
intuitive to a new user who has no knowledge of publishing and layout,
and require some training or at least going through a few tutorials to
pick up the basics.

Yes, it's good for some things to run out of the box... it depends on
what the user's goals are (which is how I earlier defined the separation
between professional and amateur). If a user wants something simple
analogous to a consumer-grade tape deck to record on, there is software
for it and it basically works without much effort. If a user wants
something that is the equivalent of a multitrack mixer and tape deck
environment, the requirements for understanding how to use it are higher
and working 'out of the box' doesn't even make sense for this... you can
turn the equipment on and see that the power indicators are on, but
unless you have a clue about the equipment, it is useless to you.

-- Brett
Programmer by day, Guitarist by Night
Received on Mon Jul 25 20:15:21 2005

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