January 17, 2012

Finding Distinctions

While it won't generate as much press as Neilsen's review of the Kindle Fire, his article on generic vs overloaded commands is worth a read.

He gives several examples of overloaded commands including:
A final example of the risks from overloaded command is the swipe ambiguity we found in our iPad user testing. When the same command (a swipe gesture) has different outcomes, depending on exactly where and how the user swipes, confusion results, unless the distinctions are clearer than they were in the apps we tested.
It's very sensible in theory, but I suspect tricky at times to make the distinction in practice. (Partially because, if there isn't an industry standard, it will be hard not to confuse users. And an industry standard, of course, requires more than one app, one site or even one company.)

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