Digital Disgust

Posted 14 Jul 2004 at 17:15 UTC by lkcl Share This

Thomas Sowell on the maddening things about computer programs.

Referenced from slashdot: referenced here for people who missed it.

where is the new George Eastman?, posted 14 Jul 2004 at 23:54 UTC by sej » (Master)

maybe it's Steve Jobs?

The users are rarely the customers, posted 15 Jul 2004 at 15:07 UTC by Pizza » (Master)

"Customers" are the people who pay you money for the software, but they're rarely the ones who actually have to use it.. and unfortunately, there tends to be a growing disconnect between the two. So you end up in a rather wierd sistuation where to get people to buy, you have to add all this crap which gets in the way or runs counter to the intended use of the software.

I suppose the "consumer" software he's referring to isn't affected by this as much, but it's just an extension of the "flash sells" paradigm that brought us Fox News, and the subsequent dumbing down of CNN. Now if you want any depth out of either, you have to go elsewhere.

To get your new Scrabble game to stand out, you have to add all this flash and glitz which gets in the way of ...playing a game of scrabble, which.. is a pretty dull thing, without the human interaction that the original game is founded on -- and where the fun comes from.

But I digress. With any software, or indeed project in general, the fundamental question is "what is this supposed to accomplish?" Too often the answer is "automate a process" rather than "make this task simpler" The software itself becomes the focus and driving force, rather than the underlying task at hand and the people which are to be working with it.

Okay, I'll shut up now.

tail wagging the dog, posted 15 Jul 2004 at 20:41 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

the IT tail and the business/customer dog. i shut up too :)

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