[Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

On 13-Dec-05, at 1:45 AM, Christopher Blizzard wrote:

First, I want to throw out the word "Usability." I hate it. Hate hate
hate.  Because it describes something that doesn't exist in the real
world.  Why?  Because as you have discovered it's entirely subjective.

Subjective personal response to things _does_ exist in the real world, and is the basis for such promising new developments as "love", "democracy", and "advertising". That you can't quantify how much a user enjoys using your software doesn't mean that you shouldn't care about it, or try to improve it in the aggregate or even for a specific high-value user. Optometrists don't measure how much better A looks than B, but that I can tell them which I prefer lets them hone in pretty well on which lenses I should be wearing.

We're not treating people like idiots, we're just
trying to make an operating system that tries to make computers not get
in the way but instead enable a large number of people to get useful
work done.

You're trying to make a _free_ operating system that gets out of the way. Sometimes it's likely that you'll have to compromise on some element of Just Works to preserve that. Firefox could make a number of sites Just Work by pulling up Trident or running ActiveX (via Wine, even!), but we don't because "Just Work" is not our only goal. Managing expectations in users is an important part of helping their experience along, IMO.


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