The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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Sugestion for an User Interface project

I am looking for ideas about the construction of a new interface or the modification of an existing one for an HCI project.

It should be challenging, but short enough to be done in a semester.

What kind of applications do you use daily that are lacking in usability/design?

What kind of emerging technologies are worth studing (within a semester) related to its interface/usability?

Thursday, March 24, 2005
How about updating a website?

That may seem trivial, but it's not. 

We're updating our website as I speak. If you're interested in working on it, email me.
Mr. Analogy {uISV owner} Send private email
Thursday, March 24, 2005
How about a makeover for FogBugz. You could even offer it to Joel for use in version 5, if he liked it.

Some dude called Dave Shea did the makeover from version 3 to 4, but it's kinda hard to see what changed and it still looks just as dated, so there's a good opportunity to get some good exposure.
Friday, March 25, 2005
How about C? Remarkable piece of technology from the AST back, but the frontend is crap with two major usability flaws: a crude and shoddy syntax that's excessively terse yet simultaneously flabby, noisy, ambiguous, overloaded and error-prone; and a lack of hygenic macros which makes it all but impossible to extend and/or improve the language.

While GUI is usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing HCI it's really only one small corner of it. Programming languages don't get anything like the attention they could - or should - so you could really go to town here.

Replace the existing C preprocessor and parser with a clean, uniform s-expression based frontend to provide a solid foundation to build a proper macro system, and easily targetted by both end-user syntax parsers and programmatic tools such as pretty printers and code generators. (For time's sake, you may prefer to write an s-expr to C compiler in a very high-level language rather than pull gcc apart; presumably you don't need a production-level implementation.)

Then develop a new end-user syntax on top of that, with a strong emphasis on readability (compact, concise, low-noise, not afraid to use real words where it helps) and robustness (predictable, unambiguous, error-resistant).

See languages like Lisp, Dylan, Python for ideas and inspiration.

has Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005
Pick a company where you would like to work. Pick thier product/products and examine the UI to atmost detail and redo it. There is always room for improvement in every product. For example, I think Gmail has one of the best UIs around. But I still would like some things improved in it.
Anon Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005
Here is a product I would like to have. Design the interface now, and build the project later.

The project is a group financial manager. Here are three places where I need (first two) or used to need (third) such an application.

1. We give our nanny money to buy food, admissions, errands. Sometimes there is change. Sometimes she needs to spend her own money and get reimbursed. An online application to track would be great.

2. Kids and allowances and money for chores. Our kids get paid for doing some chores. We keep virtual 'accounts' for them. It would be great to have an online app where they can check their balances, and decrement when we buy something with 'their' money and a place we can add funds to their account. Check balance over time. What-if scenarios -- if I save 5$ per week, how long until I can afford an X box?

3. Room mates. Some expenses need to be shared. Who spent what. How to make things even?

Nothing very fancy, but very useful (I think) to many.
Harvey Motulsky Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005
How about a version of Word that doesn't constantly fuck up things that were fine in the first place?
NetFreak Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005

If you choose the word project, send me the final version!  K?  Thanks.
Jared M.
Friday, March 25, 2005

Someone already did a project like that.

It's called...

...but you already know what I'm going to say, don't you?
Kyralessa (WordPerfect diehard) Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005
Having spent most of the past week working on a long Word doc, there is absolutely no truth to the notion that Word's outline formatting functions were written by a sadistic SOB who sold Satan his soul.

It just feels like that.

I'm surprised more people haven't written about this. Of course, if they tried using Word, I'm not surprised.
Bob Walsh Send private email
Friday, March 25, 2005
Bob, I've been complaining about Word's outlining since Version 2.0. So... that's about 13 years now.

I'm AMAZED no one has written a VB addon for it. I'd pay $20 (and I'm a cheap bastard!).
Mr. Analogy {uISV owner} Send private email
Saturday, March 26, 2005
I'll write an Addon. Can nayone write me a wish list?
Raj Chaudhuri Send private email
Monday, March 28, 2005
FEBRL - An open source data linkage and geocoding system

I know that there are people who would like things done with improving the interface, at the moment the only work is going on the functionality of the data matching.

project web page is
Also see

Implemented in Python.
gorf Send private email
Monday, March 28, 2005

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