Thursday, 15 January 2009

browse like it's 1985

This was the first computer we had at home. It was colour! Green! Unlike later computers, this was quite difficult to get used to, as all the controls were from the keyboard. Using it efficiently required memorising a lot of commands. It worked, but wasn't exactly user friendly.
So what a relief, you can imagine, when computers came with mice. All of a sudden everthing was easy, and the whole experience better.

Lots of people - like me - work all day on computers, and we think we're great and know all the shortcuts and hot keys that speed up work. Some people think the coolest thing would be to control everthing from the keyboard, as it would combine not having to move you arm, speed, and an air of superiority that IT snobs love. Some idiot has tried to do this, with "Mouseless Browsing", an extension for Firefox that's pretty self explanatory.

Some sites I won't mention have praised this as a great tool, speeding up efficiency and finally freeing IT folk from the labours of having to push a mouse around. I am not in this club. Do I control + t for a new tab, yes. Do I want to type control + 125 to open a link on a page. No. A mouse click or track pad tap will do fine, and won't necessitate having web pages covered in numbers.

Mouseless Browsing is a horrible combination of geeky inaccessibility and ugliness. I remember old computers. They were a marvel at the time, but I would never want to go back. And I wouldn't want websites to look like this:

No comments: