Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Bad Ergonomics: Search. Not Clear Search!

Bad Ergonomics: Search. Not Clear Search!
[人因工程 ]

Bad Ergonomics: Search. Not Clear Search!

After entering "conference" you expect an "Enter" or "Search!" button to the right (orange arrow). But that is not what you are going to find.

Submitted by Dick de Waard

Editor's Comments:

The above is an example of ergonomic design -- I should say NONergonomic design -- that categorically does not involve touch, for the simple reason that the MMI (Man Machine Interface) is a 2-D virtual menu with no physical mass. The onscreen menu has no physical buttons, only virtual buttons. It is literally impossible to touch them, no matter how hard one might try.

Please note that even if the screen were an interactive touch screen, one would not actually be touching a button, merely the screen onto which the image of a button had been projected. What's the point of all this? Merely to underscore the fact that with so much of our work and play being conducted in cyberspace, what might be termed "virtual ergonomics" or perhaps "cybernomics" is becoming more and more relevant.

Isn't it bad enough that inadequate attention has been paid to ergonomics in physical space? The last thing we need is to replicate the same mistakes in cyberspace. Ergonomic interfaces in cyberspace involve zero manufacturing costs. We are talking about GUIs here folks. Graphic User Interfaces. No physical mass involved. What possible excuse can we make for lousy ergonomics in an onscreen Windows menu? That a more ergonomic interface "would have cost more to manufacture?"

-- Bevin Chu

Explanation: Bad Ergonomics: Search. Not Clear Search!
Illustration: Search. Not Clear Search!
Author: Dick de Waard
Affiliation: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter
Source: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hfesec/index.htm
Publication Date: 1998-1999
Original Language: English
Editor: Bevin Chu, Registered Architect

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