Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ten pearls of wisdom

Yesterday a couple in Florida found a pearl in their dinner.

That´s nothing, in terms of economical value, when compared with this pearl of wisdom I found the day before. It´s a small excerpt from a book, see for yourself:

Top Ten Signs That Things Are Going Badly

  1. "Our Web site is intuitive and user-friendly."
  2. We need to start doing some usability tests before our launch next month."
  3. "We can use [XML/SOAP/ insert other buzzword technology] to fix that."
  4. "If you stop and think about how the interface works for a second, it makes complete sense."
  5. "How can our customers be so stupid? It's so obvious!"
  6. "Well, they should RTFM!"
  7. "We don't need to do any user testing. I'm a user, and I find it easy to use."
  8. "We'll just put an 'Under Construction' sign there."
  9. "Shrink the fonts more so that we can put more content at the top."
  10. "We need a splash screen."

Yes, since long ago I noticed that when a developer designing any piece of software says they were planning to build it "APB" (A prueba de bobos = fool proof) then that system is bound to failure.

What usually follows is "How can our customers be so stupid? It's so obvious!" and maybe the addition of some user-patronizing instructions.

But all these ten bits together! Understanding this might save the site much more value than that of the rare pink pearl.

The book, whick I recommend without having read it in full, is "The design of sites".

It´s not about graphical design the "surface design" but on functional design which accounts for 90% of a site´s usability.

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