Building opportunities in UIs 22:26 on Tuesday

A lot of online software seems to be building opportunities instead of pathways. (This is basically just another way to explain my argument of explicit versus implicit process of interaction.)

A software that lets you choose how you do things is built on opportunities of interaction. You are given a set of opportunities and you decide how and what you make of them.

A rather good and much touted example is using tags instead of taxonomies: tags enable the creation of open-ended and free form hierarchies instead of pre-set and fixed hierarchies. On the down side, each user of tags needs to figure out their own way of classifying data.

An application that relies on creating interaction pathways for the users creates one or more defined ways of accomplishing tasks. Like the rails along a pathway, the rules programmed into the system limit the user’s choices and keep the user on the path chosen by the developer.

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