User Specifications Comic Strips
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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.
boss: this isn't what i wanted. dilbert: it is, unless you gave me the wrong specs. boss: i assume you would use your common sense to know what i wanted. dilbert: did you common sense help you make that assumption?
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'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: 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.
boss: i hired the dogbert tech support team to help with customer calls because our user interface is so sadistic. dilbert: wouldn't that be adding insult to injury? boss: how so? dogbert in a office at a desk yelling: try rebooting, you idiot. and don't call again!
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.
boss: how long will it take to write the software? dilbert: that depends. what do you want the software to do? boss: i don't know yet. dilbert: do you see the problem here? boss: is it you?
Dilbert: We need to fix our user interface because half of our users can't figure it out. Boss: Tell them to read the manual. Dilbert: That's not how you fix a bad user interface. Boss: Then why do manuals exist? Dilbert: If you need me, I'll be banging my head against a wall.
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.