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Just starting a page that will eventually be a list of other pages that deal with computer usability issues -- initially focusing on the issues that strike me and seem to have struck no one else. But, I will point out some usability issues that are well known (even to me) but are too often not honored.

Initially I will start with short one liner bullets with little or no explanation.

See AboutThesePages.


Usability Issues

Things That Strike Me

  • LinesTooLong -- force your head to turn or your eyes to move (this may be a function of the size and resolution of the computer screen (like some other issues listed here), but good design would account for this for any screen size and resolution.

  • ConsiderTheSlowConnection
    • I can tell that some things are designed by people with high speed connections and big screens. Browser behavior -- with a high speed connection it may be fine to immediately open a newly requested window and bring it to the foreground, with a low speed connection (and the browsing style that I've adopted that seems suited to low speed connections) it is preferable that a newly requested window "appear" in the background and only be brought to the foreground when the user requests that it be brought to the foreground. Ideally, there would be a selection of simple but nonobtrusive ways to indicate when a window was fully loaded. (Some may prefer an audio cue, I don't. Maybe you just see the "command button" on the toolbar change color. (On some browser's it already does something like say "loading" until it is loaded. Tabbed browsers require a little more -- consider the case if you have multiple browsers open -- there needs to be an indicator on the toolbar, not on the rarely visible (clarify) top of the browser window.
    • See Codev.SimplerDefaultTemplates -- is the issue of whether the edit, preview, or save buttons be at the top or bottom of the page related to speed of a user's connection? (I'd say yes, if there is a chance of losing data if the buttons are pressed before the page is fully loaded.)

Obvious Things that Seem to Be Ignored

  • WriteForTheReader
    • NotToDemonstrateYourIntelligence or knowledge of big words
    • Short clear sentences, simple words, plenty of whitespace (I know this but violate it often -- I think most often when I am WritingToUnderstandSomething -- once I understand it I should go back and simplify it -- recently I haven't found time to do much of that. (Have I ever found that time? Yes, occasionally. Training courses and so forth.) (Would the world be better off if I wrote fewer things but worked on them till I got them SimpleToUnderstand rather than writing unclearly about more things? Clearly, up until now, I've thought it better to write (unclearly) about more things. I think it's a necessary thing at this time, because I don't have enough understanding to write about any one thing clearly, and I don't think focusing on a single thing will help my productivity. (I'm more likely to just get stuck and make no progress, sort of like my current status on email servers.) (All (well, most) of Linux is murky.) Maybe all of WikiLearn should be considered and advertised as a rough draft. When something gets out of the rough draft stage, maybe it should be "promoted" to WikiKnow or Wikipedia or something.

  • AdequateFontSizes
    • ControllableFontSizes -- it's aggravating enough to find a page with font sizes that are too small (or an OS or browser that makes all font sizes too small), but then, when somebody makes font sizes too small (I'm sure they don't do this intentionally, in most cases -- it looks OK or at least readable on their screen -- or they are a graphic designer and they are more concerned about how the larger entities on the screen fit together than making sure the text is readable) and takes steps to prevent my browser from enlarging the fonts somebody should be shot.

  • Font and background colors, wallpaper * Controllable font and background colors -- in addition to simply being controllable, they should be individually controllable for each window of an MDI or tabbed browser (same for font size)



See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


Recommended for Specific Needs

Recommended by Others

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; ; mdash;

No Recommendation

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; ; mdash;

Not Recommended

  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; ; mdash;


  • () RandyKramer - 12 Jul 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.RandyKramer#12 Jul 2002][]]

Rants (Ignore)

See MyRantings.

This rant, if kept for any reason, should be moved elsewhere.

While thinking about this topic, my mind wandered to the issues of marketing and our economy and the thought that we have to make marginally useful products (or useless products) to sell to each other (and throw away) in order to keep the economy humming. And, as I saw somebody had written the other day, a statement something like "capitalism is the one [economic system?] that" tries to take advantage of one of man less noble characteristics (greed, selfishness) to create a system for the greater good. But (my words / question) is it really the best we can do?

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Topic revision: r4 - 2003-06-01 - RandyKramer
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