“And in contrast to cinema where most “users” are able to understand cinematic language but not speak it (i.e., make films), all computer users can speak the language of the interface.  They are active users of the interface, employing it to perform many tasks: send e-mail, organize files, run various applications, and so on.” – Manovich (The Language of Cultural Interfaces)

I understand that the above block of text is making the point that users can manipulate a computer’s interface (in small ways – moving folders, opening applications, etc.) – but I don’t think this was the best analogy the author could have used.  The author compares the “user” of a film to a “user” of an interface… but I think the execution of this comparison came off poorly.  First, the author states that “all computer users can speak the language of the interface” – really, all?  My grandparents can’t.  The author also compares creating a film to using an interface.  To me, that seems like comparing a movie producer to a user and pretending like they do the same thing.  No, most users don’t know how to make a film, but I think the equivalent of that would be the same as saying most users don’t know how to design or develop an interface… much different than “speaking the language of the interface.”

End rant.

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