Topic: Interface elements
Keywords: interface, cursor, windows, bars, widgets, start button, menu, icons, folders, drag and drop

... the same button takes much longer to click than it did fifteen years ago
... as monitors have gotten bigger and screen resolutions have increased, Fitts' law dictates that actual mouse efficiency has gone down
  1. The farther away a target is, the longer it takes to acquire it with the mouse.
  2. The smaller a target is, the longer it takes to acquire it with the mouse.
(Jensen Harris, MS insider)

I think this has implications for inexperienced users, experiencing frustration, finding and clicking the right place
(Bill 2 Sept)

Lewis (2004) talks of "manipulative control devices, prompts and some iconic reward features that are used to make meaning". Not sure exactly how to apply this to the present discussion, but it seems both interesting and relevant
(Paul, Jan 2009).

Some annoted links on user interface design with a focus on microsoft (for and against), except for the final link
Macintosh-style interaction design has reached its limits. A new paradigm, called results-oriented UI, might well be the way to empower users in the future. (Jakob Nielsen)
... this blog is all about the new user interface we've been working on for Office 2007. This new version does away with menus and toolbars and replaces them with new paradigms such as the Ribbon, Contextual Tabs, and Galleries (microsoft insider view)
... laying out a cogent and fairly persuasive critique of user-centered design practice. The gist of it is this: the writings promoting user-centered design theory and practice overwhelmingly cast the user as a victim, subjected to the evils of a system over which they have no control. By studying these victims, the heroic user-centered designer can provide a far superior system that takes into account the actual work practices of the users. Clay recognizes that: a) it's condescending to treat users as victims unable to influence their work situation, and b) UCD simply replaces one form of centralized control with another.
WIMP and wysiwyg may be replaced one day due to changing information consumption patterns?
The purpose of this site is to support the exchange of ideas about next-generation user interfaces, focusing on approaches that go beyond the Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device (WIMP) method on which most current user interfaces are based. The goal is to promote unconventional thinking on how user interfaces might evolve to accommodate new classes of users and devices outside of the traditional PC domain
Bill 17thMay
Indian street kids invented their own terminology for what's going on in the computer. For example, they call the pointer of the mouse sui, which is Hindi for needle. The children created their own metaphors to describe how a computer works.


Lewis, D. (2004). A word about pictures. In T. Grainger (Ed.). Reader in Language and Literacy, p. 199-216. New York, NY: Routledge Farmer.