Intuitive – alas no

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The new Windows 8 Metro interface has drawn praise and scorn in almost equal measure. Widely hailed as an innovative and imaginative departure from established paradigm when used on tablets, it has been roundly condemned when put to use within the PC desktop environment; an environment in which the touch interface seems innately less appropriate. By way of contrast, the Apple OSX interface is commonly held – not least by Apple themselves¬† – to be an interface of such intuitive simplicity (‘it simply works’) that the claim has almost gained acceptance as a simple given.

A position that I happen to hold on the issue of the ‘intuitive interface’ is that there is as good as no such thing in real, practical terms. There may a slightly stronger case for an intuitable interface, but even then such claims need more substantiation than are generally offered.¬† My central argument is that anyone engaging with an interface for the first time ought to be fully able to fathom its mysteries on first encounter. No excuses.

A couple of recent YouTube videos seek to cast a little non-scientific light on the reality of whether Windows 8 or indeed Apple OSX are as intuitive as their makers and proponents claim them to be. The results are as entertaining as they are enlightening.

Engaging with Windows 8 for the first time:

Engaging with Apple OSX for the first time: