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UI Designers Hired by Mozilla

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the maybe-they-can-fix-the-leaks dept.

Mozilla 245

ta bu shi da yu writes "Mozilla has hired several developers from Humanized. According to Ars Technica, Humanized is a "small software company that is known for its considerable usability expertise and innovative user interface design. The Humanized developers will be working at Mozilla Labs on Firefox and innovative new projects.""

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More Raskins (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066622)

Humanized is Jef Raskin's son's company. The kid has been living and breathing UI design his entire life. Looks like Mozilla picked a good one.

Re:More Raskins (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066664)

Yeah. Clearly the guy who invented holding down the Caps Lock key and typing "open firefox" to start firefox (real example from their home page) is a UI genius.

Re:More Raskins (3, Interesting)

wampus (1932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066768)

In Vista I mash the Windows key and type firefox. I got into that habit VERY quickly.

Re:More Raskins (2, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066828)

In Windows Vista I upgrade to Windows XP or FreeBSD. I got into that habit very quickly myself.

Re:More Raskins (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067128)

I didn't mash my Windows key; that would be such a shame of this nice keyboard. Besides, I can't get any drill close enough to the surface without mashing other keys as well. And I'm not using it either. I have WindowMaker put everything I want behind a few function-keys.

Re:More Raskins (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066984)

So basically they reinvented Quicksilver but for Windows.

Re:More Raskins (4, Insightful)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067020)

Considering the popularity of Launchy (Win), Vista's start search, Quicksilver/Spotlight (Mac), Katapult (KDE) and GNOME Deskbar, I'd say he either hit a home run or knows trends when he sees them.

Personally, I feel very lost when I can't use any of those tools.

Re:More Raskins (5, Interesting)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067292)

Google Desktop does this too -- I actually realized that Launchy was totally redundant once I installed Google Desktop, so I removed it. Launchy is great, though.

Re:More Raskins (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067496)

Good call there. Someone give this man a mod point.

Re:More Raskins (5, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067536)

Considering the popularity of Launchy (Win), Vista's start search, Quicksilver/Spotlight (Mac), Katapult (KDE) and GNOME Deskbar, I'd say he either hit a home run or knows trends when he sees them.

And this brings me to the question of, why aren't the menu and windows keys binded by default in many of the most popular linux distributions?, here I am writing this in Fedora 8 and neither the menu or any of the two windows keys of the keyobard do anything. The same thing happens in Ubuntu 7.10.

Now, I know there is a super-duper easy way to bind them in X/Y/Z menu or editing certain.conf file, but these keys are in almost every keyboard nowadays and they have specific functions (one open the sytem menu, the other opens the "alternative button" menu. And moreover, if they are binded by default and there is some keyboard that does not have them, it won't hurt the user in any way!

Re:More Raskins (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067670)

Well, in GNOME, the menu key serves the same function as in Windows (r-click menu), but the Super/Win key seems to be set up as a modifier key by default. It sounds like you can't use modifier keys by themselves, so you can't have Super-Tab (WindowFlow switching) and Super pulling up the app menu at the same time, you have to choose.

PS: Since I never actually use the Menu key for menus, i disabled it, and remapped it to Scale and Expo (Alt-Menu).

Re:More Raskins (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067772)

How are these any better than popping open a terminal and using tab-completion?

Re:More Raskins (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067792)

You can type "open -a firefox" at the terminal on a Mac. Look how easily this concept was integrated in to a real OS. The "-a" means "search for an application by that name". Without that option, the parameters are interpreted as paths. The "open" tool does the same thing as a double-click on the desktop. This is neat.

Having said that, Amiga did this without needing an "open" command -- everything you did at the command line was conceptually the same as if you did it on Workbench. So typing the name of a directory at the CLI "executed" that directory. How do you execute a directory? Descend into it. After all, Unix uses the "executable" permission flag to mean "navigable".

In short, the trail this guy is blazing was topped with tarmac decades ago. What next? A wheel to navigate of list of, say, digital music tracks -- push in the middle and it plays! Wake me up in 1901.

