Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Do it

Why I do it (by TheUiGuy)
I have an innate curiosity about the workings of the universe, and much of my time learning various subjects including science, technology, mythology, religion and recently, civics. I'm the type to complain about the design of a parking lot and ask "what was the developer thinking?" and then spend the next 20 minutes redesigning the thing.

This is why I am a User Interface Engineer for software. Because of all of man's endeavors, we are only beginning to crack the surface of true usability of this nightmarish thing called computers. My goal is to prove that usability enhancements not only improve the software and the brand-loyalty, but also contribute to user's general well-being/health and the company's bottom line.

I don't get holistic about it. I just know what its like to be on the end of a door whose designer decided to leave out all visual cues as to which way the door opens... only to push on the wrong side and have to pretend that I meant to do it, so I don't look foolish. And nobody thinks to themselves "Wow, that door designer really should have applied a visual cue to the door so that people don't make asses out of themselves"... nope, its always your fault, right?

So, my philosophy is that 9 times out of 10 if a user fails a task in the physical or software world it is because the designer failed to communicate clearly. I hope to help alleviate this during my work even if it means failing once in a while.

But beyond all that, there is a massive evolution of software due - one of those "peak events" that redefine current categories of thought. It will be on the heels of a hardware evolution of the same ilk. It's difficult to say what it is, but in the next 10 years you probably will be interacting with software in a very different way, and I hope to help define the tenants of the interaction.