“You don’t need unit tests. Just write correct code.” “Closing this PEBKAC.” “Looks like another ID-10-T error.” We builders of systems spend a lot of time blaming failures in the systems we build on users of the systems we build. Maybe that’s fine; maybe it’s their fault. If the end users of your web app would just read the ‘Help’ pages, they wouldn’t have to call you with questions so often. If the passengers boarding an airplane would just wait for their zone to be called, the line wouldn’t back up and the plane would leave on time. If the developers you manage would just write code that works, they wouldn’t have to waste all that time on code reviews and unit tests.

On the other hand, maybe the systems are inherently flawed, but we don’t notice until users get involved. Maybe we’re not very good at building systems that embrace real people, so instead we build systems that barely tolerate them. How would our system designs change if we started viewing “user errors” as “normative behavior”? How would a system that expected reality from its users be different from one that expects perfection?

Comments

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A very interesting talk. Really good introduction using an IRL scenario, and then really provided some interesting thoughts and takeaways that we will look at in our own organisation.

Rated 5

John Hackett at 10:14 on 25 May 2017

Great talk! She was really good at using real world examples and had a lot of good, though-provoking ideas to take away.

Great talk. Great at comparing real world examples to software and making it relevant.

Good talk, I liked the real world examples of bad user interfaces which tied in with the objective very well.

Thought provoking examples we see every day in the real world. Smooth transitions through the points. Clean and easy to follow slides. Got crowd to participate and grabbed our attention multiple times throughout with unexpected slides.

Rated 5

Joshua Smith at 13:52 on 25 May 2017

Great talk. This reminded me very much of Donald Norman's _The Design of Everyday Things_. As software designers we sometimes get excited just that we made a working system and we forget to approach it from the user's perspective to make it truly useful.

Rated 5

Brian Carcich at 16:25 on 25 May 2017

That's MY daughter.

Very engaging speaker. I really enjoyed this talk and the real world examples were great.

Rated 5

Mark Knapik at 10:34 on 29 May 2017

Great talk. Love the use of real-world examples.

Rated 4

SH at 17:46 on 30 May 2017

This made me think a different way about software, bugs, and provided a different perspective on users and how to build our systems - for imperfect people like us.

Rated 5

Sandy Smith at 15:56 on 6 Jun 2017

Excellent talk to get developers thinking about the kinds of experience they're setting up. My only suggestion would be to go through the initial stove example a little more quickly. However, that's an extremely minor suggestion. Overall great talk, great style, excellent use of images, and great storytelling.