Once upon a time I worked in a large corporation in the (at that time) novel capacity of a usability specialist. I had a hard time of it. For one thing, the very idea of building systems whose behaviors conformed to common standards was novel. PC software was gradually emerging from the prehistory of the DOS command line and characterbased user interfaces into the comparatively modern world of Windows. In those days the use of a graphic user interface per se was deemed to make a program user-friendly. Often repurposing an application for Windows involved literally presenting the characterbased interface, together with its bespoke key controls, into a window. I frequently had conversations with developers whose aim was to focus on the features of the software, with the only nod toward usability being an offer to “make it look pretty at the end.” Convincing such developers that in fact usability is a systemic issue—that you should design your software from top to bottom to be usable, rather than putting lipstick on a pig-was a long and tough task.


Mental Model Virtual Keyboard Usability Consideration Command Button Keyboard Shortcut 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Ian Piper 2009

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