Why Software Sucks?

After attending a session with Davis Platt at TechEd in Barcelona, I recently decided to finish his book “Why Software Sucks”. While there are some explanations (like the difference between static and dynamic web pages) that do get a little long for those use to working with computers (In Davis defense the book IS written for non-technical personnel), the general message of the book is basic, yet so true. Developers forget their users. David Platt’s “First, Last and Only Law of User Interface Design”: “Know Thy User, For He Is Not Thee”, is in my opinion something every developer involved in implementing user interfaces, should repeat to himself daily.

Besides the overall message, David Platt provides some both interesting and really funny examples of both good and bad user interface design, as well as general views on computers and what a computer should mean to an average user. Like how the question “The text in Untitled file has changed. Do you want to save the changes?” would really read “Throw away everything you’ve just done?” if it had been written from a users perspective.

I would recommend this book to anyone involved with user interfaces – or computer software I general. I feel I have taken something away from the book, that I will be able to apply not just to user interface design. I just started “Framework Design Guideline” by Krzysztof Cwalina , and found myself thinking about “Why Software Sucks” in the context of API design.

I am not an avid reader but I got thru the less than 250 pages over a weekend. Do yourself a favor and do the same.

More info on the book and a sample chapter can be found at: http://www.whysoftwaresucks.com/

Krzysztof Cwalina blog can be found at: http://blogs.msdn.com/kcwalina/

As usual, if you find the post useful (or if you straight up disagree with me) feel free to leave a comment!

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