Links for 2008-01-01

2008-01-02 11:56:07 GMT

Three Unforgivable Usability Sins

It's a stellar article on usability defects that make user's and related parties' life hell. I was pretty conscious about all these mistakes except blaming error mesages.

I used a web based payment service of my ISP several months ago that asked me for the date on my last bill that I got from them. After inputting the date in yyyy.mm.dd. format as it was present on the bill and the validation failed, I tried it without the ending dot and I succeeded. I found 2 more similar usability errors related to their messy form and reported to them. I got no response ever since and eventually stopped using their payment service. They should fire their customer service.

Unfortunately, most developers don't have a clue on usability engineering and that's the reason why there are so many crappy applications, but in the above case one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist just to make such a straightforward input validation a little more flexible. I guess most geeks prefer relating to machines more than relating to people and that's why they suck at usability.

Not Invented Here

It's an interesting concept that can deeply affect the evolution of our technologies. Despite .NET coming from Microsoft, I think it's a great platform so I deliberately use Mono for various projects. I think Miguel knew that there will be a group of people that will pretty much dislike the whole idea because of its origins from Microsoft, but he took his chance and here Mono is. I was much more prone to Not Invented Here in the past, but I think there's really more to lose than to win if you apply it.

Empathy: Could It Be What You're Missing?

Do you suffer from epathy deficit disorder? Read this article to find out!