Accessible as for common non-techie people, not in its narrow sense as for the disabled.

A few recent blogs coincidentally touched on a similar subject:

  • Joel Spolsky on 15 shutdown options in Vista. His solution: one single “bye” button.
  • Raymond Chen on why Yahoo is the most searched-for term on Google: it’s easier and guaranteed to get the right URL–who knows what a URL is anyway?
  • Dyske Suematsu on the overrated freedom of choices. This is the guy who created the fun site that challenges you to distinguish people and things from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

I think I’m definitely a techie (and a control/organize freak) who likes choices, but I can certainly appreciate a simple user-friendly interface. However I hate the word “fool-proof”: it’s an insult to intelligent people. You should not dumb down the society! Unfortunately that seems to be happening everywhere.

Anyway I think all technology should provide a simple interface as well as an advanced one. I wouldn’t mind using regedit to turn on the advanced parts, because you want to make it “fool-proof” that no fool can turn them on accidentally.

That’s why I don’t quite like iTunes. I’ve been unwillingly bound to it due to some compulsive music purchases, but as I’ve importing all my CDs I find it very frustrating sometimes that it doesn’t provide advanced controls over many things it does under the hood, one of which is sort order. I find out empirically that after you click a column to sort, iTunes uses a certain order of the other columns to sort. For example, if I sort by album name, all the tracks in the same album are sorted first by track number, then track name. It makes sense for 99% cases, but there are times when I want to control that order as in Excel where I can specify 3 columns to sort by with a specific order.

So what’s my point? For technology product, there should be a choice to no choices or many of them. Let me do things in one simple way or my way. Now that’s some accessible technology for me.

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