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[Taler] Taler user interface idea #1

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: [Taler] Taler user interface idea #1
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2017 10:47:47 -0500

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One disadvantage of making non-cash payments is that you don't really
feel you are spending money.  That aspect leads people to spend more.
Do you want a wallet that pushes you to spend?

That effect will surely apply to Taler, too.  So it would be good for
Taler to do something counteract that effect -- to make people more
aware that they are really spending.

Here is an idea that occurs to me.  You might have other ideas.

Keep track of total spending for the day, for the week, for whatever
period the user wishes, etc.  When the user requests to make a
payment, show what these totals will be after the payment, then ask
for confirmation.

Of course, various customizations are possible, such as comparing with
a budget limit chosen by the user, "put this payment in a special
category", and more.

Please don't think of this as "making information available".
Of course it will be available, but that's not the point here.
The point here is _attention_, not _information_.
It is "remind me of what I know -- don't let me ignore it."

This feature should be enabled by default.  When the user asks to turn
it off, the program should say, "Do you want money to slip out of your
wallet so smoothly that you hardly think twice?  Is that wise?"

We can tie this wisdom-encouraging feature to the fact that Taler is
free software.

Nothing STOPS the proprietary payment software from providing such a
feature.  Does any do so?  I think not, because it's not in the
interest of the payment companies that control those apps.  They WANT
people to pay without thinking twice.

The GNU Taler client is controlled by the users that use it to pay.
We developers know that users can switch to a forked version if we
don't focus on serving THEM and their interests.  They will ultimately
decide about this feature, as well as every other.

We can say

   GNU Taler helps you do what you know is good for you.

This is not technically essential, but since it will be easy to do,
and doesn't require understanding the complex parts of Taler, anyone
could do it.

What do you think?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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