Re: Egos, GUI's, and Tempers

Subject: Re: Egos, GUI's, and Tempers
From: Sella Rush <sellar -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 12:20:15 -0700

I responded to this thread privately, but based on a comment in Suzette's
response, I wanted to clarify.

Our company has several applications based on a core db engine. Most of our
apps begin with a blank grey screen. I do not work for the federal
government. I suggested creating an interactive splash screen (I don't know
what they're called) that invites the user to do something specific (like
open a file, create a new one, etc). This is how MS Access opens. If you
cancel out of this window, you get a blank grey screen.

I've been amazed at the generalizations and stereotypes on this subject
(although after two years on this list, I suppose I should be used to it).
In my experience, I've met programmers who didn't care a flying fig about
the user, and I've met others who were far more attuned to usability issues
than I am. I've learn at least as much about usability from programmers as
I have from other tech comm people. (Generally, the people most interested
in usability are also the ones most aware of overall company goals and

In fact, one of my concerns about my company's product is that we've gotten
in a rut on interface design: they all look the same, and they all are
confined to "vanilla" Windows look and feel. Imagine my surprise when I
joined in a division planning meeting last week, and spent an hour listening
to the team (all programmers except me) discuss redesigning the UIs and
usability ramifications.

If you really think programmers ignore usability, read the first couple of
chapters of Ellen Ullman's *Close to the Machine*.

Sella Rush
mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington
Developers of the CCM Database

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