What is Usability, anyway? (was 'User' Business Analyst - apparently)
18 Nov 2004 - 8:20pm
10 years ago
>Julian_Orr at peoplesoft.com: > > In my experience you can "engineer" users its more often called "training" > > and usually costs 3k/week.
> > Then no matter how crap or complex your system is you can alway "engineer" > > someone to use it. An averagely crap system requires 1-2 weeks training > > for end users and 3x that for Admins. Not to mention on the job > > engineering.
Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:
> If I recall correctly, IBM makes about four times as much in > consulting/services as in software sales. So that would justify IBM's > business model: selling complexity and charging a premium for services that > "solve" it.
Interesting segue to what is lurking in my mind since few
days/months/year now -- what is Usability?
Here's the context -- I have been doing websites, intranets, and
consumer portals, but most recently (since last 4 years) have
gainfully serving "enterprise application world". This largely
includes "financial" and "supply chain" domain. And thsi transition
amkes me think, if there is anything "absolute" about usability goals?
And are the two -- parallel web vs. enterprise applications
In my opinion, goals for enterprise applications design/usability are
aimed to be delivered with "training" package. Ideology of Apple is
been rejected. Users are defined as "power users" or the ones
who-know-what-they-are-doing. Completely against the assumptions that
you make in the context of parallel web -- websites, demos, intranets,
shopping carts etc. Pathetic as it may sound, but is supported by
econimic indicators and rules-of-majority.
Coming back to the issue -- What is wrong (if there's any)? Is there
any issue of immorality in enterprise apps vendors? Is IBM, Microsoft
been unfaithful to common-senses? And so, if I join hands with my
business comrades in maximizing "profits", am I a trial-lawyer kind
It is interesting to discuss this issue, because IMHO, most of the
designers don't want to accept the business/economic reality of
business when they talk about design agenda.
Well, just be careful. I am fragile and has no experience with devil