Saturday, July 02, 2005

It's not just me - most software really does stink!

An article on the cover of the June 20th ComputerWorld begins as follows:

"Badly designed software is costing businesses millions of dollars annually because it's difficult to use, requires extensive training and support, and is so frustrating that many end users underutilize applications..."
This was attributed to IT officials at Boeing and Fidelity. I second the motion. What's the answer?

Aside from maybe TESTING AND USING YOUR OWN PRODUCT, a group of (presumably equally frustrated) people came up with something called the "Common Industry Format for Usability Test Reports", or CIF. Recently, the International Standards Organization (ISO) voted to accept CIF. Vendors who comply with the standard should be able to provide this report to customers on demand. Better yet, if they write worth a damn, they should prominently tout & display these reports as proof that they know what they're doing.

Calling Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, IBM, and Veritas...start writing.

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