• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Maps

Ski resorts typically provide other user-friendly features that ought to be part of every software interface. Trail maps show how to get from where you are to where you want to be and guide the skier who is seeking out or trying to avoid certain kinds of trails. Software systems should incorporate or provide their own trail maps, visual guides to the layout of features in the maze of buttons and dialogues, pull-down and pop-up menus. On-line help, at least as typically done with the help engines of popular GUIs, is of only limited value. Such on-line un-help is every bit as difficult or clumsy to navigate as the menus and dialogues themselves and, worse, is invariably organized differently than the interface itself.

On the ski slopes, the trails themselves are clearly marked, the same way as on the map. In software, menu titles frequently give little or no clue to what lies below, and the “help” system, separated from the interface features it is supposed to help with, often employs a different vocabulary. If I am trying to figure out how to make a footnote go away in my word processor, the darned help system should just show me, opening the right menus in sequence and pointing to what I need to use.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint