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{ Category Archives } UI

Withholding the Four Freedoms

Having downsized my rather over-enthusiastic computer collection (thanks, eBay!), I was down to one computer. Unfortunately, as a rather long in the tooth MacBook Air, it’s no longer suited to my needs and neither is it upgradeable. I got all of the files I care about off of its disk and set out to look […]

Apple’s Watch and Jony’s Compelling Beginning

There are a whole lot of constraints that go into designing something. Here are the few I could think of in a couple of minutes: what people already understand about their interactions with things what people will discover about their interactions with things what people want to do what people need to do what people […]

PADDs, not the iPad

Alan Kay says that Xerox PARC bought its way into the future by paying lots of money for each computer. Today, you can (almost) buy your way into the future of mobile computers by paying small amounts of money for lots of computers. This is the story of the other things that need to happen […]

Intuitive is the Enemy of Good

In the previous instalment, I discussed an interview in which Alan Kay maligned growth-restricted user interfaces. Here’s the quote again: There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating. We […]

HATEOAS app structure explained through some flimsy analogy

You are in a tall, narrow view. A vibrant, neon sign overhead tells you that this is the entrance to “Stocks” – below it is one of those scrolling news tickers you might see on Times Square. In front of you lies a panel of buttons. Before you can do anything, an automatic droid introduces […]

Illuminative-C

In addition to being a mildly accomplished software engineer, I’ve done some studying and armchair research in the field of ancient languages and palaeography. What happens if we smoosh those fields together? In a very slight way, art historian and fellow Oxenafordisc Dr. Janina Ramirez did that in her series on Illuminations: the Private Lives […]

Android: the missed opportunities

There are a few Android devices I have respect for: the Amazon Kindle Fire is one, the B&N Nook another, and the Cisco Cius is the third. To a lesser extent, the Sony tablet also fits this category. I don’t tend to like the Galaxy Tab, the Xoom and similar tablets so much, and most […]

Why your security UI sucks

The principle recurring problem in user experience is creating a user interface that supports the user’s mental model of how an app works, while simultaneously enabling the actions that are actually supported by the implementation’s model of the problem domain. Make the interface too much like the app internals, and the user won’t be able […]

On Fitt’s Law and Security

…eh? Don’t worry, read on and all shall be explained. I’ve said in multiple talks and podcasts before that one key to good security is good user interface design. If users are comfortable performing their tasks, and your application is designed such that the easiest way to use it is to do the correct thing, […]