Tag Archives: user experience

It’s a bug, Jim, but not as we know it

Somewhere, in most organizations’ bug-tracking system, there’s a dark corner. It’s a place where – at best – people go to have an opinionated argument. At worst, it’s a place that bugs go to die. It’s the usability bug receptacle.

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Komma-leons: What punctuation tells us about changing with the environment

A few weeks ago, I happened to listen to a radio programme on how punctuation came to exist. This remarkably interesting half hour revealed to me how something that we now see as finished, complete, and solid is in fact the result of invention, evolution, and technical advance.

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You only hear what you want to

If you were listening to popular music in the mid-90s, you doubtless remember “Stay” by Lisa Loeb. I don’t know if the person who told her that she “only hears what she wants to” was a cognitive psychologist, but there was certainly truth in that remark – not just for Lisa, but for all of us.

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Nothing comes for free: Just say no

Sometimes when you’re involved in developing software, a developer offers you a feature or an option “for free”. Most typically, this is part of a framework, plugin, or library that offers this functionality anyway: they view it as easier to leave in than to take out.

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Striking the right chord: Don’t make your users incompetent

There is very rarely progress without some cost. I was reminded of this recently by the news that a new piece of railway line – the Ordsall Chord – will cut off the world’s first passenger railway station, Manchester Liverpool Road, from the main line and affect 30 other “heritage assets”.

While changes to user’s experience of software products is rarely as substantial or irreversible as this, the same concept applies: even improvements have a cost. And that cost is, very often, to your current users.

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