Newer interfaces aren’t always better

I was at the car dealer today, dropping of the car for safety and emission inspections. The service advisor brought up a VT100-style terminal interface on her computer to punch in the service details. She made an offhand remark about a problem with the computer system today, and slammed her way through some text screens on the numeric keypad.

If that system was implemented today, it would have a web interface. It would be more pleasant to look at, and easier for a new employee to learn. And, yet, once that employee became proficient, I’d wager that tasks would take longer using a web interface compared to the original terminal interface.

One thought on “Newer interfaces aren’t always better

  1. How so? Well, I imagine a web interface would involve a series of movements – type here, click here, dropdown menu there. Each making sense, but each taking a moment to think about and execute.

    But type type type is sort of seamless, especially if you’re proficient with the numeric keypad, as the car dealer’s staff seems to be.

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