W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-au@w3.org > April to June 1999

Textual User Interface (was ideas for...)

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 13:46:31 -0700
Message-ID: <370E6727.6A9D4D4D@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Marja:: "The mouse is easier...With typing UI's the user needs to
remember the commands and keys to use."

WL: Depends on what you mean by easier.  Cognitive load is trivial when
one only uses a limited set of tools.  It is also true that one must
remember that an icon that looks sort of like a monitor means "save" (if
you think that's intuitively obvious then you must be from another
planet).  The real problem with mousing is that it slows one down
remarkably in almost every case I deal with because the mouse (art
tablet in my case and that also requires picking up a stylus!) is off to
the side.  Somewhere (Bible I think) it says "In the beginning was the
word" and if I'm faced with a toolbar that has unlabeled icons I might
as well be working with hieroglyphs.  The real misfortune is that
although there are almost always keyboard equivalents to the menu bar
there often are none for the tool bar.  For me it is quicker to pull
down a menu and read its shortcut and hit a key than to mouse. However I
do touch type and that was the most valuable course I took in high
school and luckily my kids mostly followed my advice and took a
keyboarding course.  A side note: it probably saved my life in WWII when
they asked a group "who can type" and the rest of the group went off to
invasion school while I went into the office!

Received on Friday, 9 April 1999 16:45:49 UTC

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