User Specifications Comic Strips - Page 5
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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."
Dilbert, Wally, Alice and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "The project status is 'yellow light.'" Dilbert continues, "In user tests we found that the product locks up every twelve seconds. The interface is incomprehensible and the manual is pure fiction." Dilbert continues, "I think it's clear what we need to do . . ." The Boss asks, "Ship it and hope somebody writes a 'Dummies' book about it?"
Dilbert is talking to a worker. Holding a list, Dilbert says, "Your user requirements include four hundred features." Dilbert continues, "Do you realize that no human would be able to use a product with that level of complexity?" The worker says, "Good point. I'd better add 'easy to use' to the list."
Dilbert points to a slide and says, "We can fix our incomprehensible user interface for a million dollars." Dilbert continues, "Or we can close our eyes and wish real hard that our users won't care." The Boss closes his eyes and wishes real hard. Wally turns to Alice and says, "He's saving a million dollars. What did you do today?"
The Boss points to a slide and says, "Our dress code policy will go back to business attire." The Boss continues, "And I will keep changing the dress code until I find the clothing style that makes our profits go up!" Headline: Later, At The Sartorial Alchemy Lab. The Boss and Catbert are both wearing safety goggles. A shirt is being hung from a machine and The Boss is holding out a shoe. The Boss says, "Watch out. This might spark."
Headline: In Elbonia. Dilbert says to an Elbonian, "Excuse me. My boss is cheap; can you direct me to a bad hotel?" The Elbonian responds, "I recommend the Bubonic Inn. It is so bad they will pay you to stay there." The man behind the hotel counter looks like a skeleton and has a rat on his head. The man says, "What kind of fleas do you want in your mattress?" Dilbert replies, "Lazy ones."
Dilbert says to The Boss, "I can't start the project because the user won't give me his requirements." The Boss replies, "Start making something anyway. Otherwise we'll look unhelpful." Dilbert says, "So, our plan is to cleverly hide our competence." The Boss responds, "You think too much."