Diagramming Robust AI

Paul E. Bennett peb at transcontech.co.uk
Tue Mar 31 10:49:03 EST 1998


In article <6fqt2j$kp$1 at blackice.winternet.com>
           dk at parka.winternet.com "Dave Kenny" writes:

> : You may or may not sympathise with this:
> :
> : "Behind every user-friendly interface is a terrific human contempt."
> : - Ellen Ullman
> 
> I sympathize very much with this quote.  Who's Ellen Ullman, and do you
> know where she said this?  It speaks volumes.

Another good one to add to the list of quotes.
 
> Leo Brodie had a cartoon for this one, too.  He was discussing things
> like modularity, layered designs, OO etc, and observed that we have
> a backwards (IMHO) view of "protection."  We think we are "protecting"
> the user when we prevent them from actually _using_ our code.  No, the
> user, who is implicitly assumed to be stupid, is forced to fill out
> forms or click on pushbuttons offering 'prepackaged' solutions.
> 
> This is certainly condescending.

Yes. Users are only stupid as an act of deliberation. At other times 
they are just fallable.

The design of user interfaces really does take quite a bit of consideration.
If you propose user interfaces as part of a task analysis, and are very 
critical on the level of reasonableness for the interfaces, you will obtain 
a feel that is somewhere near to the right balance.

-- 
Paul E. Bennett ................... <peb at transcontech.co.uk>
Transport Control Technology Ltd.   <http://www.tcontec.demon.co.uk/>
+44 (0)117-9499861                  <enquiry at transcontech.co.uk>
Going Forth Safely




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