Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The golden spoon application

I define the golden spoon application as the easiest and the simplest and the most seeming application to use.

I didn't yet seen an application like this. You have to click, click click, click click click, to achieve one task.

How many clicks you hear at your office in a single day?

Even I do this in the applications I write, its just in our nature as developers, (or maybe its the way Microsoft wants us to write programs with each release of a .NET framework).

I just place menus, sub menus, sub sub menu, Trees, Sub Nodes, Sub Sub Nodes, Sub Sub Sub Nodes. Lists, Sub Lists, Sub Sub Lists, Reports, Sub Reports, Sub Sub Reports.

Its just like I tell the user, click, click click, click click click! Yes just die lousy user.


Here is a quick comparison between some of the applications:

ESRI ArcMap

To Zoom in ArcMap

  1. Activate the Zoom tool by clicking on it.
  2. Click (and hold) on the Map and drag a Rectangle.
Google MapTo Zoom in Google Map

  1. Move the Navigation scroll up.
You will tell me that there are keyboard shortcuts to do so? Yes but the user doesn't know them nor see them.

Open System Preferences in Windows
  1. Go to Start
  2. Control Panel
  3. Click System
Open System Preferences in Mac
  1. Go to Apple
  2. About this machine.

I liked PragmaTech last post about the GUI Where he explains if GUI really make the applications easy to use or the DOS age was much better?

The problem with fewer clicks is that we have to place every single option in front of the user and that is yet another problem, users don't want to see everything. They get confused.

The Golden spoon application is a fantasy we want to reach. We want to reach this level where the user can just think of something and the application will feed it to him with a golden spoon.

Suggestion: The Spherical GUI
How about making an application interface like a sphere? place the options on that sphere, Simple and most used options are on the surface of the sphere. Advanced options are deep (require to zoom more into the sphere for them to appear)
The user will pan the sphere to look for options. When the user zooms to the sphere, advanced options start to appear (the concept of scaling).

This way we can squeeze huge number of options (very simple to search) in front of the users