Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pesky Games

Video games are, naturally, at it again. At what? Destroying society, that's what. The latest offering to be targeted by those that seek publicity by launching a crusade against the popular (am I being cynical? Perhaps I just don't notice the campaigns against less high profile targets) is Skyrim. 

Apparently, the psychological and spiritual damage that this game metes out is more than any other game ever before. I can only assume that what these critics actually mean is "this game will take up a lot of time" although it's not going to be as much as World Of Warcraft.

This case if put forth in a petition, which you can read (I'm assuming you won't be signing it) here.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. 

And I have a right to laugh at it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY Usability

Once upon a time I designed software without using any usability testing. Those were crazy days, full of arguments between team members, which went a lot like this:

Someone: I think it should be like this.
Someone Else: No, I think it should be like this.
Repeat for evvvvvvvvvvvver...

And so, time was wasted.

Then I found myself working at a company that had a usability lab, which I embraced like a bear greeting a picnic basket carrying long lost friend. 

Of course, not every company thinks it can afford a usability lab. So it's up to you, yes you, whoever you are dear reader, to step up to the oche (I've never played baseball, so "plate" has no personal meaning for me, however I have played quite a lot of darts). And I've just read a book that tells you how: Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug.

Steve Krug is the Thomas Harris of factual books, i.e. it takes him a long time to release a new book. His books are 100% wisdom, and 0% waffle. If you're not familiar with his work, you should be.