[JDEV] Jabber Client Design Tutorial

Michael Brown michael at aurora.gen.nz
Tue Sep 25 05:00:43 CDT 2001

> >Don't worry, I'm not going to flame - I agree with what you're
> >saying, but it's important to say why they (I suppose I should
> >use the word 'we') build clients that appear ugly to a lot of
> >people - I for one *hate* having to point and click and follow
> >cascading menus and have my screen cluttered by silly icons.
> >I much prefer to control an app with my main input device - my
> >keyboard - by a combination of keystrokes or whatever.
> How is this different from 'hotkeys'(like Alt <- for back on a browser, or
> Ctl-c to cut) that most(?) applications come with?
> >I'm not saying this to be obtuse - it's the truth (and why I use
> >mutt exclusively and still use sjabber on many conferences) and
> >any UI design that excludes this point of view runs the risk of
> >missing something fundamental.
> >
> >The group of people who feel most at home with a Unix command line
> >and all the tools that such an environment comes with (including
> >the ones with these 'ugly' UIs) may be a minority, but it's a damn
> >huge minority.
> However, what you raise here, is the bigger point of flexibility. Allowing
> 2/3/.. different ways to do the same thing may seem to be a bit of an
> overkill to most app developers and GUI designers, but it could well be
> criteria some end users use to say Yay or Nay to their client. Also, most
> users, given the option of say, either pointing and clicking or using
> hotkeys, will soon start using the one they prefer and are used to. But,
> this doesn't mean the client shdn't give them the choice to do that.
> Regards,
> Ragavan

Agreed 100%.  A point & click interface is essential for new users, but
keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) are what makes a client really usable for an
experienced user.


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