RE:Anybody agrees with me
- From: Mark Forster <mforster #*at*# nibsc.ac.uk>
- Organization: NIBSC
- Subject: RE:Anybody agrees with me
- Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 09:38:26 +0000
Dear Comp. Chemists
This raises a very important point about user interface design. There is, IMHO,
trade off to be made between simplicity (few features, easy to to understand,
at the novice user) and flexibility (lots of features, as many options as
aimed at the expert user).
If you want to name names, then I would agree that the insightII and Quanta,
for example, are quite complicated interfaces, but they are very comprehensive
codes that cover a wide range of application areas.
The idea that a standard GUI can be developed is neither feasible nor desirable.
Different codes are aimed at different markets and categories of users and
this can often determine how their GUI is designed. Even under a single
system and GUI paradigm, say Windows 9x, GUI design can vary widely.
The X windows system will not lead to any degree of standardisation. There
are many different window managers allowed even for one version of Unix.
Hence a more basic level of standardisation is needed for Unix before
unification of GUIs can even be considered.
This is not to say that a comprehensive software tool cannot have an intuitive
GUI, but achieving that balance needs careful design, and the designer
must be someone who understands the process of GUI design as well as
the area of science encapsulated by the code.
Horses for courses.
Dr Mark J Forster Ph.D.
National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
Blanche Lane, South Mimms,
Hertfordshire EN6 3QG, United Kingdom.
Tel +44 (0)1707 654753
FAX +44 (0)1707 646730
E-mail mforster #*at*# nibsc.ac.uk