Thursday, May 26, 2011

I didn’t know ...

Now that I have an Ipad2, I have entered Apple’s world of Gestures. At my age, it’s not easy to learn lots of new gestures that do cool things, but from reading the manual, I know that there are some great time-saving two-finger and three-finger salutes gestures. I’ve been through this before with a gesture-enabled fingerpad, and my approach, which doesn’t work very well, is to try to learn one just new gesture at a time.

I feel a lot less frustrated today, because I found a fine essay by Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen that rips this new gesture world to pieces. To whet your appetite, they point out that there’s no consistency across apps to help you learn gestures; and that there’s no way to SEE when the capability of gestures is present. Please read the essay itself for its many memorable points. Here’s a quote:

Whenever we discus these examples with others, we invariably get two reactions. One is "gee, I didn't know that." The other is, "did you know that if you [do] this (followed by some exotic swipe, multi-fingered tap, or prolonged touch) that the following happens?" Usually it is then our turn to look surprised and say "no we didn't know that." This is no way to have people learn how to use a system.

You know, I think I would prefer a gesture-based system that uses the Microsoft Kinect technology. Then we could we could replace [alt+F4] with the most common one-finger salute.
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