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View Full Version : Real World UI's



codegoboom
01-18-2005, 03:44 PM
I hadn't considered tangible objects as being UI's, until reading this rather humorous article: The British School of User Interface (http://www.relisoft.com/Science/UI/index.htm)
no offense... ;)

tboss132
01-18-2005, 04:00 PM
LOL
The world's really becoming a small village. I say software engineers should start looking into applying their skills elswhere...

gsnedders
01-18-2005, 06:02 PM
Although it must be said that that is the fastest diesel train in the world, so, it's not all bad ;)

liorean
01-18-2005, 06:24 PM
Although it must be said that that is the fastest train in the world, so, it's nott all bad ;)Not quite the fastest in the world. The latest survey (2003, they're biennial so expect a new one this year) places UK in seventh place. Japan and France have had a steady first and second place since 1997 with quite a margin.

gsnedders
01-18-2005, 06:33 PM
Not quite the fastest in the world. The latest survey (2003, they're biennial so expect a new one this year) places UK in seventh place. Japan and France have had a steady first and second place since 1997 with quite a margin.

Hehe... My mistake, fastest diesel train in the world, a Japanese Maglev is the fastest overall, and the fastest railed (in other words not floating :p) is the TGV Atlantique, a record set in 1992, although a more modern TGV could go faster than the Japanese Maglev, you need a whole LGV (Line Grand Vitesse) to be clear, in other words, only after it has just opened, the problem is, none of the latest ones to open could be used for a high speed run, so, you'll have to wait till LGV Est opens before France rightly gets the record back.

brothercake
01-18-2005, 07:01 PM
FYI - the reason why traditional british trains don't have handles on the inside, is that according to the railway bye-laws, you're not supposed to open them yourself. You're supposed to call for a conductor to come and open it for you.

Until very recently, if you opened a train door yourself and fell out, hurting yourself, you had no liability claim against the railway company, because ... you're not supposed to open the door yourself.

But those trains don't appear much anymore - only on low-profit rural lines. Most trains have star trek swooshing doors now. If you get on a Virgin Pendolino (intercity, such as london to birmingham) they have a wireless network on them :)

We could have faster trains ... we have the trains, it's just the track hasn't been upgraded, and possibly never will be.

gsnedders
01-18-2005, 07:24 PM
But those trains don't appear much anymore - only on low-profit rural lines. Most trains have star trek swooshing doors now. If you get on a Virgin Pendolino (intercity, such as london to birmingham) they have a wireless network on them :)It's only Virgin with those nice new Pendeolinos, but they're electric unlike the HST in that photo, so a more sensible comparison would be the Voyager/Super Voyager, which have the engines under the floor, making them louder and less smooth, although the high quality seats make up for that... Those of us who live on the east coast, served by GNER, still have those as their diesel trains, going north of Edinburgh/Glasgow, although the difference is that we've got better track over here, which makes both about equal.

JamieR
01-18-2005, 07:38 PM
We could have faster trains ... we have the trains, it's just the track hasn't been upgraded, and possibly never will be.

Well with the state of Britain's railways, I can't see that they will ever be upgraded enough to run some of the world's fastest trains. :eek:

raf
01-18-2005, 08:03 PM
We could have faster trains ... we have the trains, it's just the track hasn't been upgraded, and possibly never will be.
Sounds like something our IT-department would say: "We made state of the art multimedia applications but the network can't handle the volumes"

gsnedders
01-18-2005, 08:32 PM
Well with the state of Britain's railways, I can't see that they will ever be upgraded enough to run some of the world's fastest trains. :eek:We run the fastest diesel in the world :P

JamieR
01-18-2005, 08:40 PM
We run the fastest diesel in the world :P

True - but the standard of maintainance on our railways is not as high as it should be. Remember what caused the Paddington Rail Crash? :p

brothercake
01-18-2005, 09:00 PM
I blame the tories ... but that's another story ;)

JamieR
01-18-2005, 09:48 PM
I blame the tories ... but that's another story ;)

don't we all :D

liorean
01-18-2005, 11:47 PM
Hmm, let's not get sidetracked into railroads and UK politics.

I remember encountering a site about replacing the "idiot-proof" UI concept with an overall "user-proof" UI concept, with a dozen real-life UI examples and even more programming examples. I can't seem to find it in my bookmarks or through Google, though. Anyway, it had nice examples of small things, like a digital camera with small ridges that made it natural to put your fingers in the right places; or with the example of how some jumpstart cables for cars had evolved. (I don't remember what brand, but it was absolutely impossible to connect in a way that might hurt the battery, unlike the regular red-and-black battery clamp jumpstart cables.) An example from the computer world was the autosaving of not-yet-saved files in such a way that the program at next startup would recover as much as possible of the file. (WordPerfect was that example)

These aren't things that proofs against the incompetent users (fool-proofing). These are the things that make it harder for the competent users to make mistakes.

codegoboom
01-19-2005, 02:15 AM
Ah, it seems we're discussing the field of Human Factors Design... :)


Human Factors (overview) (http://www.usernomics.com/human-factors.html)
Bad Human Factors Designs (http://www.baddesigns.com/examples.html):
A scrapbook of illustrated examples of things that are hard to use because they do not follow human factors principles.
Human Factors Design Standard (HFDS) (http://hf.tc.faa.gov/hfds/)

Horus Kol
01-19-2005, 09:38 AM
What about a fool-proof method to prevent you putting petrol into a diesel?

