Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the front lines

So today we're having a big discussion of the type where I'm amazed we're having the discussion.

The issues surround a tool intended to replace a legacy app - the high stakes testing app I described previously.

Our UX folks are contending that "error messages are unnecessary" and that designing the app to support providing end users with error messages is "over engineering."

I've been having discussions like this for a few years. It's like pushing water up hill.

So combine this development approach with our latest piece of fan mail from Professor K over in Civil Engineering:
"I just wanted to let you know how unimpressed I am with the new coursework. It is incredibly un-intuitive, it is very difficult to find things and it is outright frustrating to use it. Like most software (and I have been a use as well as a developer of software for more than 40 years) the geeks who developed this software obviously did not consult any of the potential users because, if they had, they would have found out that this site is a disaster of the first kind. For one thing one has to go through umpteen steps to find anything, and I mean anything. I prefer the older version which was intuitive; one did not have to spend ten minutes to figure out each and every function.

What a waste of money in developing this thing, whatever it is.

Professor K"
Our erstwhile support staff again asked what specifically was hindering her, and if she had taken a look at the training videos. The support staff is looking for specific issues which we could address...

"I did go through, but the hole point is that I never had to do that with the previous one. My time, as is the time of all faculty, is very precious and having to spend half an hour looking yet at another manual on how to use something that is suppose to make my life easy is not the idea. I believe I spent 0 time with the previous one and had no problem doing things including setting up complicated section schedules and meetings, etc. with this one I would not even attempt it.

Sorry to keep griping. I am really wondering who did develop this. I don't they had any academic experience."
wow. I left the original spelling and grammar in place. In some abstracted way we work for this person.

I suppose the professor could research in Google to find out who did develop this.

This is one of those mornings where I ponder moving to Hollywood and being a grip.

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