Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [agile-usability] Re: FUBU

Expand Messages
  • Desilets, Alain
    In fact, what has happened is that many people *believe* they are empathizing, and they certainly do want to help the user - it s that for some reason they are
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 16, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      In fact, what has happened is that many people *believe* they are
      empathizing, and they certainly do want to help the user - it's that for
      some reason they are unable to truly see the goals of the user.

      In other words, to take your example of Joe who has 10 kids, I might
      empathize with that, and say, I really want to help Joe, let's build an
      automatic diaper changer.

      -- Alain:
      In an XP Environment, Joe would tell the developper that what he really
      needs someone to babysit his kids while he takes some time off. So the
      developper would never end up building an automatic diaper changer. He
      might think that building an automatic diaper changer would be more fun
      than babysitting, but by agreeing to work on an XP team he has accepted
      the customer's bill of rights that says the customer gets to decide
      exactly what gets built.

      Maybe what you mean by "ability to empathise" you really mean "ability
      to see the forest for the tree and interpret what the customer/user says
      and come up with innovative designs that address their core needs". If
      so, I would agree that this is a skill that UI types of people are more
      likely to possess. But even there, that stereotype is not as strong as
      you might think. I know LOTS of UI types who CAN'T see the forest for
      the trees and who get bogged down in details like wording of dialogs,
      colors, positioning etc... (and those guys aren't all "developper turned
      UI-guy by accident" types). And I also know LOTS of developpers
      (especially in the agile world) who are very good at seeing the forest
      and coming up with the
      SimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyAddressTheUser'sCoreNeeds.
      ----
    • Dave Churchville
      ... Yes, that s exactly what I mean :-) But I wasn t making a statement that UI people are better at this than developers as a rule. Or that developers are
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 16, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
        <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
        > Maybe what you mean by "ability to empathise" you really mean "ability
        > to see the forest for the tree and interpret what the customer/user says
        > and come up with innovative designs that address their core needs". If
        > so, I would agree that this is a skill that UI types of people are more
        > likely to possess.

        Yes, that's exactly what I mean :-)

        But I wasn't making a statement that "UI people" are better at this
        than developers as a rule. Or that developers are universally bad at it.

        Rather, I think this is a relatively rare skill, in any discipline.

        Granted, an agile team is less likely to *overbuild* something
        suboptimal, and with frequent iteration and feedback may come up with
        a good solution over time. Again, I'm mainly talking about user
        interfaces and interactions.

        For example, as a long time agile practitioner, I think I've gotten
        pretty good at "forest vision", and been able to come up with simple,
        effective designs to solve core user needs.

        But I'm still amazed when I run across someone who has a gift for this
        kind of thinking, and can come up with a variety of alternatives, each
        of which is easily as good as mine at solving the problem.

        Again, I just think that's rare. Doesn't mean my solutions aren't
        "good enough", but there's another level possible.

        --Dave

        Dave Churchville
        http://www.extremeplanner.com
      • Desilets, Alain
        But I wasn t making a statement that UI people are better at this than developers as a rule. Or that developers are universally bad at it. -- Alain: No
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 16, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          But I wasn't making a statement that "UI people" are better at this than
          developers as a rule. Or that developers are universally bad at it.

          -- Alain:
          No worries. My buttons are pretty easy to push when it comes to
          stereotypes about developpers.
          ----
        • Jon Kern
          ... able to ... I am not so sure... (except for the might part) I would surmise the reason FUBU is easy for technical products is because of the intense
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 17, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            > I think if you have written good FUBU software, you might be
            able to
            >write decent FOBU (For Others, By Us) software also, because you are

            I am not so sure... (except for the "might" part)

            I would surmise the reason FUBU is easy for technical products is because of the intense familiarity with
                - the domain
                - the user tasks
                - the end user needs

            Having worked with the brilliant TogetherSoft development team, the tool was FUBU in the early days and very well done.

            As the feature list expanded to strange things like EJBs, the usability began to wane. The developers read the J2EE specs and technically did things correctly. But, since they had no idea what a J2EE developer needed -- though they expected they knew what was needed, this part of the tool fell short.
            -- jon
            
            


            Desilets, Alain said the following on 2/15/2006 3:54 PM:
            So, what's my point?  I have none - at least no big point.  Just
            these observations: developers often design good software for
            developers: FUBU.  Other often design pretty good software for their
            own use: FUBU.  Doing so can lead one to the false sense of belief
            that design is easy - and you can do it for anyone, or anyone else
            can do it for themselves: self-centered design.

            comments invited, and thanks for listening/reading. 
            [I really should get a blog and stop using this list as one.  ;-) ]

            -- Alain:
            I think if you have written good FUBU software, you might be able to
            write decent FOBU (For Others, By Us) software also, because you are
            already in the right frame of mind. In other words, you paid a lot of
            attention to yourself as an end user, so you will probably pay
            atttention to those Others as end users. In my view, once your whole
            team has assimilated the "pay attention to the end user" mentra, you are
            80% of the way there.

            Of course, a pitfall is that the developpers might not realise that
            these Other users are not like them... That's the "you are not the user
            (although you may be like them in many respects)" mentra. But I would
            think that this second mentra comes easily once you have assimilated the
            first one.
            ----
          • Jon Kern
            ...and I thought I did a good job... http://blogs.compuware.com/cs/blogs/jkern/archive/2006/02/23/mastering_a_skill.aspx -- jon
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 24, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.