Proposal: Ubuntu is not intuitive

Jo-Erlend Schinstad joerlend.schinstad at
Tue Nov 3 15:02:09 GMT 2009

I've always felt that calling a computer system "intuitive" is, at best,
misleading. My understanding of the word "intuition", is that it's some
vague and abstract understanding of something. The use of a computer
system should be based on a clear and precise understanding of what's
going on. 

«(adj) intuitive, nonrational, visceral (obtained through intuition
rather than from reasoning or observation)»

This does not at all resemble any computer system in the world of fact,
such as I know it. I propose that we stop saying that Ubuntu is
intuitive and leave that kind of sillyness to others. Instead, we should
say that Ubuntu is a _didactive_ system. The user isn't expected to rely
on intuition to be able to use the software -- that's not user friendly.
Instead, the system _teaches_ the user to use itself. If you want to
launch an application, for instance, we have a menu that's always
available that holds launchers for all the applications. The menu is
properly named "Applications" to _teach_ the user where to click in
order to find the available applications. The applications are
categorised into sections, teaching the user where to look for a certain
program. Furthermore, the applications are properly labeled using a
didactive name; we don't simply call it "Transmission", for instance. We
call it "Transmission BitTorrent Client". This _teaches_ the user to
launch that program if they wish to use a bit torrent client. 

The list of examples could be made endless, but I think this should
suffice. Now, there might be arguments against using the phrase
"didactive" and an argument for using "instructive" instead. I think
both are better than "intuitive", but I think "didactive" is better
because it's more unique, giving us a buzzword to combat the usage of

The way to a lucid computing experience, is a didactive environment. 

Just a thought, thanks for reading, 

Jo-Erlend Schinstad

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