Unneeded... DO NOT WANT!!11!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067606)

Teh FOSS iz teh prefectly prefect model of prefect prefectshun!!!11!! We Teh FOSS dunt need they fansy UI dezine pplz, cuz teh Muzilar is teh alredy teh prefect UI dezine!!1!

Re:More Raskins (2, Funny)

marafa (745042) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067608)

mmm.. mind if i follow your corollary?
george w bush is george bush's son. the kid has been living and breathing presidential quality his entire life. looks like the people of america picked a good one.

Mayby they can send them to (5, Insightful)

Respawner (607254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066646)

the Open Office project.
I always find myself lost when trying even basic stuff, could be I just suck at it ;-) but somehow I've always appreciated indesign more

Re:Mayby they can send them to (1)

Respawner (607254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066700)

d'oh, before people bash me, I meant after they're done with their work at mozilla, I think it's an excellent move and more projects should be able to get UI designers. Because let's face it, most of us programmers don't know how to make stuff pretty :)

Re:Mayby they can send them to (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066874)

It's not about making things pretty, it's about making things functional. In fact, I'd argue that too much effort has gone into making everything pretty and shiny and not enough on making things intuitive.

A UI designer should be concerned first and foremost with making things intuitive: putting the most common tasks in obvious places, making the program work the way people would expect it to work, that sort of thing. Then, they can send it off to the art department to make the buttons shiny if they want to.

I've often worked on projects where my job as a programmer (we didn't have "UI designers") was to make sure the program worked, flowed well, and performed tasks in an intuitive way. The designs were ugly as sin, but they worked. Then, we'd send the thing off to some graphic designer to make everything look pretty without changing the flow, button placement, etc.

Re:Mayby they can send them to (2)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067408)

I majored in Art and Design (late 1970s, before modern computers; the school's computer used punch cards), so I think I'm qualified to give you a hearty "hear hear!"

Either the people designing these days never studied design, or they've changed all the principles.

"Form follows function", or at least it did back in the stone age. BTW, speaking of design, the firehose is completely broken in IE 6, which I'm forced to use at work. It's so fun playing "catch the moving link!"

-mcgrew

Re:Mayby they can send them to (3, Insightful)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067708)

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about Beauty, I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. - Buckminster Fuller


This is one of my favorite quotes about design because it gets to the essential point (and the one you're making as well). Good design is about solving problems and truly good design is beautiful because, as any developer who's ever referred to a piece of code as "elegant" knows, there's a beauty in optimal solutions.

Re:Mayby they can send them to (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067812)

This is true, except that what is optimal for me may not be optimal for you. Humans are too squishy -- we have habits that we've picked up over the years, physical differences, skill differences, etc.

Re:Mayby they can send them to (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067730)

Yeah, but good UI design helps us hide the things that aren't functional :-)

Re:Mayby they can send them to (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067794)

You'd be surprised by how easily people are confused by this.

Create a butt-ugly program where every feature is easy to find and compare it with a beautiful interface where every button is hidden behind layers of hoops. Most people will claim the beautiful one is more usable.

I've seen this while developing games; you can have all the gameplay finished and finetuned but not until the game has nice pictures instead of placeholders will they consider it "playable", even if you tell them you've yet to make it pretty.

This begs the question whether an open source project should be more concerned about looking usable or actually being usable. For commercial software, looks usually sell better than functionality. Sad but true. FOSS doesn't need to sell financially.

Re:Mayby they can send them to (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067360)

I think Mozilla would be much better off finding someone to plug the memory leaks and other stability problems. The latest version stops working after a few days and I have to kill it and restart. The only reason I stick with FF right now is the plugins.

Re:Mayby they can send them to (3, Informative)

mike_c999 (513531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067574)

An often misunderstood problem with Firefox is that it keeps a cache of pages you have visited in memory, thus causing very high memory usage.

type about:config in your address bar and change the value of browser.cache.memory.enable to false
this will dramatically reduce the memory usage in Firefox for those long browsing sessions but with a small hit to the speed of back/forwards functionality

Re:Mayby they can send them to (5, Insightful)

emaname (1014225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067492)

...to the GIMP project. PLEASE send them to the GIMP project. I'm begging you.

