05-830, User Interface Software, Spring, 1999
Lecture 1,   January 11, 1999
Brad Myers

Some UI Problems on the Macintosh and Windows 95 fundamental interaction techniques:

  1. Difficult to select objects in Drawing programs because can't select objects that are covered.
  2. No way to select objects in a rectangle if there is a large object in the background.
  3. Often move objects by accident
  4. No way to abort moving, growing of windows
  5. Inconsistent meaning of moving a file in the finder (copy if different disk, otherwise move) -- how make it always be move/copy
  6. Hard to remember what the various shift, option, command keys do (cmd-k, option-k, cmd-option-k, cmd-shift-k... in Microsoft Word)
  7. Difficult to get windows to be the correct place and size since can only grow them from one place (Mac).
  8. Some commands do not undo (file write, file move).
  9. Hard to scroll accurately.  Hard to scroll back to where you were (e.g. Andrew shows where selection is, Emacs marks).
  10. No standard incremental save, crash recovery.
  11. No programmability.
  12. Inconsistent meaning of dragging object to the trash.
  13. Can't open files the same way in applications as in the finder.
  14. Scrolling speed varies depending on machine type, and sometimes too fast
  15. Network activity brings entire computer to a halt.
  16. No way to send windows to the bottom.
  17. No way to send windows below the icons on the desktop.
  18. How to scroll by pages is not obvious
  19. Scrolling can oscillate up and down if keep mouse in one place in scroll bar
  20. No affordances for shift-click to extend the selection
  21. etc.

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