Speaking of user experience (see below), what do you think of this article on Microsoft's "inductive" user interface guidelines? Essentially, it argues that a good UI helps the user answer two fundamental questions when looking at a screen: "What am I supposed to do now?" and, "Where do I go from here to accomplish my next task?" The UI helps answer these questions by focusing each screen on a single task, and by providing clear links in consistent locations to secondary tasks.
I've tried to apply these guidelines in the design of my current project (a browser-based content management system), but I wonder if the principles apply primarily to infrequently-used apps? Will frequent/experienced users become annoyed at the "one screen per task" hand-holding approach of the inductive user interface? Joel Spolsky makes an interesting point about the difference between learnability and usability. I'm having a difficult time finding the right balance between the two.
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