Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Tech Lab: Greg Papadopoulos

An interview with Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems ...

"As a technologist, when I look at the artefacts that we're thrusting onto the world they contain a lot of historical baggage and biases because we simply carry on the assumptions from the past. Things really could be a lot simpler.

All too often, it's like we're asked to care for these things that we really shouldn't care about - and that ranges from mobile phones to personal computers - rather than asking the technology designers to build tools with us in mind.

'Ridiculously broken'

Think about the voicemail system on your cell phone. It's really bad.

You get the messages linearly, you are told that you have five new voicemails and you don't know what's from whom or the content of each message.

To organise your messages, you have to dial through with ridiculous key sequences.

Making it worse, you can't choose a better system as you have to take voicemail from your mobile service provider.

When I look at my phone, with the nice display and all sorts of processing power, I begin to think that voicemail is not just bad - it's ridiculously broken.

Messages should come down to my phone well ahead of when I want to listen so that I can organise them.

Then I want to be able to arrange voicemails like my e-mail, where I could see all the messages and pick amongst them.

I would also really like some voice recognition as well. If I want to read my voicemails, I should be able to do just that."    (Continued via BBC)    [Usability Resources]


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