Smart move (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066648)

Although Firefox/thunderbird aren't the worst offenders of UI hell, this is a pretty good plan.
Let the devs of mozilla stick with good/safe/functional software, and let 'specialists' take care of the UI.

robbIE should hire somebody (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066654)

'course he knows why he must continue to impose his patentdead PosBlock easy censorship devise inyourface 'format' on us? better days ahead? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:robbIE should hire somebody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066902)

yay! TheDailyWTF's amanfrommars has finally found /.

good (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066658)

firefox needs an UI facelift!

Re:good (5, Insightful)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066726)

firefox needs an UI facelift!

No it doesn't! More important than having a cool UI is adhering to current UI standards and doing things the way users expect them.

In most cases, great UI improvements are the incremental ones, not the revolutionary ones.

Firefox is already on the right track. Change it just for the sake of changing it would be bad.

Re:good (4, Insightful)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066904)

In most cases, great UI improvements are the incremental ones, not the revolutionary ones.

It is a gamble. Office and ribbon are a good example. The trasition from the current way of doing things to ribbon can be time consuming, however when you have transitioned it is an improvement. Is it worth the pain? tbd.

Re:good (4, Interesting)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067702)

Office and ribbon are a good example.

Actually Office 2007 is one of my pet peeves. Incidentally, Microsoft nowadays seems to be breaking all UI standards just for the sake of the change. For instance, you can see several rants on Vista's new Windows Explorer [technotheory.com] , IE7's lack of menu bar [greghughes.net] , and Office's infamous ribbon [zdnet.com.au] .

Funnily enough, sometime ago, the excuse not to adopt non-MS technology was that the interface doesn't follow Windows guidelines, it doesn't integrate with Windows as well as Microsoft applications (this was always a complaint with Lotus Notes on a company I worked for).

Now, Microsoft is making this problem irrelevant, since their own software doesn't follow Windows guidelines anymore. Heck, not even the different families of Windows apps are not consistent. If you see Office, IE, Messenger, WMP, it looks like each one of them was made by a completely different software vendor.

Re:good (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067760)

Now, Microsoft is making this problem irrelevant, since their own software doesn't follow Windows guidelines anymore
MS has been doing this for years. Either Office 95 or Office 97 (and later versions) skipped the standard file dialog boxes (open, save, etc.) and implemented its own version of it.

Re:good (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067228)

There's good reason to change its Linux interface. On my small monitor there's not much of the Firefox screen that's devoted to the page being viewed.

I still like it better than konqueror though.

Re:good (1)

EgoWumpus (638704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067328)

No it doesn't! More important than having a cool UI is adhering to current UI standards and doing things the way users expect them.

Doing things the way the user expects is good UI. But finding the 'intuitive' interface is not always as straightforward as it seems - and often isn't the 'orderly' layout.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067476)

What Firefox needs most is the ability to select multiple stories from their RSS feed live bookmark dropdowns, say with ctrl-click while the drop-down stays in place, then open them all at once in different tabs. You know, just like ctrl-click selects additional files in Windows Explorer without opening them. Perhaps this can be these guys' first assignment. Right now it's left-click the RSS feed drop-down, middle-click for new tab, left-click drop-down, middle-click for new tab, over and over. Or is there a way to do this I'm unaware of? (And I don't mean middle-click on the live bookmark to open all zillion stories at once, only the few that I want to see.)

Re:good (2, Interesting)

Kram_Gunderson (1053068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067626)

No it doesn't! More important than having a cool UI is adhering to current UI standards and doing things the way users expect them.
Exactly. One of the (several) reasons I can't stand using Internet Explorer 7 is the 'new and improved' UI that puts the stop and refresh buttons on the right side of the address bar. I'm not sure what drove that decision, but I am continually mousing over to the left side of the address bar (where they are on every other browser). I wish I could just not use it, but unfortunately web design/development requires testing in IE7, and a lot of page refreshes as things are tweaked.

Re:good (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067672)

However, firefox is themeable... Hopefully whatever new UI they come up with can be replaced with the standard theme if the new one is too horrendous...

Re:good (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067010)

firefox needs an UI facelift!

If they do, keep that center button with tabs functionality. Addictive super addition to FireFox and I love that feature. IE users don't know what they are missing, unless of course M$ added it to IE7? Been so long since I used IE I don't know where they are at any more.

