David Megginson

Everything you need to know about designing computer systems, in two comics

I refer to these two comics constantly when I’m doing technology architecture and design work. Affordance Don’t make it easy to do the wrong thing and count on training or documentation to save you — everyone is tired or in a hurry sometimes. (From The…

Technology design, in two comics

Edward Morbius December 19, 2014 02:28

Since the Far Side image is apparently not loading, it’s this:


A/K/A:  Wings stay on, Wings fall off.

But yes.

I’ve also recently invoked the Blind Men and the Elephant (in the context of Google) describing how any complex system appears.

Each user’s experience of a large site (or application or company) will be based on how they encounter it and what they ask of it.  In the parable, the six blind men encounter an elephant as a wall, a snake, a spear, a tree, or a fan. And each is correct insofar as their experience.

Moreover: Forcing your users to acknowledge the wholeness of the elephant is in fact a category error. It may be sensible to allow them to do so, but if their interests aren’t served by this, then making the understanding mandatory is simply wrong.

Much of what has come to disturb and concern me regards Google is that I’ve got to accept the entire elephant, when all I’m interested in is the fan.

Imported from Google+ — content and formatting may not be reliable