You can't put diesel into a petrol because the hose is bigger than the hole... I reckon they should try for square fittings or something...



Originally Posted by Error 404
It's only Virgin with those nice new Pendeolinos, but they're electric unlike the HST in that photo, so a more sensible comparison would be the Voyager/Super Voyager, which have the engines under the floor, making them louder and less smooth, although the high quality seats make up for that...

Pendolinos are electric? but the network is removing the electric pickups... surely you mean diesel-electric...

And First Great Western have the Adelante class now - which I find more comfortable than the Voyagers (I use either fairly regularly on my trips into London).


And we still get a good number of the old IC125 class diesels - all with door handles on the outside.


Anybody here remember the old "slam-doors" - they're still in use on the Waterloo line, and I always site as far away from the doors as possible when I travel on them - I'm afraid they'll swing open as the train hits its top speed of 10 mph....

chilipie
01-19-2005, 06:16 PM
Aargh, I'm surrounded by train nerds :p !

JamieR
01-19-2005, 06:44 PM
Aargh, I'm surrounded by train nerds :p !

heh..my dad likes trains - well steam trains. I just stick to Aircraft.....*ooh Airbus A380* :p

codegoboom
01-19-2005, 09:22 PM
Speaking of training ;), there's actually a UI column on MSDN called The Human Factor: published 1999-2001, fourteen articles which appear to be relevant today, in general, presented on an introductory level. There's no link to the column heading, so here's the list:

The Human Factor


Why Are Good User Interfaces So Hard to Make? Three Insights into Good Design (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/human8_1.asp)


Making Usable Products: An Informal Process for Good User Interfaces (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor8_2.asp)


The Essential Bookshelf for Good UI Design (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/humanfactor8_3.asp)


The Importance of Simplicity: Create Ease of Use Without Losing Power (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/humanfactor8_4.asp)


How To Avoid Foolish Consistency (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor8_5.asp)


The Power of the Usability Lab (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor8_6.asp)


UI That Kills: Swords, Craft, and User Interfaces (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_1.asp)


Why Good Design Comes from Bad Design (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_2.asp)


Fitts's UI Law Applied to the Web (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_3.asp)


The Web Shouldn't Be a Comedy of Errors (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_4.asp)


Why Great Technologies Don't Make Great Products (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_5.asp)


The Art of UI Prototyping (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor9_6.asp)


The Role of Flow in Web Design (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor10_1.asp)


Critical Thinking in Web and Interface Design (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnhfact/html/hfactor10_2.asp)

Basscyst
01-20-2005, 12:00 AM
Those articles were a great read. I especially liked this:



There are countless opportunities throughout a user's experience to provide great service. Watch someone using the key features of your Web site and ask yourself how it compares to the level of service you'd expect at a good store or restaurant. A good waiter knows when to interrupt you, when to leave you alone, and how to do it all in a courteous and respectful way. The closer your Web site or software quality comes to the levels of good service people get in their daily experiences, the closer you'll be to having a great product.


Basscyst

gsnedders
01-20-2005, 12:03 AM
What about a fool-proof method to prevent you putting petrol into a diesel?

You can't put diesel into a petrol because the hose is bigger than the hole... I reckon they should try for square fittings or something...



Pendolinos are electric? but the network is removing the electric pickups... surely you mean diesel-electric...

And First Great Western have the Adelante class now - which I find more comfortable than the Voyagers (I use either fairly regularly on my trips into London).


And we still get a good number of the old IC125 class diesels - all with door handles on the outside.


Anybody here remember the old "slam-doors" - they're still in use on the Waterloo line, and I always site as far away from the doors as possible when I travel on them - I'm afraid they'll swing open as the train hits its top speed of 10 mph....No, they are real electric trains, getting their power from the 25kV AC Cantery system, as for First Great Western, I can't comment, living up in Scotland, they're nowhere near me...

Slam-doors... Those slow horrid trains...



heh..my dad likes trains - well steam trains. I just stick to Aircraft.....*ooh Airbus A380* :p

I stick to trains and planes :D

JamieR
01-20-2005, 12:20 AM
No, they are real electric trains, getting their power from the 25kV AC Cantery system, as for First Great Western, I can't comment, living up in Scotland, they're nowhere near me...

Slam-doors... Those slow horrid trains...




I stick to trains and planes :D

Train's don't interest me much. However, one of my main interests aside from web development is aircraft. :cool:

Horus Kol
01-20-2005, 11:18 AM
Being an engineer by training, I am fascinated with any kind of machinery - modern trains are not that interesting to me, as they are all of the same mould nowadays (I don't understand train spotters who collect engine numbers - surely #3245 is the same as #8764?) - I'm interested in the classes more than the individuals - and steam trains were the best :)

Planes, too - although, again, I'm more of a vintage fan... Spitfire had to have been the best plane to fly (although, if I was in the RAF in 1940 I would have been happier in a Hurricane).
Still, the jet engine, and modern fighter aircraft are pretty cool - especially when you are sat in the Brecons near to a live drop zone watching tornado's drop clusterbombs :)




No, they are real electric trains, getting their power from the 25kV AC Cantery system, as for First Great Western, I can't comment, living up in Scotland, they're nowhere near me...

weird - I know that there is no electric from Birmingham to Paddington... Perhaps that is why Virgin are so keen for a new West Coast dedicated line for their trains...



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