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The Anti-Mac User Interface

Physicists and mathematicians often stretch their imaginations by considering what the world would be like if some of their basic assumptions and principles were violated (for example, see [1]). This has led to new concepts such as non-Euclidean geometry, positrons, antimatter, and antigravity. At the least, violating basic assumptions is a useful mental exercise, but a surprising number of the resulting concepts have provided useful descriptions of the real world.

In this article, we explore the types of interfaces that could result if we violate each of the Macintosh human interface design principles. We focus on the Macintosh interface because it is a prime example of the current interface paradigm, and Apple Computer has published an explicit list of Macintosh human interface design principles [2].

The Anti-Mac User Interface (Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen)