User Specification Comic Strips - Page 4
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the boss: did you read my suggestions on the user interface? dilbert: yes, but we'll need a bigger budget if you want to make the user interface so easy that even you can use it. the boss: just make it so the average idiot can use it. dilbert: we did, but we didn't anticipate any below-average idiots.
boss: i hired a sadist to design our user interfaces. i realize this isn't ideal, but no one else wanted the job. dilbert: why would our customers buy a product designed by a sadist? boss: it's called stockholm syndrome.
dilbert: the product is ready to ship as soon as the new user guide is complete. boss: ship it with the old model's user guide. dilbert: the user interface is totally different. boss: don't let perfect be the enemy of shipping.
dogbert's tech support dogbert: yes, we know the user manual refers to the wrong product. just use your common sense to figure out what the manual should have said. voice from phone: i tried the, but it didn't work. dogbert: i can't fix your common sense!
dilbert: our tech support staff is overwhelmed because we shipped the wrong user guide with our product. boss: my bonus only depends on launching the product on time. tech support isn't my department. dilbert: you caused the problem. boss: who told you it was a fair world.
dogbert: i've designed these over-ear headphones for maximum customer annoyance. the charging port is only on one side, so the user has a fifty percent chance of guessing wrong. and the charger only fits if you put it right-side up. to increase the frustration, i made the plug look the same on both sides. best of all, the plug is so poorly designed that half the time it doesn't seem to fit, even when you put it in correctly. i made the headphones black, so you can't easily find the charger hole in low light. ninety percent of users will be cursing us every time they try to recharge. customers won't know any of this until after they purchase. boss: ship it.
Dilbert: We interviewed hundreds of users and turned all of their suggestions into features. As it turns out, every user we talked to was an idiot, and their dumb suggestions ruined our product. In hindsight, we probably should have talked to people who work outside this building.
"We could design the product with a simple point - and - click interface..." "Or we could require the user to choose among thousands of poorly documented commands, each of which must be typed exactly right on the first try." "Bear in mind, we'll never meet a customer ourselves." "Make it so they have to reboot after every typo."
Wally approaches another employee and says, "Hold it right there, buddy." Wally continues, "That scruffy beard . . . those suspenders . . . that smug expression . . ." Wally concludes, "You're one of those condescending Unix computer users!" The man responds, "Here'a nickel, kid. Get yourself a better computer."