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View Full Version : Human Interface Guidelines: The Mac Zealots' Con?


MacBytes
Apr 26, 2006, 02:08 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Human Interface Guidelines: The Mac Zealots' Con? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060426150814)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

angelwatt
Apr 26, 2006, 02:20 PM
Apple's HIG is a nice read .. at least for an interface designer like myself. I've never heard someone try to justify the one-button mouse by way of the HIG, but doesn't really surprise me, but of course like the article says isn't true.

Though I remember past MR article's where people were commenting how Apple doesn't always follow their own HIG. I think the one I'm remembering was about the scheme used in iTunes.

To developers on OSX, if you haven't already read Apple's HIG, please do so, it'll increase the chance it'll be a success.

dashiel
Apr 26, 2006, 02:29 PM
interesting. did people really believe that apple's HIG was somehow universal or created outside of the company?

DStaal
Apr 26, 2006, 02:36 PM
He read the wrong HIG. He read the one for OS X, which is really just annenda for the orginial, with specifics for the new system.

The orginial is written as universal guidelines, with thoughts on how and why a graphical desktop interface works and how it should be used. It does have some portions that are specific to 'classic' Mac OS, but most of it can be applied to any system that uses a graphical desktop.

jettredmont
Apr 26, 2006, 02:40 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Human Interface Guidelines: The Mac Zealots' Con? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060426150814)
Description:: none

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Hmm. Well, sounds like a strawman argument to me. Who exactly has been waving HIG around as justification for the one button mouse et al?

I've never heard that, although that doesn't mean some dweeb in a forum isn't saying it. Seems like most moderately informed people understood that the HIG is a guide for consistency on the Mac platform, not a holy book perceived amidst divine revelation.

The argument they should be giving is the years of internal Apple research on the subject. I believe the HIG might allude to this research at points, which might be where the confusion comes in. The HIG is a reflection of that research, not a proof of that research.

aftk2
Apr 26, 2006, 03:48 PM
These seems like a great way to teach people to understand the Straw Man fallacy. Honestly, how does this article get written? Does anyone really make the claims that the author purports get made all the time?

To me, this article looks like this:

1. Assert some wild claim. Make sure this claim is easy to refute. "HIG are the reason for the one button mouse. HIG are universal and perfect!" Assert that this is being repeated by lots of folks. Call them fanboys.

2. Proceed with refutation.

3. Profit! (In terms of page hits.)

Honestly, I was hoping for something a little more interesting, like a dissection of how Apple neglects to follow its own guidelines. Or perhaps a discussion of how OS X's user interface has matured/changed over time. But that? Meh.

GorillaPaws
Apr 26, 2006, 04:15 PM
I feel dumber for having read that. Next time they should write an article with substance, just a little would be ok, anything really. I'm skeptical the author even read the Apple HIG in the first place, save the intro which states that its purpose is for consistency. Tell us why you think apple's HIG is better/worse than the others, mention points of contention in the differing philosophies of HIG, anything really would've been better than this article. I've never read Apple's HIG and would be interested to hear a breakdown of some of the points of contention in this realm. Perhaps one day a more intelligent author will write it.

Fiveos22
Apr 26, 2006, 04:18 PM
Hmm. Well, sounds like a strawman argument to me.

The article, as far as I can tell, didn't say anything. He held up two "myths"...ok he identified two putative arguments...

BUT

his explanation of why they are myths is...well...lacking. First, yes, there are many HIGs. I didn't know that people referred to The HIG when discussing human interface elemes. So, if the first myth was actually bandied about, then as far as I am concerned, that "myth" is sufficiently "busted".

Myth two:

Human Interface Guidelines are a universal truth, defining correct design, interoperability and usability of computer interfaces.


Well? What about it? He quotes a snippet of one HIG's introduction. If I had the time to read Apple's or anyone else's HIG, I bet I could find many universal truths. The interaction between a human and a machine is rather limited, it seems to be perfectly valid that there should be great amounts of overlap (universiality). From his article, it doesn't appear as though he read one HIG, aside from the Introduction and Table of Contents. For as much as he tosses around the "one button mouse" myth, he doesn't say anything pertinent to the argument that "busts" it.

This shouldn't get "article" status, this should be considered less than a blog...probably along the lines of a MySpace journal entry.

bluebomberman
Apr 26, 2006, 05:26 PM
That article was a serious yet irreverent waste of time.

Silencio
Apr 26, 2006, 06:41 PM
That article was a serious yet irreverent waste of time.

You misspelled "irrelevant". :p

plinkoman
Apr 26, 2006, 07:47 PM
perhaps he could point me in the direction of all these zealots who are saying these things about the HIG? no? is that because no one is?...

thats what i thought... :rolleyes:

plinden
Apr 26, 2006, 08:26 PM
I've been a member of MacRumors for two years now ... so how come I've missed all these Mac Zealots insisting that the one button mouse is The Only Way?

Edit: to be honest, since I got my iMac about 3 months ago, I've been using the mighty mouse with the right click disabled, and haven't felt any overwhelming need to replace it with a normal mouse. I find for what I do that there aren't very many situations where I need a right click and Ctrl-click is just as easy. My wife also uses the iMac, and she hasn't once asked me how to right-click. She has been using PCs for almost as long as I have, and has never used right-click for much, if anything (I'm not even sure if she knows about contextual menus).

Also, looking at my three year daughter playing with our computers, she gets confused with the two button mouse on my PC, but can handle the mighty mouse ok. An older Pro Mouse without the scroll nipple would be even better for her since she tends to click with it.

Of course, my situation isn't the same as everyone's, and some people need more than one button. So my saying I don't need more than one button for what I do doesn't mean I think everyone should be forced to use a one button mouse.