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Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

by EvdB (Deacon)
on Mar 08, 2004 at 11:19 UTC ( #334758=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

It may have a lot to do with the fact that websites tend to be more verbose in their instructions, so that traditionally website have had their documentation in place.

For example a desktop app may ask for 'user_id:' where as the web app would ask for 'Your email address:'.

There is alot more space on a web browser's screen for this sort of thing than in an apps dialog box. This does not excuse the mindset but does partly explain it.

This does nothing for the underlying complexity though, if the user does not know what the app is attempting to do then they will probably not be able to use, regardless of the UI.

--tidiness is the memory loss of environmental mnemonics

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Re: Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences
by simon.proctor (Vicar) on Mar 08, 2004 at 11:31 UTC
    For example a desktop app may ask for 'user_id:' where as the web app would ask for 'Your email address:'.
    I'm sorry but I don't quite agree with the above. In the desktop apps that I have written if I wanted their email address I would ask for it.

    As to documentation in place. I can see your view point in one respect as we typically allow for instructions above each form (as an example) that explain the processes or requirements of the following immediate action. However, that does not really help to reinforce the process as a whole nor does it really ensure the user is aware of what is happening (which is in reference to your last point).

    All that it does is ensure that *at that point* in the application the user *is somehow aware* of the requirements of that *particular form*. Of course whether its the right form for what they want to do is down to the application and the user ;).

    I guess ultimately it boils down to how much confidence you have in your user base and how complex the application is (which is in itself a moving target with shifting user requirements).

    Thnx - SP

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