Philosophy of minimal disturbance of existing users

Kent James kent at
Tue Sep 18 16:28:55 UTC 2012

On 9/18/2012 12:31 AM, Magnus Melin wrote:
> I'm completely aware users don't generally like to learn new 
> procedures to do things. That doesn't mean they shouldn't ever do so, 
> for their own good. The goal of course is that it would be very 
> intuitive and a positive overall experience.

Most of the arguments against "Philosophy of minimal disturbance of 
existing users" tend to be the extreme example, such as "they shouldn't 
ever do so". The argument isn't for zero change, it is for much more 
caution than we have shown in the past.

> Whatever the defaults are they still need to be good for the vast 
> majority of users - old and new.
If in my daily work I use an old, inferior user interface, that does not 
mean that TODAY (which has been happening every 6 weeks in the past) I 
want to learn this new, superior way. And some of us never learn (like 
me and the "new improved" ribbon interface in Microsoft Office.) Can't 
we show a little respect for the user's time here, perhaps by being a 
little more gradual and optional?

> If you only change things for new users as the product evolves you 
> can't get the majority onto the improved defaults so they would never 
> find out the true capabilities of their software.

Users are not interested in the "true capabilities of their software" 
they just want to get their work done without interruption today.


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