I love how GUI systems use this concept in designing software. I am the computer support person in an office of users who are on average 60 years old. Most of these users do not want anything to do with the computer, but have to use it everyday as part of their job. The only do exactly what they need to do and do not work outside that box. The old saying, “It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks” is very appropriate in this situation. If all of the functions that were available were displayed at once these users would freak out and get even more overwhelmed than they tend to be on a normal basis. The toolbars are their saving grace.. Heaven forbid when they accidentally close one of them out. I immediately get a call because “some alien has broken into their computer and taken away their print icon because they have made the gods of the universe unhappy”. I have really heard this!!
I must say that I agree with Lidwell in the examples of the Cost – Benefit in advertisements in the form of Pop ups. I do not think that you could give away anything that would be considered enough of a benefit to me concerning these ads. They are so annoying and hopefully the advertisers will wise up and come up with a better design so they are not taking away from the original design that they are interrupting. The book also mentions the Banner Type advertisements which are not as annoying and I would consider them more of a cost-benefit than the Pop ups! I also am one of those people that get annoyed by having to wait too long to download something on a website. I will typically stay away from sites that take longer to download and will return to them when they wise up and figure out how to correct the design problem of the long downloading time. Also, when Cost-Benefit is concerned, I think that it is a good idea to take into account what the user considers a benefit and not just the designers opinion because we know what they say about opinions. :)