Maybe if they can convince the interface... (0, Redundant)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066662)

...to use a little bit less RAM, things would be dandy.
Also, does anyone else experience lag when switching tabs? I've noticed that with some gtk2 engines that tab switching time goes up significantly, specifically murrine. Even with a basic theme I get a little bit of lag on my core2duo system with 4GB RAM, its very strange (and frustrating, I can't stand the little bits of lag between switching tabs).

Ka-ching! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066678)

The lesson here is that to make progress sometimes you have to pay people.

Can't touch this! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066692)

Hammertime! [thepounder.com]

User Interface of the Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066698)

Check out heir User Interface of the Day blog entries:
http://www.humanized.com/weblog/ [humanized.com]

Re:User Interface of the Day (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067134)

That's an awesome site!

500 - Internal Server Error

What is wrong with the FF UI? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066704)

What is wrong with the FF UI. Its clean, not cluttered and readable. Its soooooo much better than Microsofts IE. (This is coming from someone that prefers MS to Linux/apple)

Re:What is wrong with the FF UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066954)

What is wrong with the FF UI. Its clean, not cluttered and readable. Its soooooo much better than Microsofts IE. (This is coming from someone that prefers MS to Linux/apple)
My largest complaint about Firefox is that it looks and feels out of place on every platform. I use Linux (Ubuntu/CentOS), Mac OS X (Leopard), and Windows (XP/Vista) daily and it sticks out badly on all of them. It irritates me to no end when using Gnome and OS X.

Re:What is wrong with the FF UI? (1)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067524)

You'll appreciate Firefox 3 when it's released then, because it now integrates with the UI on each platform [mozilla.com] , and it does it pretty darn well as far as I'm concerned. I'm using 3b3pre under GNOME and it even uses the icons from the current theme. It's pretty schmick.

Re:What is wrong with the FF UI? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067804)

Well, I think the UI for controlling scripting and cookies could use some serious work, see sig.

I don't want innovative, give me easy, familiar .. (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066732)

... and intuitive any day.

It really hacks me off when someone changes a UI (or goods on supermarket shelves, for that matter) just for the sake of doing something new.

What we need are some standards here. Preferable just one, so people stick to it.

Re:I don't want innovative, give me easy, familiar (5, Insightful)

hausrath (757099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066880)

But here's the thing... The statement they're making by doing this is that they think the interface they have isn't satisfactory - isn't intuitive enough. Hiring these people says that they recognize that improvements can be made in the UI which will make firefox more intuitive and easy to use. If that comes at the expense of some (quickly forgotten) sense of familiarity, so be it.

Re:I don't want innovative, give me easy, familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066940)

some people like to move forward instead of standing still

Re:I don't want innovative, give me easy, familiar (1)

Filmcell-Keyrings (973083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067022)

They move stuff about at the supermarket to make you look around more, with the aim of making you buy more stuff. But I agree, it is annoying

Re:I don't want innovative, give me easy, familiar (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067114)

They get it; BLACK on WHITE; 500 - Internal Server Error

OT: groceries (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067236)

They did that at my local market, under the guise of "standardizing across the chain".

Of course, nobody can find anything any more, and the reordering is not logical (some of the frozen organics are in the freezer section, others have been moved next to the veggies, etc...).

It's been 6 months now, and as you walk the aisles when you shop, you still hear people complaining that they can't find a damn thing.

Re:OT: groceries (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067388)

Sounds like someone has been using the islike operator [informit.com] a bit too freely.

UI Experts??? (1, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066752)

How are these guys UI experts? They made the Universal flaw of placing their entire nav at the bottom of their site rather than breaking it up. You have to scroll to the bottom of the page each time you want to see the entire NAV!!! How is that an EXPERT decision? Imagine if Firefox were designed that way?

Re:UI Experts??? (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066858)

What is worse is that I can't even use their site. The pages are just taking so long to load... Hang on. It is worth the load times just to see their haircuts. And Mozilla is getting these guys to do UI!

Re:UI Experts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066862)

And you can't even open the Title-links in tabs on their page as they are embedded objects.

