Article: Why is Easy-to-Use so Hard to Do?
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Thread: Article: Why is Easy-to-Use so Hard to Do?

  1. #1
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    Post Article: Why is Easy-to-Use so Hard to Do?

    Hey all,

    I was just reading my daily dose of news and found this article a very interesting read. I don't usually post articles, but this one just seemed interesting to me. Check it out if you got time:

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/733060.asp?cp1=1

    Some snippets (if you don't want to read the whole thing):

    Midway through the interview she looked up and announced that her computer had crashed, and she needed to call “Lee” to reboot it. It was an Apple II—this was a long time ago—and I said, well, that’s not hard to reboot, let me do it for you. No, she said, only Lee can get this machine to start.
    OK, I said, and watched as Lee came into the room, sat down in front of the Apple II, lifted the lid and reached in to fiddle with something inside. He closed the lid, rebooted the computer successfully, then reached inside again to make another mysterious adjustment. About then he saw me watching, and it was clear I knew something about computers—including the fact that you didn’t have to reach into the circuit boards of an Apple II to reboot it. “Oh, well,” Lee said defensively, “that’s just a little tweak I put in to improve the performance.”
    No: that was a little tweak that Lee put in to make Lee indispensable. And that’s the danger in letting our gurus decide what constitutes easy-to-use: if they do too good a job of it, they may put themselves out of business.
    It’s reminiscent of what happened when Steve Jobs, back in 1984, introduced the Macintosh by saying that we were going to make the personal computer as easy to use as the telephone. What we’ve done instead over the past fifteen years is make the telephone harder to use—how many people do you know who can successfully transfer a call on their latest digital office telephone?
    Greg
    \"Do you know what people are most afraid of?
    What they don\'t understand.
    When we don\'t understand, we turn to our assumptions.\"
    -- William Forrester

  2. #2
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    thanks god ... i didn't use any apple II or Lee operating system he he ....

    what the hell he was doing inside the machine !! .... Scrubbing the Apple balls or something ...
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  3. #3
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Gee, I think I need to "tweak" a couple of switches and maybe a router or two.
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    but only for your enemy\"
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  4. #4
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    I think that guy is finding excuses for his ineptness. Everybody who takes offense by being befuddled by computers takes that angle, and it's a joke.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  5. #5
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    It all just depends on how u define easy to use..

    Just like User friendly...

    Like Linus Torvalds once said to a man who thought linux was not user friendly...

    "It is user friendly, not LUSER friendly!!"

    And how many of us would you think had a job if normal 'users' could just read what the machine told them...
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
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  6. #6
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by the_JinX
    It all just depends on how u define easy to use..

    Just like User friendly...

    Like Linus Torvalds once said to a man who thought linux was not user friendly...

    "It is user friendly, not LUSER friendly!!"

    And how many of us would you think had a job if normal 'users' could just read what the machine told them...
    Well since about half of the adult population in the U.S. is functionallly illiterate, I'd hazard to guess I'd still have a job.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  7. #7
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    I hear things like this all the time. My computer illiterate friends tell me: "We got this software at work and it's got a LOT of functionality. Sadly it doesn't provide the USEFUL functionality". Somtimes you wonder if the software engineers did any research at all, did they involve ANY users in the development process?

    The new software engineering methodologies (like EXtreme Programming) focus a lot on this issue. In XP you're supposed to have a users full-time on each of the development teams, just to make sure that users opinions are taken into consideration. Quite a few of the older software engineers disagree to this method. Their opinion is like "we know better what the users want than themselves". They might be right, but I certainly disagree to that software engineers can make all descisions on their own. They're gonna need some users input along the way.

    For instance, have you noticed the menu-system on DVDs? This is marketed for the mainstream users, but I don't think I experienced ONE user interface that didn't suck. They're neither intutitive nor simple to use. Were these designers picked up from of the street? Finally when web-designers are starting to learn usability, the history repeats itself....
    ---
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  8. #8
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    Apple ][e. Now that brings back some memories. Thanks for the post hot_ice, now i'm stuck in Memory Lane.

    I find that article hilarious. Because of Lee and that lady.

    [ Reboot Apple][e ]
    Turn machine off
    Take program disk out
    Put boot disk in
    Turn machine on.

    Magic.
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