Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

19

No, users are not stupid, it's usually the designers that are. A good UI requires a solid understanding of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) concepts, which range from understanding the target audience, to cognitive load theory. You might be able to get away with "idiot proof", since it's a cliché. Personally I'd avoid painting the users with a broad brush, ...


17

There is indeed such a term. Phil Farrand of The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Trek called this "being the cabbagehead." Certain information had to be revealed to the audience, but it was information which the characters would reasonably already know. So the writers picked someone in the room to be the "cabbagehead," meaning someone developed the I.Q. of a ...


15

"Pantsing" refers to simply writing a story without much, if any, preparation or pre-writing -- just writing down whatever comes to you, and letting the story go (and wander) wherever it feels like at the moment you're writing it down. As for etymology, I'm not sure where it comes from. In general, "pantsing" refers to a prank in which you pull someone's ...


14

My preference would lean toward no capitalization at all. Definitely not differing caps throughout the book. In fact, I wouldn't hyphenate it. To treat a new word as a normally used word gives a valuable feel of reality to the object. Isaac Asimov used this technique in his sci-fi Foundation series, and it lent credibility to the world he created. Of ...


13

Stephen King, by my understanding, was a discovery writer. I will paraphrase what he wrote in his book On Writing. You create some real, believable characters, put them in a challenging situation, and then let them decide where the book would go. If you have done enough work on character development, then your characters should be able to decide how they ...


11

It is one of the things that irritates me, the fact that users are so often considered "dumb". They are not. In many cases, they are more intelligent that the designers, it just may be that their skills are different. It is better to say that the users are not familiar with the technical issues involved. Or that the best UX solution is to make the front end ...


10

Isn't one of the non-Rowling definitions of "squib" "a firecracker which doesn't explode"? So Rowling took something which means "has potential or is expected to do something, and fails to deliver," and used it for slang in a very appropriate way. As I've said elsewhere, copy the work ethic, not the end result. Find or invent some other term which implies ...


9

There's a problem here: Saying something like, "users are stupid," makes you look ignorant. As other have said, the fault isn't always with the user; sometimes, a product is poorly designed. And, even though some users will search frantically for the "ANY" key, many other users are proficient, not dumb. I realize you mean the statement tongue-in-cheek, but ...


8

According to the tvtropes entry for The Watson, The Watson is the character whose job it is to ask the same questions the audience must be asking and let other characters explain what's going on. A sidekick sometimes acts in this role. According to wikipedia, Sidekicks can provide one or multiple functions, such as a counterpoint to the hero, an ...


7

Nothing to do with intelligence I would instead write something like this. You should try to make it obvious how to use your app, recognizing that it is there to serve the user. Imagine a brain surgeon trying to use Skype to consult with a colleague. This user has limited time and attention. She does not want to spend 30 seconds figuring out ...


6

No, it's not okay. Why not simply give your advice as something to make an app great because its visual appeal and intuitiveness make it easy to use? As someone with some recent experience in an HCI/UI design group, as well as lifelong experience as a user of technology, I think it is the developer's job to make a great UI so the user can spend less time ...


5

I sympathize with the sentiment, but no, you can't use "black humor" and "shop talk" in a book like that. Such comments have to be kept in-house and preferably not written down. We all complain about horrible clients and idiots at the DMV and so on, but you shouldn't actually codify that into written advice. Users as a group are too diverse to call them all ...


5

Short answer: No. For better or for worse, writers that need fact checking generally do their own research (or ask a friend). This may have to do with the fact that writers don't like "outsiders" meddling in the creative process. But...people who have access to a unique cultural context or deep understanding in a specific area of knowledge often have ...


5

The definitions for this term will vary wildly. I would say if you have not plotted out your story (which happens in which chapter and why) before you start writing it down, then you are a discovery writer. The most extreme: You have a vague idea, grab your pen/keyboard and start writing your novel. That's what I would suggest to a bloody beginner to gain ...


5

A "draft" is one complete pass-through of writing a piece (an article, blog post, short story, novella, novel, etc.). Your "first draft" is generally considered the first time you commit the entire thing to paper (or pixels), from beginning to end. After that, you can measure subsequent drafts or rounds however you like. It's reasonable to divide them as ...


4

Users are not dumb; they are busy, and their attention is on things other than using your software.


4

I don't think calling users as a general group stupid is appropriate in a development book. It would be appropriate in places where developers or customer-service reps vent to each other and try to top each other's "who's had to help the biggest idiot?" stories. It's also not really relevant to the point you're making. Users might have any number of ...


4

The term is metadiscourse, or communication about the communication. Sometimes they help guide the reader through a complex line of reasoning. Sometimes they add emphasis or rhythm. Sometimes they're just noise. "Use them liberally" (from your other post) seems like coarse advice, perhaps useful until students can distinguish for themselves whether the text ...


4

Expounding on John Smithers's excellent answer: I would say if you have not plotted out your story (which happens in which chapter and why) before you start writing it down, then you are a discovery writer....But normally you are likely to get consistency problems (and other issues). Yes, and I would take this definition even a step further: if you have ...


4

I would see these as transitions, bits which help move the reader smoothly from one thought (spread over one or several paragraphs) to the next. I think presenting it that way will give your students a clear reason whether to use this literary tool: Am I introducing a new thought? Am I wrapping up the previous thought? If not, then remove the phrase.


4

The method of laying out ideas in the form of a dialogue where both speakers are written by one author is called dialectic. It has its roots in philosophy and has wide application. What you're describing sounds like a very poor example of this technique. It uses the form of the dialectic method, but the content is more akin to the FAQ on a commercial ...


3

Wiki offers a long list of literary terms. The University of Toronto offers a glossary of poetic terms. Cengage Learning offer this quite broad list.


3

You can cheat around it by just changing the words, but, really, you're still borrowing pretty heavily from someone else's universe just by using the concepts. Are they absolutely necessary? Is there some way you could come up with your own unique (or at least, somewhat less derivative) ideas of magic? I'm not commenting on the legality or even the ...


3

A discovery writer is someone who begins writing with little or no idea of where the story will end up. An alternate term is "pantser," referring to someone who writes "by the seat of their pants."


3

As the comments to your questions mention, there is no preferred way, only maybe a preferred way in your field. Let me sum up a few alternatives: First, the style you are already using (but do not like): But because local lighting models do not consider other scene geometry, it's not possible to directly model the effect of light bouncing from one ...


3

It's completely your decision, and the decision you make will help contribute to your writing style (which is why some writers are successful and some are not). So, therefore, you're asking for an opinion on writing styles and what decision we would make. Mine is that you don't resort to this approach of establishing a light-hearted way of making the point ...


3

I would say that yes, it is acceptable. Obviously it's an oversimplification, and the average user of any particular Android app will be approximately as intelligent as the average human being. However, if you don't feel that you need to go into the rationale behind Don't Make Me Think simple design philosophies, then you may find "users are stupid" to be an ...


3

Well it is clearly an insult. So, if your book is supposed to have users as a target group, then it might not be wise to insult them. Also, to conclude from someone's trouble finding an icon somewhere (or similar struggles) that this person would be stupid... well, this does not make you look so bright either (if I may say so.). You could, however, make ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible