[LINK] Are GUI design standards no longer relevanr?

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Wed Jan 20 09:14:13 AEDT 2010

On 20/01/2010, at 8:35 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:

> Fernando Cassia wrote:
>> ... vendors like Google no longer caring about GUI design standards  ...
> I suspect that Web 2 designers see Common User Access (CUA) and 
> Graphical User Inter Interface (GUI) standards as literally
> "last century" and want try new things. Some of what they do may be good
> enough to become a new commonly used and codified interface, but much
> will be gimmicky and forgotten.

Yes, gimmicks will come and go, I am sure: always the case when new design is expored. 

I'd broaden this to all manner of devices, in which the GUI or CUA is often irrelevant. Touch screens and gesture control will become the de facto standard for many devices (and already are in some places) and I wouldn't be surprised if people look back in 20 years and say, why did we cripple ourselves with such a limiting standard that relies entirely on text and text input.

> It is very useful that by using a CUA you know that "F1" gets you help. 

For most users of a CUA, I'll wager that they *don't* know this: it's reserved for geeks and computer 'professionals' (or perhaps those who rely on the F1 key a good deal!).

I suspect that this debate has moved far away from Fernando's original musings, but I can see that in the narrow world of CUA, it's desirable to have a standard way of operating. However, familiarity with the overall interface allows many different choices: I agree that spanners are ludicrous, but then a gear wheel is equally obtuse - it boils down to an understanding after repetition (which goes back to my point about the play button etc). I have a screen that I'm typing on right now that has a menu bar with one side for text input, and the other side (the right side) for icons (Mac users will understand). I'm comfortable with both, though of course all of this relies on an element of consistency throughout the interface. No-one likes surprises.


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