Re:UI Experts??? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066870)

No, they put the SITE MAP at the bottom of each page. The main nav is the navbar at the top of the page. Would you be making the same complaint if they had just made the site map a separate page like most sites do?

Re:UI Experts??? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067016)

Yes and it's a known fact that you don't dictate to the usr how they need to navigate; you have functional redundancy and easy to find nav.. including easy to find SITEMAP. I would have never looked here and found it by pure chance when looking all over for contact info. They guys are horrible.

Somple nav is one thing. Thats an obvious feature. Bt forcing ONE way to navigate, your way, isn't necessarily the best way. Users often want other ways to navigate, to link ideas and concepts. Rather than going to an 'edit page' to access editing functions, they may want to first access a 'view page' and then access edit functions from there. Several ways to navigate to the same place... not one. And all intuitive and easy to find.

Re:UI Experts??? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067084)

Is there a contact page where you could ask them for more question marks and caps so it would be more intuitive for you?

Re:UI Experts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067116)

You wouldn't have thought to look at the "About" page to find contact info? You're just bitching to hear yourself bitch. Grow up.

Re:UI Experts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067132)

Your example got pwnt so now just disappear until the next article like any rational troll.

Re:UI Experts??? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067194)

Heh... someone from Humanize got their feelings hurt. Next time learn to design an interface

Re:UI Experts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066920)

How are these guys UI experts? They made the Universal flaw of placing their entire nav at the bottom of their site rather than breaking it up. You have to scroll to the bottom of the page each time you want to see the entire NAV!!! How is that an EXPERT decision? Imagine if Firefox were designed that way?
Hey, it's so good we won't be able to understand it for a few more years;-)

Who would have thought to use "500 - Internal Server Error" as a theme?

Re:UI Experts??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066930)

If it makes you feel better they've been /.ed

Re:UI Experts??? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067434)

Reminds me of Web Vastu [webvastu.com]

Go, go (1)

Suicidal Gir (939232) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066774)

Gadgetmobile!

Just try to think of something else when looking at those screenshots [humanized.com] .

learning curves (4, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066854)

The Humanized website is an interesting read. While they do make valid points, they seem to fall into the "dummies" culture. Why does everything today has to be "for dummies" or in "24 hour"? What's wrong with learning curves? Learning curves exist for a reason... they're not here to make user's life miserable but simply because an interface that you learn can be more effective in the future. Of course, just because it's hard doesn't mean it's powerful. It is possible to build an unintuitive AND uneffective interface, but I think it is not always possible to be both intuitive and effective. On the humanized website, they seem to solely focus on the former : why is that? I think we are in fact facing a wide cultural problem of high time preference... before are not willing to spend a few minutes reading a manual or a few days getting use to a device, even if it can save them days later. For example, my mother works with computers all day and hunt and pecks at 20WPM. When I told her to spend some time learning to touchtype, she claim she didn't have time. Same story when I was in college, watching people spend hours writing formulas in word because it took too much time to learn LaTeX.

Back to interfaces. If what I describe is indeed a cultural phenomenom, then the guys at humanized are right, they are merely reflecting market demand for simplicity versus efficience, but this is in itself a sad thing. I think they do not emphasize the possibility of satisfying different kind of customers by providing optional advanced options.

Re:learning curves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066988)

I think we are in fact facing a wide cultural problem of high time preference... before are not willing to spend a few minutes reading a manual or a few days getting use to a device, even if it can save them days later. For example, my mother works with computers all day and hunt and pecks at 20WPM. When I told her to spend some time learning to touchtype, she claim she didn't have time.

Dude! I think your mom is a dude.

Bummer.

Re:learning curves (5, Informative)

Unordained (262962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067150)

http://www.mit.edu/~jtidwell/language/sovereign_posture.html [mit.edu] from a collection of HCI design patterns at http://www.mit.edu/~jtidwell/interaction_patterns.html [mit.edu] ; I think J. Tidwell has since moved on to http://designinginterfaces.com/Introduction [designinginterfaces.com] however, and in restructuring her thinking items like 'Sovereign Posture' seemed to lose their place. The new site seems to be more about layout than 'modes' or 'purposes' of use.

