Usability and Software Fitness

Mike Dierken mike@DataChannel.com
Mon, 20 Aug 2001 09:59:57 -0700


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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Bone [mailto:jbone@jump.net]
> Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2001 10:46 PM
> 
> Anyway, I finally figured out that what *really* bugs me about this: while
we
> all consider "usability" of software from an ergonomics and aesthetics
> perspective to be extremely important, few people consider the other
qualities
> that make a product "usable."  It's a ridiculous and useless "l33t1st"
attitude,
> and it's a huge part of why much technology is and remains so difficult to
use
> for so many people:  so much of our stuff is the result of geeks working
in a
> vacuum solve their own problems, rather than the problems of others that
the
> techies themselves sometimes create.  And the cycle goes on, 
> and on, and on...
> 
You just now figured this out?

If you are a programmer or a designer, read "About Face". 
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D1568843224/104-5190682-6445514

Before I read the book, I thought I was a reasonable "UI programmer" - I
knew I couldn't do user experience, but I thought I knew how to put controls
on a dialog box, and how to organize menu items. I put right click menus in
a Win3.0 program, had hyper-linking between files in a vector graphics
program, so I thought I was thinking about the end user. But after reading
The Book, it Turned My Life Around. Accept usability into your life today.

Then slog through Jakob Nielsen's self-promoting pages for some data
nuggets.

Then... this is the fun part... think about something you use or have
written & then really, really think about what a person that has to use it
might actually want to do.

Like, what if Outlook/Outlook-Express let you do phone call management? Tie
in the telephone, record & compress in the background, and have a
communication/interaction log right there. Good or bad? Who knows...

Like, what if each time you used your Chevron card, or credit card, or
McDonald's card, or whatever, instead of a little piece of garbage paper,
you got an e-mail with the itemized list of purchases? Or maybe it were
directed to a service that kept it in a data-vault and did OLAP for you. 



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RE: Usability and Software Fitness




> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Bone [mailto:jbone@jump.net]
> Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2001 10:46 PM
>
> Anyway, I finally figured out that what = *really* bugs me about this: while we
> all consider "usability" of software = from an ergonomics and aesthetics
> perspective to be extremely important, few = people consider the other qualities
> that make a product "usable."  = It's a ridiculous and useless "l33t1st" attitude,
> and it's a huge part of why much technology is = and remains so difficult to use
> for so many people:  so much of our stuff = is the result of geeks working in a
> vacuum solve their own problems, rather than = the problems of others that the
> techies themselves sometimes create.  And = the cycle goes on,
> and on, and on...
>
You just now figured this out?

If you are a programmer or a designer, read = "About Face".
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D1568843224/10= 4-5190682-6445514

Before I read the book, I thought I was a reasonable = "UI programmer" - I knew I couldn't do user experience, but I = thought I knew how to put controls on a dialog box, and how to organize = menu items. I put right click menus in a Win3.0 program, had = hyper-linking between files in a vector graphics program, so I thought = I was thinking about the end user. But after reading The Book, it = Turned My Life Around. Accept usability into your life = today.

Then slog through Jakob Nielsen's self-promoting = pages for some data nuggets.

Then... this is the fun part... think about something = you use or have written & then really, really think about what a = person that has to use it might actually want to do.

Like, what if Outlook/Outlook-Express let you do = phone call management? Tie in the telephone, record & compress in = the background, and have a communication/interaction log right there. = Good or bad? Who knows...

Like, what if each time you used your Chevron card, = or credit card, or McDonald's card, or whatever, instead of a little = piece of garbage paper, you got an e-mail with the itemized list of = purchases? Or maybe it were directed to a service that kept it in a = data-vault and did OLAP for you.


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