Colloquium at Stanford
The Unfinished Revolution


Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 16:28:12 +1100

From:   Jeff Miller


Subject:   User education

It was interesting to hear that it only took an hour to teach a user to use nls/augment to the point where they could go away and use the system by themselves. Why is it that people expect to be able to sit down in front of a computer and use it without leasons? They never question the number of hours spent learning to drive a car or the amount of money they spend on driving lessons.

While I agree computers, in general not in every case, should be easy to use. The potential power of the system should not be drained out of such a system in the name of usablity.

In any system we consider implementing we must have a gradient of usablity vs flexibility/power. There needs to be the commoners interface for day to day tasks and a set of tools that allow more flexible manipulation to be carried out on those tasks that are uncommon but necessary or where not thought of originally.



Jeff Miller