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

From: Ed Kummel (
Date: Fri Nov 12 2004 - 14:58:01 PST

There are certain tasks in this world that are almost
universal in their implementation. Whether these tasks
are learned or natural, it is important to note that
the majority of the population will have some idea as
to how to perform them.
Good technology should recognize this and build from
these already learned or natural implementations and
utilize them to their fullest extent.
A good example is animal trainers. Trainers observe an
animal and watches to see what the animal does
naturally. Then determines how thia natural behaviour
can be used and rewards the animal for repeating this
behaviour in order to film a scene in a movie or a
commercial. While it is possible to train an animal to
perform a task that is unnatural, it will not do so
reliably. Therefor it is easier, and smarter to use
the animals natural behaviour. In this way, the animal
isn't stressed and the trainer gets a satisified
client and everybody goes away happy.
In humans, it's not so much different. Granted,
behaviour rarely dictates human interfaces, but
recognizing an already learned task, and building on
it, is easier and less stressful to the user than
learning a new task that may be more efficient, yet
may not be as reliable in it's implementation due to
the fact that the user will need to switch back to
it's default learned task at some point in the future.
The chance for a mistake or failure is greater when
the user must consciously remember which learned task
he/she is using to perform the exact same task. This
is clearly evidenced by looking at students entering a
classroom. The vast majority of students will remain
in the seats they chose on the first day of the school
year for the remainder of the school year. And most
students will select the same location of that seat in
other classrooms that are similarly configured. Why?
Becuase it's easier to remember one thing then
many...and the possibility of making a mistake is
lessened if you don't have to think of what you're
Identify the pattern and build on it to make the use
more efficient...simple...I'm a firm believer in
web/gadget guru (download Newton packages)

--- Abraham Limpo Martínez <> wrote:

> There's no machine that doesn't you make learn a new
> input way. Even the
> My point is: don't dismiss a new tecnology that can
> be lead to great
> improvement in the future. People did with the OMP
> and look at us!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Scott C. Gregory"
> <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 9:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [NTLK] Improving the pen interface...
> > <gripe mode on>
> > Ok once again here comes another damn company
> spouting that "User-HAS-to
> > re-learn" is the way to do things. Why is it that
> with todays
> > technology that has the capability of walking all
> over our Little Green
> > Friends, companies still insist of this archaic
> system of pen entry. It
> > should always be a system learns your style, not
> the other way round.
> >
> > I feel safe i knowing that my newt will be by my
> side for many more
> > years to come. I take great delight in being a
> show off at work with my
> > newt, entering complete rosters and notes in the
> time it takes all the
> > other techno geeks to scratch, scribble,
> hunt'n'peck just one days
> meeting.
> >
> > Maybe if apple isn't going to revive the newt,
> it's time they started
> > licensing Rosetta as an addon package for Tablet
> PCs. Would be huge
> > $$$'s in that.
> >
> > My message to these companies:
> >
> > "There's the door - Use it! Don't let it hit you
> in the butt on the way
> > out!"
> > <gripe mode off>
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Scott

"I'm not an expert, but I *did* stay at a Holiday Inn Express once..."
     --Holiday Inn Commercial

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