Interesting conclusion...  "you are not your user."

(But IMHO, Neilsen is long on explanation, but his website falls short on
implementation...  I'm not the only person who has observed this anomoly...
I've heard his site has gotten /somewhat/ better, though.)

My take on this article is that, in the sentence immediately preceding the
conclusion, Neilsen specifically spells out how to assume the POV of the
user:  "The only real mistake is not to fix the usability problems because
you personally think they are easy enough to deal with."  If you don't START
with that bogus assumption.. you may not be your user, but you can assume
their POV and learn from them.

If you start with the assumption the interface is OK, and part of the
problem MUST BE the user..  you can study the user and the interface for
hours, but will learn little.

Now I'm pragmatic...  I look at it in the same way as I follow John Sears
advice (and others):  Conceptualize the DB to the 3rd normal form, but
design it to the second.

I don't have time to make an idiot-proof interface (and the joke goes
something like:  there's always an idiot out there who can defeat your best
code...;-)  But I mentally log ALL the problems the user reports, and those
I observe...  I generally observe more than they report, because I start
with the assumption the interface can ALWAYS be improved, in some way or

And then design out the most dangerous and easiest to prevent.. given the
time/cost constraints of the moment...

JMHO, as Neilsen's credentials are impeccable...


| -----Original Message-----
| From:
| []On Behalf Of Reeve Fritchman
| Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 12:03 PM
| To:
| Subject: RE: "One person per product" Answer: "Are developers people?
| Importance: High
| Neilsen has a few interesting thoughts; I'm sure he's the type that makes
| IBM suits wince.
| Perhaps it does take a researcher to explain why we don't want
| interruptions.  It's easy to complain but hard to explain.
| Fans humming = white noise.  Machine room = limited access (and the thrill
| of sneaking in a soda).  Works for me, except usually my hands
| get cold.  Of
| course, in BVS's part of the world, you go into the machine room
| to warm up.
| -----Original Message-----
| From:
| []On
| Behalf Of Brad Stone
| Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 9:35 AM
| To:
| Subject: Re: "One person per product"
<snip Brad's comments, which I already re-posted once>

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