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11/07/2001 Archived Entry: "7-Nov-2001 -- Don Norman is wrong when he compares pens to software"
Don Norman is wrong when he compares pens to software -- "The idea of software getting "as easy to use" as a pen is revolting to me. The only way that'll happen is if you reduce its functionality down to only one or two functions."
Replies: 8 comments
Don's comments are no suprise. He has a long and clear history of showing a profound lack of understanding for design and the design process. This goes back to his first book which was basically a claim that designers, engineers...etc. are all just plain idiots. I have always been perplexed by the strong following he seems to have gained in the design community.
Posted by Charles Mauro @ 11/08/2001 07:17 AM EST
Can somebody post a link to Don's actual statements? Perhaps he was talkin' about the pen being an input device (with something similar to Palm's Grafitti technology) and not just a pointing device (such as the mouse).
Posted by Francis @ 11/08/2001 10:18 AM EST
Are you sure you're in the right business? I took a look at your web site and instead of text, you have everything as a damn GIF.
Oh, that's well-designed! :(
Posted by Neil @ 11/08/2001 12:32 PM EST
Please try to remain friendly.
Do not engage in personal attacks.
Posted by John S. Rhodes @ 11/08/2001 01:02 PM EST
You know, Neil *is* right.
You cannot get more inaccessbile than his page.
Posted by sigpipe @ 11/09/2001 02:22 PM EST
It has to be said, the Mauro Newmedia site is a fine exampe - of bad usability...
Posted by Jakob's shadow @ 11/09/2001 06:43 PM EST
Perhaps that's the idea behind this:
And I must say it looks as a great idea IMHO.
Posted by Alvaro @ 11/13/2001 11:20 AM EST
Mr. Heron: It appears that you have made it your recent mission to post negative comments about my firm on various BB and blogs. For the record, I find your statements especially in appropriate in light of the fact that you are making comments for which there is virtually no scientifically valid support. Making such comments about my firm's web site without detailed knowledge of our user profile and business objectives reflects poorly on your level of expertise not to mention good sense.
For the record my firmís web site has literally thousand of hits a month from leading corporate e-com executives who operate entirely with-in the framework of high-speed connections. None have ever mentioned or complained at any point about the matters that mention. Furthermore, prior to the launch of our site we subjected the site to extensive usability testing by our target profile and found response time well with-in acceptable range and search/find time and errors very low. Our site is not now and never will be designed for the casual, inexperienced individual like your self. To make a statement that all text in GIF format is poor usability engineering is absurd in the extreme. To state such, as if it were a universal truth of site design, is an example of blindly applying a principal with out the benefit or insight of context of use.
Finally, had you taken the time to actually look at our site before entering your postings you would have seen that my firm has executed several of the most successful usability engineering projects at work in the world economy today. Founded in 1975, we have received the highest citations from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, NASA, and the Association of Computing Machines. Our clients and history speak for themselves. Mr. Heron you have the right to your opinion but you do not have a right to make it your mission to spread information that is inaccurate and inappropriate.
Finally and most important, on my comments above about Don Norman. I offer the following response. Had you taken the time to actually look at our site you would have seen that we recommend Donís first book near the top of our reading list and in fact we actually sell a number of his books each month through our connection with Amazon. Donís contribution toward increasing public awareness of usability is without peer. However, when Don shifts analysis to design issues he is frequently off base. I have maintained this point of view for many years and have made it known in other forums.
Charles L. Mauro
Posted by Charles Mauro @ 11/24/2001 12:12 AM EST
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