Started by Bryan, 2005-08-05T09:34:55-05:00 (Friday)
QuoteI was expecting a fair amount of feedback...the dominant theme, too, was a bit of a surprise. Not the hundreds of iterations of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã...â€œTell it, brother!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã,Â, nor the handful of people who excoriated me as an arrogant twerp...No, the really interesting part was how many of the letters said, in effect, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã...â€œGee. And all this time I thought it was just meÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã,Â¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã,Â
QuoteIt wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t A.T. (Aunt Tillie..the archetypal nontechnical user) who couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t connect to a shared printer. It was Raymond himself who couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t figure it out. Yes, I see the point that if it were so easy and obvious that A.T. could do it, a nerd like Raymond could do it too.
QuoteBy focusing on A.T., Raymond is ignoring the actual depth of the problem. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s easy to say, The open source community needs to do better, we need to create software A.T. can use. But theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re so far away from this right now that even an expert like Eric Raymond canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t figure out how to use their software.
QuoteThe problem is that the CUPS designersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ attitude was wrong. They never stepped outside their assumptions. They never exerted the mental effort to forget what they know and sit down at the system like a dumb user whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s never seen it before ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â,¬Â and they never watched a dumb user in action!
QuoteUI development is the hard part. And itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not the last step, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the first step. In my estimation, the difference between: * software that performs function X; and * software that performs function X, with an intuitive well-designed user interfaceisnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t just a little bit of extra work. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not even twice the work. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an entire order of magnitude more work. Developing software with a good UI requires both aptitude and a lot of hard work. Raymond acknowledges neither.