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Part VIII: Brave New Software > Interfaces Diversified

Chapter 50. Interfaces Diversified

Diversity is not merely Politically Correct; it pays. It pays in teams, where it can contribute to a creative synergy, and in the marketplace, where diversity has become yet another fuzzword for flacks and field reps to use in their pitches. Now PC products are also P.C. products, and diversity has come to the user interface.

At one conference on CHI (Computer Human Interaction) in Boston, a presenter argued for customizing user interface design to appeal to diverse ethnic groups and user communities. The solution? Different user interface designs for different “demographics.” The point was made by starting with a garden-variety dialog box for setting text attributes: font, size, style, and the like. Uninspired and utilitarian design, one might say: not optimal, but not terribly bad either. Then the diversified alternatives were displayed.


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