Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, July 10, 2021

One way to look at the vocation of usability professionals is as a group of expert dumb-downers:

When the federal government was creating its informational Web site (now known as usa.gov), it brought in usability experts to look for flaws. By watching users, the site’s creators found that people were having trouble finding an individual agency’s Web site because they did not know which department to look under.

“Even people in the Washington, D.C., area didn’t know that,” said Janice Redish, a usability consultant who worked on the project in February 2002. “It was an easy fix once we knew it.”

It’s an essential dumb-downing exercise, though. Especially when it comes to tech applications, there’s a constant disconnect between the codemonkeys that create the product, and developing easily-accessible nodes for a non-techie audience — i.e., the customer — to actually use said product. Consumer product lines live and die by such design tenets, and as the tech industry moves more and more into that same realm, factoring in non-engineering input becomes crucial.

I’d like to think I’d be well-suited for some level of this work. Something to keep in my personal career-development file.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/10/2021 09:04:59 AM
Category: Business, Tech
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I can’t tell if this academic paper by a couple of professors at Georgetown and Stanford is supposed to be a serious, scholarly exercise on the etymological origins of “your ass” as a colloquial saying.

I’ve got a strong hint, though, that it’s all a big goof, based on passages like this one:

We discuss the problems your ass causes for various types of syntactic binding theories.

Plus, the Georgetown professor, John Beavers, comes off as more than a little goofy.

Note that a post out of this very blog was cited as a research source, on page 3 of the study. Unfortunately, the passage quoted — referencing Donny Deutsch’s “bad self”, aka “bad ass” — wasn’t scribbled by me; it was, in fact, a blockquote taken from some anonymous AP reporter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/10/2021 08:55:33 AM
Category: Comedy, Wordsmithing
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