At 2:36 PM 5/11/97, Adam Bosworth wrote:
>I'd have to agree with Terry about this point. I do actually think that
>an increasing percentage of pages will not be authored using WYSIWYG
>tools, but that being said, our experience with Word is consistant with
>Terry's comments. 90% of Word users don't use styles because it requires
>a top down systemic model for authoring that doesn't come naturally to
>them.  That doesn't mean that Styles are a bad idea, just that it is
>hard to show that Styles improve an authoring UI's usability.

An alternative explanation why many Word users doesn't use styles is that
they never figure out that Word has style support or how it is used. Word
[5.1 for Mac] doesn't have any obvious way to create styles. Instead, it
makes it easy to add physical formatting, suggesting to the user that this
is the main functionality of Word. No wonder that users doesn't use style!

At startup from scratch, Word display a pop-up menu that has one style
("Normal") but nothing that indicates that it is a style or a menu item to
add new styles. This would require that the user figured out to add new
styles before using it, which makes for a steep learning curve.

Also, how to add new styles isn't obvious from the user interface of Word.
I actually had to accidentially stumble over it myself! The user has to set
up a paragraph with the right setting for the style, then go to the pop-up
menu for style, type in the name of the style in the field, and hit return.
Changing a style require that a selected style is chosen over again in the
pop-up menu. there are few clues that this functionality is available.

While the style management of Word is efficient for savvy users, it isn't
easy to figure out for those new to styles or those that doesn't read the
documentation. One improvement would be that Word by default provided a
simple stylesheet with the most common styles. This would facilitate that
users figured out what styles is about in the first place, preparing them
for making their own styles for Word or play with more advanced style
sheets. Next, and "add style..." or "edit styles" item on the menu of Word
would make it more obvious how to create a style sheet for Word.

-- Terje <> | Media Design in*Progress

   Interaction makes editing Cascading Style Sheets easy...

Received on Sunday, 11 May 1997 19:26:36 UTC