Mandatory Use Means Your Product Sucks

2010-10-28 11:29:07 by chort

I was recently reading excerpts from an interview with Melinda Gates in the New York Times. What struck me is she forbade her children to have iPods when they asked, and instead offered Zunes. This is consistent with past articles I recall reading where Microsoft employees were criticized by supervisors for having iPods or iPhones.

It's easy to use the Microsoft examples, but I'm sure there are many others. Your initial reaction is probably along the lines of "how dare a company try to dictate what their employees use for personal entertainment", but really there is a more interesting aspect: What does it say about your products when you have to force your employees to use them?

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Hard Work on Bad Design is not Commendable

2010-10-26 13:08:04 by chort

Recently I was talking with an executive about challenges they were having generating revenue from customers. The exec shared that they had some unprofitable customers, and most of the expense was in support. The problem was identified as the customers not having enough education on the product and/or not being smart enough to use it.

Since I have some experience with their product, I asked if the problem might be more due to the complexity of the product and the fact that even a training course isn't sufficient to make an administrator proficient with it. The exec admitted there are some complexities, but insisted they've been "working on it" and cited one example from long ago where they fixed a major usability issue. The exec then went on to point out how many hours the developers have been working and basically had a cheer-leading session for their efforts to roll-out new features.

Click here for the ranty bit.

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