Re: [NTLK] Improving the pen interface...

Date: Fri Nov 12 2004 - 05:03:12 PST

While I agree strongly that machines should adapt to people, I would claim
that there is more to it than that. I, for one, wasn't born with the skill
to use either a pen or a QWERTY keyboard. I have acquired these skills. If I
find a new skill that is advantageous for me to learn, then I invest in
learning that skill.
In deciding what is "advantageous" I would obviously consider the benefits
(e.g. text entry speed) and the costs (e.g. training time and initial
decrease in "productivity"). This means that a new tool which requires a new
skill is better if I can use it immediately and learn while using it.
I don't claim that SHARK is a good thing. I won't venture an opinion until
I've really tried it out. It does look, though, that the designers have
tried to factor in productivity during training. Whether it works or not
remains to be seen.
From my perspective, I welcome all efforts in trying to design new ways of
transferring my thoughts to an external medium. Computers have loads more
processing power than my pen and my old Rheinmetall typewriter, so why
shouldn't they be able to help me better than either the pen or the
typewriter? I expect most of these efforts to be unpractical, but if we pick
out the interesting points of each and build on, then we will possibly end
up with something very usable: easier than the pen, faster than the keyboard
and as accurate as we want it.
Mikael Palmblad
Business Analysis Lead
Development IS
AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal

Ed Kummel wrote:

This is one of the most stupid, idiotic pen entry
systems I have ever seen. Not only do you have to
relearn a new keyboard layout (ok, I know it's not a
keyboard in the true sense of the word, but it's a
foreign layout that will require extensive learning)
but they will need to modify their writing to adapt to
the gestures needed to create a word.
I use a regular keyboard, and I use a pen/pencil at my
job...I find it more difficult to switch the thought
process from even a normal keyboard to a "Natural"
keyboard...I can't even imagine having to completly
rethink the layout of this archaic letter
I watched the demo and even at the demo's fastest
scrawling, my handwriting is still faster and more
accruate...and this is key...more intuitive!
Everyone here on this list knows my take on forcing
the modification of the person to adapt to the's wrong and takes technology in the wrong
direction...people shouldn't adapt to machines,
machines should adapt to people...and ANYTHING that
doesn't follow this simple constraint, is inherrantly
web/gadget guru

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