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Steve writes:
 
>User interfaces really are a BIG DEAL.  One of the projects that
>got me started in the "community" networking area was something
>mentioned to be from a visiting post-doc from Vienna -- he was
>doing a "habilitation thesis" (sp) on a "Downtown Information
>System."  His starting point was the BTX (videotext) systems
>common in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.  What representations
>help us find the things we want to find.
 
Yes, a homogenous user interface is one of several diffusion factors for
telecommunication services. I did some research on this factors and also
compared the user interface of the Austrian videotex system (BTX) to other
available services. The two main factors for its poor acceptance (compared
to the french Minitel service) are marketing errors (e.g. you needed to
have a TV set with a SCART jack and in 1994 65% of the Austrian households
still have a fix outlet to the telephone - no chance to plug in a modem!)
AND the poor user interface! E.g. on many pages you can not use cursor keys
and you have to finish each line with the # - key, but if you use a common
PC-software the # - key is represented by the DEL - key ... This paper is
not published yet, contains some graphics, it would fit well in a reader
about community networks ...
 
By the way, we are working on a city - network platform based on audiotex:
a very intelligent, user friendly (hopefully), multimedia (with fax &
jingles and music) voice mail system, that serves citizens' actions bureas,
theatres, health organization and the town hall.
 
Steve, could you give me the name of the person working on the habilitation
thesis on a city network, I might know him, but I dont know who else works
on this topic in Austria.
 
Cyberly, Roland
Roland Alton-Scheidl ---------------------------------------------
Research Unit for Socio-Economics     Austrian Academy of Sciences
Kegelgasse 27               A-1030 Vienna                  Austria
phone (+43-1) 7122148-37  fax -34  email [log in to unmask]