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Subject: Re: UKNM: impenetrable front ends
From: azeem azhar in la
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 00:29:03 +0100

Mo Matt's, Roberts comments.
The front end was pretty awful. I showed it to my mother (who had the ADSL connection) and she hated it, couldn't find anything and stuck to Yahoo! My mom, while being ahead of the curve for 60 year old women, is probably still a novice to comfortable beginner in her use.
I found exactly the same problem.
My bro-in-law who sits between me and my mom in terms of experience (can download and install applications, plays remote chess, knows what streaming is, could read much of Internet magazine without getting to confused) also loathed it.
What BT had managed to do was:
1. re-introduce delay into the user interface. The nice thing about ADSL is high-bandwidth, but alsso much lower latency in hops than you see in modems (HTPP over TCP/IP on a28.8lkbps modem suffer significant latency compared to a faster line). The weird thing is that we know that delay in responsiveness (rather than absolute bandwidth for download times) is a killer in Web applications, since people don't get any feedback (apart from a swirling Netscape logo) that their request has gone through. BT had an opportunity to elimate this and didn't. (And Peter Cochrane their chief scientist once gave a talk--on remote knee surgery, yuck--entitled the "delay in eliminating delay".
(nielsen, who else, did some excellent stuff in delay in the user interface).
2. introduce a whole series of very, very annoying metaphors to surf. It's like someone created a GUI having never seen the work of Xerox Park or Apple Macintosh designers. (*Yes it would be *evern worse* than windows). It was stupid you couldn't find anything, it didn't work the way I wanted it to. I just couldn't find anything at all.
Simple moral: telcos can't do content. (but we knew that didn't we?) so if BT is going to wholesale, what a relief.

<000f01bedaa2$eb76a150$0100008-atbtinteractive [dot] net> wrote:
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/azeem-consolidate/?start=867
> Matt asked: > > > dunno if uncle rupert is a typical user - anyone involved in the design of > > content for the adsl trials want to reply or have any trial findings??? > > Well, I'm not sure if I'm typical either (or indeed aspire to be), but I agree > with Rupert. The BT stuff was inclined to crash browsers (to be fair they were > quite specific about exactly what it was intended to work with, and I think > most of us just said "Gimme a TCP/IP connection and I'll worry about getting it > all to work") and didn't really offer much other than a very, very fast > connection. > > It's cute to show people the ITN news streaming away, but apart from that there > isn't much to shout about. Those involved in the design seem to have > thought, > "Ah, 2Mb/s, that means we can use lots of Flash". Oh dear. Rather a shame, > and a typical abuse of bandwidth, ie just adding frills rather than thinking > about what real benefits could be delivered: making the Web look like one > long channel ident isn't that useful or clever. And, as channel idents go, we're > not talking about anything that's going to make Martin Lambie-Nairn lose > *any* sleep... > > More positively, I've been able to work as though I've been on clients' > LANs, which is pretty damned handy, and all in all, ADSL's another good reason for > living in Islington [can't comment on Chiswick ;-) ] > > R > > Travelcard <------- | -> 100Base-T Card > ...Slide away... > > Robert Hamilton: robertatbrandwidth [dot] co [dot] uk > Creative Consultant, brandwidth > 020 7697 0049 / 0973 989 208
azeem azhar | www http://azeem.azhar.co.uk/ (*) tel 07958 544 593 | icq 315460 fax 0207 691 0464 | pgp http://azeem.azhar.co.uk/pgp/

* downdated
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