'Sovereign Posture' refers to the situation where an interface may be complex, and is designed for the 'expert user', but that's okay -- anyone using it already intends to become an expert and is willing to take the time needed to do so, so long as they know the reward will be a faster/more-expressive work environment. The idea is that sometimes it's not worth it to create a 'dummy' version of your software. It makes some sense for 'winzip', but not for 'word'.

Re:learning curves (3, Informative)

Krinsath (1048838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067204)

On the flip side of that coin, people who go through learning curves then become more resistant to an interface change (such as a new program, or an upgrade like Office 2007) due to the perceived time investment they put into the current one. "I spent six months learning how to get this one to work! I don't want to learn a new one!" is a fairly common human attitude. Using a basic, intuitive interface for basic tasks means that if you need to switch to another program with another basic interface you get less inertia with people to the change and less "shift downtime" while people adjust.

From a business perspective, such things are highly desirable as you can keep technology up to date while not negatively impacting worker productivity with having to learn something that isn't really their job. They hired an accountant to do accounting, not work an email program and every minute/hour/day/month he has to spend learning a new interface is money that's been lost from the reason he's there. Accounting is his job, not email...even if email is tightly integrated into the communications about his job it's not their primary function. So from an efficiency standpoint you'd want a simpler interface that can be learned quickly and easily.

Now, for more advanced work (such as the financial system that accountant would use as part of their core job) there's a strong case that a learning curve and it's boosts to productivity on complex tasks outweighs possible issues with later changes, but I can't think of a product that Mozilla makes that I'd put into the "advanced work" category. They seem to make apps for fairly basic tasks.

So basically (horrid pun intended), when the work is what people get hired to do, the interface should be powerful at the cost of simplicity. When it's an incidental task that will be performed in the execution of their main job, I'd say a simpler interface should simple, even if not as powerful, at least by default.

Re:learning curves (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067362)

What's wrong with learning curves?

What's wrong with having a needle stuck in your ass? Yes, sometimes the doctor needs to give you a shot of something or other but if he gives you the choice between an oral antibiotic and a big needle in the ass, which are you going to choose?

If you have two things that perform the same functions, and one has a steep learning curve and the other doesn't, the one without a learning curve is the best one. Just like a pill beats a shot any day.

Yes, like a needle in the ass, sometmes a steep learning curve is necessary. But it should never be wanted. Even if your tool is complex, if your IU has a steep learning curve you've failed at designing the UI.

Take Heed Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22066916)

Maybe Slashdot should hire a few of those as well. "Retrieve more replys" Come on!

Re:Take Heed Slashdot! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067446)

Maybe Slashdot should hire a few of those as well. "Retrieve more replys" Come on!

I like the way the Firehose links move right when I'm trying to click one. Great job, guys!

Where does Mozilla get its money? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066972)

i'm just wondering whose pumping money into them? google, ibm?

Re:Where does Mozilla get its money? (2, Informative)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067086)

Quite a bit of it comes from Google [internetnews.com] every time you use the integrated Google search bar.

Re:Where does Mozilla get its money? (1)

heyguy (981995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067276)

They get a piece of Google's cut when you use the search bar in Firefox and buy something. I think Firefox made $70+ million last year (or that might have been 2006).

Uh oh, Opera here I come (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067052)

This doesn't look good AT ALL.

"small software company that is known for its considerable usability expertise and innovative user interface design. The Humanized developers will be working at Mozilla Labs on Firefox and innovative new projects."

I hope I'm wrong, but "innovative" and "user interface" in the same sentence are sometimes good, but rarely. I'm thinking of innovations like Microsoft's not showing all menu items, or web 2.0 innovations that move the fucking link when you try to click (ala the firehose, please redesign that travesty, I have to use IE at work!)

OTOH there are good UI innovations, like the circular menu that nobody's used. Fingers crossed, at least they have no monopoly and if Firefox starts sucking I can go elsewhere.

-mcgrew

Slashdot UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067080)


Given the change from yesterday's UI for slashdot, Slashdot has about 1 more week before it closes.

