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Analog clock - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Analog clock [Mar. 14th, 2006|12:20 am]
Arvind Narayanan
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Usability is hard. Gnome 1.4 had a half dozen clock panel applets (literally), and Gnome 2 took all except one of them out because the function of a clock is just to tell you the time, and any other "features" are just fluff. A most sensible decision, and one that works for a majority of users, perhaps, but not all. Not for me anyway.

I visualize time as a picture of an analog clock. I suspect this isn't just me. When I plan to do something at 3'o clock, I see the L-shape in my head. So a digital clock, even though it conveys the same information, doesn't quite cut it. It's like watching TV without sound but with captioning enabled.

Are there enough people with a genuine need for an analog clock to justify the cost of putting the preference in? How do you weigh that against the consideration that some alarmingly high percentage of Americans reportedly can't tell (analog) time? You can't really know unless you get out there and do a usability study. That's why usability is hard.

BTW, some awesome dude wrote a patch for my favorite LJ client for LJ's annoying change-your-password-it-isn't-fancy-enough behavior that I whined about opened a bug for. Hey, looks like this open source thing really works. Whoda thunk it? :^)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-03-13 10:27 pm (UTC)
What on earth do you plan to do at 3 o'clock!? Going home from the bar or so?
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-03-13 10:28 pm (UTC)
3 pm.
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[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-03-13 10:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, you mean 15:00? Then why didn't you say so! ;)
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From: vmuthu
2006-03-14 07:08 am (UTC)

analog clock

I do not know if I have a preference to analog clock. I have a wrist watch in my hand 24 hrs a day and that is analog, but when I am on the comp, I tend to look at my screen (i.e. in digital) rather than my watch. I am fine with a digital clock on my screen, but I guess I might not be comfortable with a digital wrist watch.
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From: nicertry
2006-03-14 07:59 am (UTC)
i actually prefer TV without sound, but with captions :-) .. bad analogy!
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