May 27, 2006

GUI vs. console

Is the Console next Desktop?:
For professions that require loads of data-entry, such as bookkeepping, income tax, retail... console-based applications still provide more user performance than any visual design.

This is the second para in the first comment posted. I can't agree more. Time and time again I am seeing that good GUI metaphors are extremely hard to come up with. Designing an intuitive GUI, even if you've got a whole bunch of guidelines is not easy at all, for better or for worse you do end up making numerous exceptions to rules you came up with yourself.

At work we have recently replaced an old console-based back-office application with a new one with a GUI. Operations productivity has dropped. This was not only a result of an unfamiliar interface (this certainly is impacting performance). Even once users have managed to come to grips with new interface, they were still spending more time than before on processing transactions. And that's despite the fact that there was more information on a single screen...

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