Chores

Kurtzhau – 11 – taps on the bedroom door and marches in. “The Xbox 360 doesn’t have an independent volume control.”

I look up from my kindle. “OK. Thanks.”

Earlier I’d tasked him to sort out the way the volume is always too low when we switch between Xbox and cable, and then loud enough to pin you to your chair when we go from from cable to console.

“Right, next chore,” I say. “Find the home address of the designer who didn’t think it needed an independent volume control and mail him–”

–Yes, I’m fairly certain the person in question is a him in this case.

“–a dog turd.”

Kurtzhau grins. “That’s your job dad.”

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Posted in Geek Parenting
2 comments on “Chores
  1. Geoff Hart says:

    Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” has an excellent explanation of why so much software sucks. Having spoken to a couple programmer friends about this issue, it’s clear to me that half of the problem is that programmers receive no training in usability or user experience. The other half is that even though they often call themselves software engineers, they are not engineers: as a profession, they lack the right to tell Marketing that the software is not ready and will not ship until it is safe for human use.

    The world would be much improved by adopting Cooper’s design philosophy (“Designing for the Digital Age”, by Cooper’s protègé Kim Goodwin), but I have little hope of that happening any time soon.

    • mharoldpage says:

      That makes good sense! But actually engineer engineers also get it wrong. Have you noticed the way a lot of appliances work fine, but don’t seem to belong to a world where other appliances exist. For example, DVD players that won’t stack. Cable boxes that overheat if placed in any kind of cabinet…

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