inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #51 of 56: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 30 Jun 03 15:52
    
Yes, thanks, and feel free to hang out and talk some more!
  
inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #52 of 56: Bruce Bartholomew (blackbart) Wed 9 Jul 03 14:25
    
Hi Jesse,

I’m sorry I missed the two-week period, however I hope you check your
discussion to respond to those who missed listening to James Leftwich
expound. I bring technical writing skills along with Web design and an
information architecture background. I began designing from Netscape
1.0 and have suffered through the limitations of Html and the evolution
of combining Web design with information architecture.

My question centers on the virtues of user experience versus a
programmer’s mentality forced on to the user. We have seen the user
interface pendulum swing away from a programmer’s mentality to the user
via the GUI. 

Specifically, how important must the simulation of the user experience
compare with the user interface of the Microsoft paradigm? I agree
that the period of gaudy Web site design with flashy buttons and cute
graphics is not effective. Simulating the look and feel of a book or
magazine adds the same background familiarity that simulating the
Microsoft interface provides. Yet, sticking to flow charts and logical
structures does not necessarily capture human intelligibility. The
human experience is characterized by the workshop model. The user looks
for standard tools and access to all parts of the Web site from one
page. Having experienced the evolution of the user interface from DOS
to the Microsoft GUI, you know how difficult it was to switch
interfaces from Borland, Lotus, and Microsoft. I remember IBM had to do
a complete redesign of their Web site because people were getting
lost. I’m sure IBM had a logic and flow to their Web site at the time;
however it was not a logic or flow that the average user could follow.

To summarize, would you comment on the importance of acknowledging:

How the user accesses information
The merits of standardization
Creating an intuitive interface

versus 

Allowing the underlying code dictate both the structure and user
experience
The implementation of logic and flow charts

I do realize there are constraints, for example, the implementation of
page layout with tables. However I agree that Flash may be the future
of Web interface as the limitations of bandwidth ease up.

One last thing, are we still stuck in the illusion that the human mind
and the computer can work side by side? The attempt to computerize
common sense by Doug Lenat is a programmer’s wet dream never to be
realized.

This may be another book in itself, but I hope you will offer some
insight to this dilemma for the user suffering from information
overload.

Thanks
  
inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #53 of 56: James Leftwich, IDSA (jleft) Wed 9 Jul 03 16:48
    

Bart, I'll send Jesse an email just to let him know you've posted some
interesting issues and questions.
  
inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #54 of 56: Jesse James Garrett (jjgdotnet) Wed 16 Jul 03 20:24
    
Bruce, the aspect of my work that really keeps me interested and
motivated is the extent to which we can't predict how users think or
behave. Information architecture in the real world has surprisingly
little to do with logical and precise classification. Humans are messy,
fuzzy thinkers, and any architecture designed for humans must reflect
that.

Interface standards are good and valuable and necessary, but only as
long as we understand their limitations. Good interface design doesn't
require standardization for its own sake; it requires the intelligent
application of standards where appropriate, and the exercise of
professional judgment to determine where such standards might not be
appropriate.

As for artificial intelligence, I wouldn't declare it impossible, but
it certainly does seem to be a long way away.
  
inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #55 of 56: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 16 Jul 03 20:43
    
I don't think we asked this before, Jesse: are you often surprised by 
usability test results?
  
inkwell.vue.186 : Jesse James Garrett, _The Elements of User Experience_
permalink #56 of 56: Jesse James Garrett (jjgdotnet) Thu 17 Jul 03 16:03
    
If usability tests didn't surprise us at least a little bit, they
wouldn't be worth doing. Sometimes they don't spark great revelations,
but they enrich our understanding of user psychology and behavior in
ways that inform all our work, not just the current project.
  



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