In the cult classic radio play, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams talked about a fictitious technology company called the Sirius Cybernetics Coorporation, a company who products were so bad that…
“One is blinded to the fundamental uselessness of their products by the sense of achievement one feels in getting them to work at all. In other words, their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.“
Does that sound familiar? Ever tried to do battle with a substandard software application? Or a fundamentally flawed Operating System? Or some new gadget that was designed by geeky engineers but is incomprehensibly difficult to operate for the average user? And yet why do we just accept these devices and this software? …”One is blinded to the fundamental uselessness of their products by the sense of achievement one feels in getting them to work at all”. Such a poignant statement!
By the way, it’s quite astounding when you really look at how Douglas Adams wrote so casually about things that were so far ahead of their time – compare the way he describes the hypertext nature of The Guide itself to the way the World Wide Web works for example… then remind yourself that Douglas wrote this some 15 years before Tim Berners-Lee published the first webpage back on August 6, 1991!
Design Flaws by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.