[FoRK] Re: S.Y.S.T.E.M. - Simple Yet Scaleable

Dr.Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Fri Nov 5 13:37:25 PST 2004

Hi all,

Thanks to everyone for their help and insights.  I used Wayne's 
refinement of my mnemonic:


as the basis of a talk I gave to an OS Design class about "real-world 
system design principles".   Here's my main talking points -- would 
love to hear whether this jibes with your experience:

Myth #1: Efficiency & Elegance Are The Goal
Reality: The Goal is Sustainably Satisfying Users

Myth #2: Usability Comes From the Interface
Reality: Usability Comes From the Architecture

Myth #3: Good Design Avoids Failure
Reality: Great Design Anticipates Failure

Myth #4: Engineer Time is the Scarce Resource
Reality: User Attention is the Scarce Resource

Myth #5: Focus On What Users Can Do
Reality: Focus On What Users Can Ignore

Note that in this context a Myth need not be totally false, just 

- Dr. Ernie

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