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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] oXygen 9 beta with WYSIWYG-like editing supportforDocBook

David Nečas (Yeti) wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 07:32:47AM -0400, Elliotte Harold wrote:
>> 1. It is faster to see and choose than remember and type.
> You are confusing faster with easier for the novice or
> casual user.  Only the latter is important for gaining or
> losing market share.  (And since we are just casual users of
> most things we use, the result is predictable.  Hi, Dodo.)

No. I'm not. It's a common misconception that easier for the novice and 
  casual user also means harder for the expert. In fact that's rarely if 
ever true. Easier for the novice and  casual user is almost always 
easier for the expert too.

In the specific case of "remember and type" vs. "see and choose" the 
actual experimental results aren't even close. See and choose is 
dramatically faster for everyone.

>> 2. Fitt's Law,
> The additive constant in Fitt's Law is orders of magnitude
> different for the case you already hold the mouse and for the
> case you have both hands on the keyboard -- which occurs
> quite often in text edditing applications.  You can't just
> ignore this.

The experimental results are what they are, I'm afraid. (Most 
unfortunately the experimental results also prove that there's severe 
cognitive dissonance here: users always report they are faster using the 
keyboard and are always measured to be faster using the mouse. Why this 
dissonance exists seems to relate to short term vs. long term memory.)

There are a few cases one can contrive such as pasting the same line of 
text 20 times where the keyboard may indeed be faster. However these are 
relatively rare. Integrated over the tasks we actually perform most of 
the time, mousing to the menus is faster, even if your brain is 
screaming at you that the opposite is true. The brain lies. The 
stopwatch doesn't.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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