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Ed Batista

Great quote from "Player Piano," Bob, and although I agree that it's a somewhat outdated slur against engineering per se, it feels like an accurate description of the mindset behind the design of hundreds of systems I encounter on a daily basis.

This is one reason I've found the web such a congenial place over the past decade, despite my lack of technical training or orientation: When switching costs are low and getting lower, systems designers are compelled to think about how their system can conform to the users' needs and mindset, rather than imperiously forcing the user to conform to the system.

Ed

Fredex

Ron,

I'm glad you are happy.

End users have their own world where your software supports their jobs. The hierarchy starts a few levels above their jobs and goes done mutiple levels before it gets to you. You are a servant to their needs.

I worked for a company where error messages to end users included "invalid instance of object." Huh? How could anyone make sense of that? The cool kids who wrote that stuff thought they were well, Cool Kids.

That company is gone (surprised?) and all the cool kids have moved on. I hope they are happy flipping burgers. It makes me happy to think they are flipping burgers.

Ron Lubensky

The software I've designed would work far better without me having to put up with stupid end-users. Okay, I didn't really believe that, because empathy towards users as people with a diversity of backgrounds, capabilities and behaviours did in fact make me a better designer. But I'm still happier now having changed careers:-)

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