Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Smaller, smarter, and still usable?

Simplicity, size, and usabiltiy ...

"We all see how technology advances, but sometimes it's not very easy to use. Especially for early adopters. Even worse for mobile devices where everything is limited and tiny in comparison to the larger product counterparts.

So if consumers can't even set the clock on their VCR, how are they going to come into the new age of portable computing?

Robert Kaplan looks at these issues in an article from Portable Design. He introduces it this way, "We live in a time when technological advances have permitted developers to create devices that were unheard of just a few years ago. Forget the Dick Tracy watch of a few decades back and think Star Wars. Advances in electronics, wireless communications, and software have given us those mobile devices we only dreamed about. But are these devices really usable? Can typical users operate these devices easily, and are they willing to learn how to operate them?"

And, unfortunately, there is "a natural conflict between business/developer goals and end-user goals. Business goals occur during the design phase of a product. Developers think in terms of what can be done rather than what should be done... This leads to feature-creep where the team wants to add just another little feature. Feature accumulation can easily lead to a bad case of “featureitis” during product design and development."

It's a great article well worth a look. The author, Robert Kaplan "is founder and principal at Usernomics (San Mateo, CA; www.usernomics.com)."   continued ...   (Via Portable Design and mobileread.com)

Loading-up On Features - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Loading-up On Features

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