■ 16:31 (UTC+08:00), 04 NOV 2005 | CHN BEIJING
I was the keynote speaker at World Usability Day 2005 Beijing, and made a traditionally “techie” topic such as user interfaces personal and more “personalised” by recounting from personal experience.
I started out from my first experience with a computer that my family had bought in 1989 — then running MS-DOS. It was a huge difference to the Apple Macintosh that I started using in 1991. Even in the days of the black-and-white pre-multitasking interfaces, it represented a world of difference from text-based MS-DOS.
I also touched upon a few relatively advanced features of the Mac OS, some of which were well ahead of their day, like Apple Guide, and Balloon Help. I also took a look at the “dark side” as Microsoft attempted to play catch up or even copy outright from the Mac — when the Mac kept on progressing from one version to another. I also showed how Apple simplicity was on the iPod.
I concluded by showing users the details that set Apple’s user interface design out from the rest of the pack — including how an iPad shuffle could remain easy to use with just a single switch and no screen. Throughout the presentation, I showed where Apple led the pack, and offered my comments as an actual user. At the end of the talk, I took questions and comments.
The talk was given to a packed audience of over 30 people at a rather trendy bar in Houhai, central Beijing. ■ ■ ■