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Poor useability is alike a flight of stairs


Have you ever found yourself, after walking up a flight of stairs, standing there thinking "WHAT was I supposed to be doing or getting up stairs?

Walking up stairs isn't all that challenging, but it does require some concentration, which distracts us from our original train of thought "go upstairs and get XYZ"


THAT is a good analogy for poor useability.  If I'm trying to type a letter and I my flow is interrupted, it's like stopping and climbing a flight of stairs THEN continuing what I was doing.

Mr. Analogy
Friday, April 02, 2004

Poor usability is like a bad analogy - it makes me think too hard about something that shouldn't be complicated.

AC
Friday, April 02, 2004

ooooooo BURN!


Friday, April 02, 2004

Ow my eye!

70s Show
Friday, April 02, 2004

Poor usability is more like a monkey with a wooden leg trying to kick all the seeds out of a Wisconsin dill pickle ...

Immature programmer
Friday, April 02, 2004

Poor usability is like box of chocolates.

sid6581
Friday, April 02, 2004

Poor usability is like totally awesome.  Gag me with a spoon.

anon
Friday, April 02, 2004

"Poor usability is like a bad analogy - it makes me think too hard about something that shouldn't be complicated. "

I couldn't agree more.

.NET Developer
Friday, April 02, 2004

Well, I'm glad so many developers already have such a clear understanding of the importance of good useability.

Makes me wonder why so much software has such poor useability.  I suppose that the JoS folks are unusually adept.

My analogy was for programmers who don't seem to comprehend the importance of good useability.

Mr. Analogy
Friday, April 02, 2004

One might argue, then, that your analogy itself has poor usability.

What was I saying?


Friday, April 02, 2004

Understanding the psychology of the design used in UI is a totally different knowledge-set than the art of programming: taking a non-code description of a problem and turning it into something that a computer could understand.  Nice if a person has both abilities, but unlikely.  Another example: not every musician has the ability to speak to an audience and be entertaining.  Criticize the company that won't spring for the money to hire 2 people to do the job of 2 people.

Barry Sperling
Friday, April 02, 2004

>> "the art of programming: taking a non-code description of a problem and turning it into something that a computer could understand."

See...  This is the problem right here!  The art of programming is taking a non-code description of a problem and turning it into something that BOTH a computer AND FELLOW HUMANS can understand.

anon
Friday, April 02, 2004

Poor analogies are like rotting fish falling from the sky.


Friday, April 02, 2004

Did you ever put a load of laundry in the wash and then wind up with an extra, unpaired sock?

This, to me, is an apt analogy for thread synchronization.

Jimmy Jo-jo
Friday, April 02, 2004

Who are you calling a FELLOW HUMAN, human?!

Borg
Saturday, April 03, 2004

So, you think Windows (or whatever) has a secret special escape route for threads that enable them to slip past the edge of the drum and wrap around the spindle?

Simon Lucy
Saturday, April 03, 2004

Persononally I reckon that computers crash because the loose threads get tangled up with loose threads from the disappearing socks in the wash.

That explains why geeks never wash their socks.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, April 03, 2004

Interesting.  Many "clever" criticisms of the OP's comment, yet no one has been able to explain why it's a bad analogy.

Do the other posters think that Poor Useability doesn't neeed to be explained (to obvious as to not need an analogy) or is there actually something inaccurate about the analogy.

Mr. Analogy
Saturday, April 03, 2004

> Have you ever found yourself ... "go upstairs and get XYZ"

No because my home, and my office, don't have stairs. When I climb stairs it's because I'm trying to go somewhere: for example, going home; or going to the gym. And when I get there, the nature of the place I've arrived in reminds me of why I was going there: for example, "Here, I have arrived at my front door. I must have been trying to go home."

Christopher Wells
Saturday, April 03, 2004

The analogy is bad because it adds nothing.

The explanation does; a better analogy would be going to the supermarket and forgetting when you get there what you came to buy.

But oftent the problem with bad usabiltiy is that you don't ever find out how to get to the supermarket in the first place. Or the controls on the car are so irritiating that you crash it into a lampost on the way.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, April 04, 2004

Poor usability is the small annoying pebble you get in your shoe when you walk down a gravel path. You keep walking onward, telling yourself that it's really not that bad, and you should just live with it. You have a momentary lapse of complicity, and tell your friend about the discomfort. They only tell you to "grin and bear it" and "quit whining, it's not that bad".

Yes, the pebble is only a minor discomfort with every step; it's not like there's an iron spike in your Nike. Perhaps, you think to yourself, in the next 10 minutes the pebble will somehow fall out of the shoe, and you can continue along happily. Of course, it never does. At the end of the journey, you pat yourself on the back for having put up with it. Perhaps you'll even feel a sense of mastery, having become an expert in the area of walking down gravel paths. "I'd gladly do it again" you tell yourself.

From that point on and for the rest of your life, you have an unconsious tendency to avoid walking down gravel paths. You don't know you're avoiding the paths, but you are. You never notice it, but you'll suddenly find yourself driving through the countryside instead of walking on that path. Of course, you won't attribute it to your bad experience; you'll merely attribute to a "matter of preference". If you do, for some reason, have to walk down a gravel path, you will unconsciously try to make the travel as quick and short as possible, praising yourself for your mastery of gravel paths while totally not enjoying the experience.

All because of one measly, annoying little pebble.

Ilan Volow
Monday, April 05, 2004

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