resistance against smart design

Subject: resistance against smart design
From: David Girardot <dmgirard -at- CORNETLTD -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 15:59:54 -0400

Mark Baker maked a good point. Good docs can't "fix" a bad interface, and a
tech writer can be a big help in the design of the software. But I've
noticed a great deal of resistance to the latter point:

- Development cycles are tight as it is. Even though a dollar spent on
design would definitely save at least $2 in fixes later, doing task analysis
and interface design takes time that's not always available.

- Often, the "user" is not the same person as the group that actually
purchases the software or defines the requirements. This is where feeping
creaturism comes into play -- doodads and features are added to please the
money folks whereas the actual user is overwhelmed and frustrated by all the
features.

- Too many programmers are "designing" interfaces. Programmers are very
good at programming, but very few have the knowledge or inclination to do
design. This isn't any kind of indictment against programmers, I just think
it's inefficient to have them doing the design job also.

- Clients don't always know what they want. It's the designer's jobs to
investigate all the "requirements" and find out which ones are really
required. Ulimately you may have to do some convincing: that ontime
delivery of a product people will really use is better than a lot of extra
features and customizations.

-- David




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