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Subject: Re: Useability concerns

Re: Useability concerns

From: Paul Louden <paulthenerd_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:40:37 -0600

Sam Pattuzzi wrote:
> I think my end goal would be for Rockbox to come pre installed on
> devices and for it to be usable without a manual. I believe it's
> possible for even complex software to be usable without a manual,
> complex features of the software can be explored and discovered as a
> user wishes but they don't get in the way until a user is looking for
> them or is interested.
>

Usability isn't what prevents Rockbox from coming pre-installed on
devices. As for "getting in the way", besides the context menu, what
functions get in the way? I'd think most people are able to realize the
connection between "I held down this button instead of just tapping it,
and got an entirely different menu than usual." You can't idiot-proof
software entirely, and this seems a pretty basic thing - "I did
something different, and something different happens." For example, most
people can also figure out the difference in behaviour between holding
and tapping "right" in the WPS for seeking vs track skipping. And
"holding the button does something different" is a concept they're
fundamentally aware of, otherwise they'd never be able to even turn off
their palyer.
> They might not realise that holding it down is going to produce a
> distinct action to the short press. It could be quite confusing for the
> user to suddenly find the system reacting in a different way to what
> they expect without knowing they had interacted with it differently.
> Maybe if the context menu was labelled as the long press menu it might
> make sense.
>

How does a user not realize that holding a button is a different method
of interacting than tapping it? Many basic functions on the iPods
require acknowledging a difference between a hold and a tap. Why is it a
problem for the context menu, but not for shutdown, seeking, the quick
screen, or anything else?

>
>> If it's not too hard to guess most of them, what's the problem?
>>
>
> It's still hard enough with a few irregularity (see playlists).
>
>
Is that actually "hard"?

Rockbox has a lot of features. Maybe you should propose a keymap that
addresses these issues. I think in trying to work through it you'll see
that you can't really maintain the same level of access to these
features easily. Removing the features, or placing them in the menu
structure and removing the shortcuts, are realy the most obvious options
and neither of them are particularly good ones.
Received on 2009-11-21


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