Friday, September 29, 2006

Interfacing the environment

I’ve been reading Joel Spolskys User Interface Design for Programmers which is a useful paradigm shift for most programmers and it got me thinking…

I have quite a far amount of trouble keeping David from pressing the reset (and off!) button on my computer. Why is that? Why is he so interested in pressing that particular piece of plastic? He certainly has no idea of what it does or that it does anything.

It’s because the button invites pressing. It’s designed by professionals to look like something that can or rather should be pressed. That’s why David feels the need to turn knobs on the oven, handle the remote control, open closed drawers and rarely plays with his toys.

Toys designers got it all wrong. It’s not about the vivacious colors or the high pitched sounds. It’s about usability. So I’m off to buy some toys with interfaces!

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