I think that indeed this interface is more "natural" for those of us who do not use calculators all day and every day. Practitioners have presumably already made the necessary learning to adapt to the calculator interface. For more infrequent users (e.g.
me), this new interface would really help - and it ties right back into how I learned mathematics with pen and paper.
A good interface should disappear when you're using it - it should never, ever, get in the way. That's one of the reasons why I hated with a passion the old Reverse Polish interfaces on the original HP calculators, and why I still end up with wrong answers
on today's calculators - the interface is fighting with what I learned with pen and paper.
I've downloaded the software, and am trying it out on my PC, which has a graphics tablet. If this works, then I'll be able to consign the Windows Calculator application to the dustbin of history...
Looks like sloppy reporting from New Scientist and academic hype from Swansea
Well, not quite, Jonathan. Mathjournal and xThink differ in the user interface from what UoS has done. The difference is that the user's input is rendered on the fly in the UoS system, whereas with the xThink products, the visual feedback is provided in a separate
window *after* the "calculate" button has been pressed.
I personally prefer the user interface approach of the UoS system, because it gives me continuous feedback as I am going along - not once the calculation has been carried out. It's what I mean about user interfaces "not getting in the way". There's a distinct
modal jump with the xThink approach, that I think I personally would find distracting.
Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.