October 30, 2002

Patterns for Teaching

The Anti-Mac Interface isn’t an anti-Apple page; it’s about challenging the classic Macintosh Interface Design Principles, upon which modern GUIs are based. The page raises all sorts of interesting issues, like:

  • Metaphors are too constraining in a digital environment
  • WYSIWYG tends to become WYSIAYG (What You See Is All You Get), in which functionality is limited to that which can be displayed on the screen
  • “Full user control” over the system usually translates into lots of direct manipulation which could otherwise be automated (see the innumerable Unix shell scripts which automate operations which must be performed manually in a GUI).
  • Distinct modes in software can be incredibly useful, and are quite natural to humans.

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