Re: Rant... please let me help you fix the user interface

Subject: Re: Rant... please let me help you fix the user interface
From: John Garison <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: wendy_lewis -at- goodyear -dot- com
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 12:42:23 -0500

Reminds me of one of my favorite rants against stubborn developers ...

Many many years ago while at Wang Labs (makers of the first widely
popular word processing systems), I had a situation. They had added
arithmetic functions to the word processor so that secretaries and
typists (I said this was a long time ago) could add up columns of
numbers. To do so, they pressed Control+M (M for Math) and then got the
prompt:

Operand:

I went to the lead programmer and said that, since our audience was
secretaries and typists, it might make sense to consider changing the
wording of the prompt. I admitted that, although a lowly liberal arts
graduate, I couldn't remember if operand was the sign or the number, and
our target audience might not even know that much.

His reply: "No. O_P_E_R_A_N_D_colon is eight characters. Eight bytes.
One word. It's accurate and it results in compact code. I'm not going to
change it."

It stayed. Not 5 years later, Wang had gone from over $1billion in
revenue to zero. Not that this had anything to do with it, mind you ....


My 2¢,

John G






wendy_lewis -at- goodyear -dot- com wrote:
> Top of the list is the "Submit Query"
> button, which they won't change to Go, Search, or even Execute, because
> "that's what it's actually doing". Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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Re: Rant... please let me help you fix the user interface: From: wendy_lewis

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