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February 12, 2012 10:47:05.488

Dave Winer makes an excellent point about usability:

They're always moving stuff around in software like this. This is a lesson every generation of developers seems to have to re-learn. Little things like this break users. So what. Once you have competition and look into why people switch, you'll find that "it just works" or "it works like I think" is a highly valued non-feature. It's not something that you can put on a comparison chart. To users it's a subjective thing. It has to do with whether they like you or not. To you however, it's engineering. This feeling is created from hundreds of little subjectives they don't even see, that Ebert would totally understand. In film it's called suspension of disbelief . We don't yet have a name for this in software.

He flared that off a complaint by Roger Ebert about changes to Twitter; it could just as easily have flared off of a bazillion useless changes Facebook has made over the years, or the atrocities Microsoft has committed with Office. Since they put in the Ribbon, I can't find anything anymore; it's the main reason I switched to the OS X suite. IMHO, Office has become downright user hostile.

posted by James Robertson

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