Tuesday, January 09, 2007

$100 Laptop UI - Another Fan

I was pleased to see that Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood pretty much shared my same views about the $100 Laptop UI, code named Sugar. He even went as far as downloading an emulator and running it, so check out his thoughts for more details that I provided.

As Jeff says:

I've been disappointed in the lack of GUI innovation over the last decade. Sure, Microsoft and Apple take small jabs at each other every couple of years. And the Linux community apes both companies, occasionally throwing in a curveball of their own. But when was the last time anyone tried a radically different UI on the desktop? The Sugar UI featured in the OLPC appears to finally break from the well worn conventions of Windows and MacOS.

I feel especially strong about this, as I tried yet again, to explain to a friend over the phone where stuff goes when you download it in Windows XP. The typical conversation goes like this this:

Did you check your desktop? Nope, not there, eh. Hmmm, How about My Documents? Ooh, a miss again. How about My Photos? My Media? My Music? Oh crap. Just try downloading it again, and read me exactly what's on the screen.

You'd think after all these years, and gobs and gobs of new and confused users, someone would have caught on that this whole folder metaphor just isn't intuitive. And simply slapping the phrase "My" in front of a folder does remarkably little to help matters.

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