The problem wiht usability experts (1, Redundant)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067092)

The problem wiht usability experts is that they would never come up with vi. That's because it's complex, hard to learn and impossible for beginners to quit (never mind learn) without a cheat sheet. But get past that (and some of us do) and there is an incredibly powerful editor which becomes easier and easier to use as one learns. Many of us vi fanatics find everything else hard to use by comparison.

But because of that a UI expert would never come up with it. Is this a big problem? I dunno.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (2, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067162)

Powerful and easy to learn do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067432)

Agreed. In vi you have to learn a lot to use it but its powerful
Notepad is straightforward but limited
JEdit is easy to use if you only need to do simple things, but the power is available for those who need it.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067188)

The thing is, I don't think Firefox is targeting the same people as Vi. So thats definately not an issue here.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (2, Insightful)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067344)

The problem wiht(sic) usability experts is that they would never come up with vi. That's because it's complex, hard to learn and impossible for beginners to quit (never mind learn) without a cheat sheet.

I agree that a UI expert isn't going to come up with Vi in its current format, but I think you're equating a complex interface with a complex/powerful program. Ideally what would happen is that the programmer comes up with Vi then passes it to a UI expert who then passes it to an art department.

The fact that Vi is 'impossible for beginners to quit...without a cheat sheet' suggests not that it's a vindication of keeping UI experts away, but instead that a UI expert should've been consulted at some point.

Easy-to-use doesn't necessarily equate to simplistic or a minimal feature-set. Though sometimes it does, of course. But mostly in those circumstances it's because the shiny-UI came before the feature-set.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067478)

You probably also wouldn't get something like vi today at all. The development of the vi interface was due to the constraints of the systems of the 70s. Those same constraints generally don't exist in modern systems today. For instance, the H, J, K, and L keys would never have been used for navigation if keyboards were developed with arrow keys.

Re:The problem wiht usability experts (4, Insightful)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067688)

You're missing the point altogether behind usability. An interface should be intuitive such that someone who has never worked with a computer in their life can walk up and understand what they're doing after a limited amount of time. Vi may be powerful, and I'm sure you'll get modded up on a place like Slashdot for mentioning it. But when I walk up to a terminal using it, what do I do? what are the conventions in place? How does it relate to anything in the real world? Bottom line is that it doesn't meet any of the criteria behind usability. As much as it pains me to say this, Microsoft Word is more powerful than Vi in terms of usability. You push a letter and it shows up on the screen.

Simplicity. (3, Funny)

edgarhz (732153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067130)

From the article: His design philosophy extends from the belief that the best kind of interface is no interface at all.

From the site [humanized.com] : 500 - Internal Server Error

Nice proposal.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22067142)

The website cannot display the page HTTP 500 Most likely causes: The website is under maintenance. The website has a programming error. GJ SLASHDOT U RECKED EM UP

New company name (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067146)

The should rename their company to "Slashdotted"

Firefox doesn't need a team of UI engineers.... (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067218)

When they're done with Firefox, could they spare a few guys to work on OpenOffice, The GIMP, and Blender? Those projects seem more in the need of a UI overhaul than Firefox does.

(But still, I'm excited to see that some of the "big" open-source projects are taking UI design seriously. Huzzah!)

Re:Firefox doesn't need a team of UI engineers.... (2, Insightful)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067442)

Blender's interface is designed for ARTISTS who use the program - try again. It's an incredibly fast UI - there IS a learning curve, however.

I've been blending for years, and it just gets out of your way, and lets you get to work.

I get sick of people crapping on Blender - I use it instead of, you know, those other programs you have to pay money for? Those ones that I had no problem paying for before?

Seriously, I use it instead of 3DS/Maya.

Firefox is fine... (2, Insightful)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067220)

...someone fix the GIMP!

Re:Firefox is fine... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067576)

Mabe Mozilla could lend some of these guys time to the GIMP??

After all, they use the GIMP toolkit.

Re:Firefox is fine... (2, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067624)

Amen.

I'm proficient in GIMP and don't know photoshop. I even like GIMP. I use it often. And I still think its UI is horrible.

It could be worse (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067384)

They could have hired the guys responsible for the EMACS UI to redo the UI.

Leaks? (1)

stu42j (304634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067402)

What leaks?
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