My summerhouse is a waterfront cottage built on the grounds of my grandfathers old farmland. Situated at the north shore of one of the big Swedish lakes, the last Ice Age left this particular shore scattered with rocks and stones. Boating on the lake is great, but you need to be a native to find your way. A newbie wont survive a minute without hitting a rock.
I grew up navigating those waters, I am a native and so i have no trouble finding my way. But even i have hit hard when i was young and even I need to stick to the known routes. Creativity in steering or spontaneous navigation lead to certain trouble and sinking boats.
SO why have all of this planets corporate IT-systems taken their inspiration from this particular piece of nature, this very beautiful but dangerous Swedish bay?
WHY are all of this planets corporate IT-systems impossible to navigate and impossible to figure out? If you dont happen to be a native?
Surely there is no Ice Age to blame for littering the code? Surely the engineers that build the systems wants them to be used – i mean we all think about usability, right?
I dont believe that engineers in general are lousy designers – but i do think that having worked 1000′s of hours with the code of a system you know it so well that you can navigate any front with ease. And with your screen off. You are a native, and as a native you easily gets blind for complexity. Things that seems natural and easy for you comes across as totally impossible to understand and use for your customers. SAP, anyone?
There is also the abundance in IT – a button costs nothing to install. More colors? Cool – its also free! And so we start stuffing the programs with functions that MIGHT be useful, someday for someone. And until then only confusing for everyone.
This needs to stop right now and I hereby put a ban on bad design.
We need to design our systems from the users point of view. Only.
Dump Usability and introduce Lovability.
And do it today.
If people doesn’t love what you do, you have failed!