Software Usability is All That MattersWritten by Mike Banks Valentine
GUI, or Graphic User Interface is term tossed about by technology geeks to define only thing that matters to rest of us. How we interact and deal with our software is entirely determined by programmers based upon instructions they receive from whomever hired them to do their jobs. Their job is to make software use easy, obvious - even invisible.
I don't want to know how computers work. Don't care in least! I only want them to work. I don't want to become a geek in order to visit a web site. I don't want or need instructions from geek that designed web site about how page was coded or what server software they use. I don't want to know anything about my car, my computer, my home appliances or even my wrist watch. I just want them to do their job without breaking and without cryptic error messages meant for software engineers.
I have owned and happily used four or five generations of Apple Macintosh computers for precisely these reasons. Those machines have happily answered all of my needs, and for most part, run all software I have bought and loaded into them without a hiccup. If there was a goofy message on screen telling me there was a problem, I called support phone number on box or on web site and got instructions about how to make message go away.
Whenever technology is new, users of that technology must become experts in inner workings of it to be users, expertise is often required. Now that personal computer has passed its twentieth birthday, it's time to stop talking about users as experts and for users to simply be users. Mac OS X is another very proper step in that direction.
I attended Seybold San Francisco, where I heard Steve Jobs intro- duce Mac OS X (that's Operating System Ten). I loved that this apparently powerful guy came on stage at a keynote address in his faded jeans and tennis shoes. Here is a human being I can relate to who dresses as I do even if he can easily afford to outdress me. Here is a guy that makes computers do their job so I don't have to.
Jobs then introduced Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, also dressed casually, to discuss all new goodies in OS X and show off its increased speed since March 2001 release. System 10.1 is now so much faster that you don't notice machine taking time to "think" when you open a program.
As it should be.
Also, as it should, user interface offers a wonderfully easy to comprehend tool bar incorporating their powerful graphics engine to provide on-screen imagery that, as always, makes you smile while subtly showing you what is happening as you click stuff. It's fast, it makes me smile and you don't have to be a geek to get it. That's for me. I want it.
Wake up Webbie! WAP is Here!Written by Wild Bill Montgomery
WAP technology now enables world "on-the-run" access to such services as mobile-real-time product purchases, stock quotes, news, calendars, banking, voice mail, and email via mobile wireless communication devices.
WAP (Wirelesss Application Protocol) is new global standard for communication between a mobile communication devices and Internet, as designed and defined by WAP forum (http://www.wapforum.org), where by way you will find an enormous amount of WAP/WML specs in PDF format. Although joining WAP Forum is fairly expensive for individuals, small or home based businesses such as ours, they do offer much information free to open public. By way, an "Associate Membership" is a mere $7,500 a year. (Give, Gulp or Giggle Here).
It is expected that by end of year 2000, wireless users will exceed 100 Million worldwide. The introduction of WAP and wireless devices opens a brand new market of "WAP Field Users" which will result in significant new revenues for content providers and developers alike. By getting in on wireless opportunities today you have chance to become a market leader in this emerging commerce.
Wireless access can offer you a new source for your products and services and also enable you to create new services and/or products designed specifically for your mobile customers. Can your company benefit from WAP by offering your users new mobile services? WAP, like any other Internet Protocol, will grow to support technology as quickly as possible. The consumer market, of course, will heavily influence future development.
Compared to traditional clientele, wireless user and market is different. The question you should be asking yourself right now is who uses WAP and how are you going to serve them and profit from it? Currently some of biggest group of users are field representatives accessing intranet data (as well as placing orders) for their customers, people needing to access email and voice mail on run and individuals following stock market trends. But as Internet shouted aloud in 1995, "This Is Only The Beginning"!