Re: Minimalism

Subject: Re: Minimalism
From: Victor Chapel <victor -at- TRCINC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 09:35:08 -0400

I was trying to stay out of this, but Robert brought up redesigning
matchbooks to avoid the need for a "close before striking" message
and it started the wheels turning. I like his idea. It can be
applied to a million other bad designs we run into every day.
Doors for instance. Why should any door ever need a "push" or
"pull" sign. Shouldn't it be obvious?

Bad design makes our jobs more difficult than they need to be.
Try reading Donlad Norman's _Design of Everyday Things_ or
_Turn Signals are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles_.

We can apply the concepts to helping developers/engineers with
constructive criticism. If they're actually interested in
improving the product, they might listen. Don't limit yourself
to a "strictly writing" role.

If you do a good job, you might put yourself out of a writing
job and end up as a designer/tester/HCI type.

One last not-so-glamorous example: How many documents have you
read about how to use a toilet?

Victor Chapel victorc -at- trcinc -dot- com Communications Group
The Technical Resource Connection, Inc.
a wholly owned subsidiary of Perot Systems Tampa

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