Four Pillars: Unintended consequences of bad software design

We’re in for a real shock as Generation M waltz into the workplace.

[I have no real idea where the kernel for this particular snowball comes from, I read voraciously and converse with many people. To someone out there, thanks.]

I think we’ve built a strange ritual in the workplace. We start using something new and unfamiliar, which is not wrong. Quite often, it is designed to be as unintuitive as possible, slowing us down, making us do odd things. Which is wrong. QWERTY’s ghost.

But we are human and clever and we persevere and we adapt and we learn.

And so, after a while, we “master” this thing. And we’re almost proud of the effort we expended. Scratch “almost”. We’re proud of what we did.

It becomes an initiation rite. When someone new comes along, and the head-scratching and puzzlement and McEnroe moments begin, we nod wisely. And smugly. Sometimes we’re kinder, we patronisingly take them through the initiation rite.

After all, we went through all that pain, that’s what got us where we got to. And now it’s their turn.

This protection of unworkable software then becomes an enshrining of the bad. And we pay homage and tribute to the bad. We’ve got used to it, so who cares?

Generation M cares. And they won’t put up with it. Their next job is one click away. Maybe closer, as the war for talent bites.

Wake up. Simplicity and convenience, respect for the individual, device and platform independence, software that works, all these are no longer nice-to-haves.

One thought on “Four Pillars: Unintended consequences of bad software design”

  1. Doc Searls tells us “blogging is provisional”. Guess we should add “systems are provisional”, when they all have a beta tag, and are delivered with an agile process. Too much of the current software dev mindset imagines we’re building huge civil engineering projects to last for decades, like bridges or towers.

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