SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: to mode or not to mode
Re: SIGIA-L: to mode or not to mode
From: Dan Brown (brownorama_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 15:36:16 EST
In "The Humane Interface," Raskin defines modal
interfaces as ones where a single gesture can have
The simplest example is Ctrl-S, which can mean "save"
in some modes (or applications), but not necessarily
The danger, of course, is that when the habituated
human goes for Ctrl-S thinking work is being saved
when, in fact, it is being spellchecked. What makes
modes dangerous in many implementations is that there
is no cue to help users know what mode they're in.
Switching applications (your first example) is a
problem of mode, but I do not believe that Raskin
would say that a different feature set is the issue.
The problem occurs when different applications
interpret user gestures differently. (In fact, Raskin
argues that we should abolish applications
Using Raskin's definitions, your second example
doesn't seem so much a problem of mode as it does the
"grammar" of the interface. (Perhaps I'm
misunderstanding your example...?) Raskin talks about
using a noun-verb approach to construct features. (eg:
Select the rectangle, then select the menu item or
button to format it.)
Perhaps the mistake those applications are making is
that they're insisting on a verb-noun approach: Select
a formatting tool, then apply it to the object.
--- "Heller, David" <david.heller_at_documentum.com>
> So, I want to bring up the idea of modeless vs.
> modal systems.
Do You Yahoo!?
Find the one for you at Yahoo! Personals
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2
: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:53 EST