Operators Are Standing By

I heard a phrase the other month that summed up a lot of my operating abilities. I was listening to the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast #93, (from May 3rd, 2007). About 40 minutes into the show they had an interview with Bug Girl concerning Colony Collapse Disorder. One of the hosts (I believe it was Dr Steven Novella) summarized bee navigation abilities by stating, “They’re very precise, but they’re easily confused.”

Yeah, I get confused. The world is a confusing place, and bad design just makes it so much worse. I may at times be very precise in how I approach the things I need to do, but that doesn’t always help.

It’s not just me. Everyone has processing blips; some of us just have them a lot more often than others. But in any regard, this is why our tools, the machinery and electronics of our lives, needs to be better designed. Poor design just makes so much stress damn unnecessary! Crappy design takes a lot of things out of the realm of accessibility — people simply cannot use things, people cannot get to places, people cannot do the things they need to do.

When human beings cannot operate well (or at all) in human environments, it is not the fault of the people, it’s bad design. And bad design is just so damn unnecessary.

Possibly one of the most fabulous qualities of computers is not just that they can do so many different functions, that they can be configured to enable us in so many different ways, that they can aid in communication, but because Read the rest of this entry »