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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The 'one size fits all' user interface is primitive

These are interesting ideas from Laurie Orlov's about how the customisation of technology could be improved.

When you think about the 'one size fits all' way that computers, smartphones and tablets work it is primitive in this day and age. The same applies to any interface - like the mass of electronics that is in my hotel room in Vancouver. Somebody made a decision about the digital literacy and physiological state of the user. In this case it is somebody with digital skills in the top decile and 20/20 vision. I might tick the first box but certainly not the second.

Operating systems expect the user to fiddle around and change the settings having learnt the intricacies of the 'settings' or 'control panel' feature.

To fill this gap companies, mostly small ones, are developing 'simple' interfaces to sit on top of the operating systems to make it easier for the user. This is not how it should be done.

The user should be able to easily configure the system for themselves. At worst there should be a few options - something like: Have advance digital skills through to Make it is as simple as possible.

It can only be a matter of time before Apple, Google or MS get their act together. If any of these three companies want any assistance then contact me. Dick Stroud

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