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JWZ's mom discovers interface cruft

Will RaleighPerson was signed in when posted
04:02 PM ET (US)
I also will save to desktop since it provides quick and easy access to files I'll probably want to be using in the near future. Once the desktop starts getting out of hand, I'll go in and organize it. That's based on 15+ years of Mac experience.

I actually have grown to like column view a bunch when in the finder, but I hate Hate HATE it in open/save dialog boxes. For some reason, I can never remember/recognize that behavior and I always find myself scratching my head for a minute trying to figure out how to navigate up a directory tree.
Richard SoderbergPerson was signed in when posted
03:52 PM ET (US)
What your Mom describes is roughly what I do on my Powerbook.

It's important to state that I'm an "experienced user", with ten years of experience on Windows, Mac, and *nix.

When I have something new to save, I throw it on the Desktop. It's not worth my time to try and argue with the nasty Column View madness that OSX provides me.

Later, I'll go open multiple windows and organize my Desktop; I've set my icon size up to about 96x96; when they stack up to the left edge, I do some filing.

Now, I keep a couple folders on my Desktop, so that I can save directly into them -- but if they're not linked on my desktop, it's not worth my time to save directly into them.

I use the Go to path feature of the OS sometimes, mostly to go to ~/Desktop/ -- once in a while, in a File, Open dialog. Mostly it's the Desktop, though.

I agree with pbx; the dialog that comes up from File, Save should be a Finder window, opened to the most recently used folder (or the Desktop, by default). Provide a small menu bar, if you like, and people will be able to make *so much sense* out of it.

I am not a friend of Column View.
pbxPerson was signed in when posted
02:39 PM ET (US)
I also disagree that it's "wrong" to save to the desktop, though I don't do it that way myself.

Experienced users have a hard time remembering that they have learned two totally different interfaces for navigating their filesystem: the flexible, window-based one in the Finder, and the restricted, list-based one in the file dialogs.

The file dialog navigation just sucks in comparison, no matter how keyboard-navigable and widgetry-enabled it is. It's still a shitty substitute for a nice powerful system that already exists.

I have thought for years that Apple should just get rid of the file dialogs entirely, and allow some sort of direct access to the Finder at save-time. That's basically what jwz's mom and other devotees of the desktop-first system are doing.

(end of rant)
Erik J. BarzeskiPerson was signed in when posted
02:16 PM ET (US)
I recently wrote about this same topic ("crufty" UIs) in response to another article I saw. You can find my article here: .
kisraelPerson was signed in when posted
02:10 PM ET (US)
I more or less do this, though I tend to have a "downloads" folder on my desktop that I sometimes use instead.

For one thing, in Windows, the Desktop is always easy to get to in those dialog boxes.

But overall the desktop is a great temp work area...though after a while you have to clean it out.
gorgarPerson was signed in when posted
02:01 PM ET (US)
Um, why not just save the file to the correct folder?
That's like unpacking your groceries in the living room and then moving them to the kitchen.
Thomas TerashimaPerson was signed in when posted
01:44 PM ET (US)

Uhh...doesn't *everyone* save to the desktop,
then drag it to the right folder?

I suppose that the only way to change user
behaviour is to have multiple desktops!

Edited 12-31-2002 01:52 PM

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