Quotes from Crawford

Some interesting thoughts and a quote from Chris Crawford's The Art of User Interface Design.

Overall, this was a pretty fun book. Crawford has some very fresh ideas about UI design, which are all the more valid given his tenure in the field of programming. That said, the ideas he presents aren't things that you might ever see in the real world. I think of them more as fodder for the brain, but you can't ever have too much of that.

Reliance on the keyboard for nontextual input lies begind one of the stupidest and most avoidable blunders in classic user interface design: darkness paralysis. Imagine it's four in the morning and the dog is whining in the garage. You stumble out of bed and creep through the house, groping your way toward the door. You're too sleepy to remember to turn on the light. The path you must take is direct and unobstructed, yet you move slowly and carefully, imaging at every moment a toe-stubbing chair or nose-crunching wall to be just in front of you. The absence of light dramatically changes a simple and obvious task into one that is difficult, confusing, and intimidating. Always keep this feeling in your mind, for although users operate the same program that designers create, the designers see the program in the light of complete knowledge, and the users navigate in total darkness. The designer cannot understand the user's confusion; having laid out the room, examined it from a thousand different angles, gone over every square inch with a magnifying glass, the designer can walk across it with his eyes closed. He simply cannoy understand the user's confusion.
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