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02.07.2009 15:31 - Functionality vs. Interface (part 1)
Автор: vasmer Категория: Технологии   
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Последна промяна: 16.07.2009 13:01


When was the last time when you felt like a moron after installing the so much advertised new version of your favorite software application? Or after months of software development, the contractor you have chosen presents all functionality that you have requested in a hide-and-seek interface? Then the question arises – am I so dumb or what? Do I need all this functionality? Probably the answer is yes. So, the next question is how to fit all the functionality and operations in the interface that one can understand?
It is a paradox – the graphical tools become more and more sophisticated and the interface becomes more and more impossible to comprehend. Have you heard this old joke: How does a gynecologist make car engine maintenance? - Using the exhaust pipe. As absurd it is, the same happens when you want to use you latest favorite software application.
I am always amazed when after using a program of middle complexity for about a year, using it in almost full capacity, to find a new feature. Can somebody explain me how the hell could this feature be kept hidden for so long time from me? Recently I was in an office and was amazed to find a second door in the toilet accessing a room with a refrigerator. I guess we all have found “refrigerators” in the “toilets” of the programs that we use, or in the devices that are build to help us but sometimes intentionally fight against us and so on.
To be frank, being a software developer and a project manager, I cannot say it is easy. On the contrary, the competition between the vendors is so heavy that they are pressed to integrate more and more functionality to keep head over water. My reasonable question is: do we, as customers, need all this? How many of you know what RSS is? How many cares? I spent one hour searching the internet to find out. I do not say it is useless. What I am saying is that it was so well abbreviated and obfuscated provoking if not anger, at least annoyance. Do you need a mobile phone with an MP3 player, FM radio, picture and video recorder, etc. that cannot transfer a contact form the SMS memory to the contacts memory? If you do, I can give you mine. It goes by with a pen and a sheet of paper for the above operations.
Still it seems that in this direction there is a reasonable trend – Nokia announced bringing to the market a new model mobile phone concentrated on one main functionality – it is just a phone. Of course, there is a catch – for being such a modern piece of engineering, it is applicable only in the high-end class and of course is very expensive. But these are the ticks and tricks of the marketing – something that I will post another article about.
Now you can see my considerations for wanting to discuss this – functionality versus interface. Now seriously – what does this mean and is the software development going in the right direction in general? 

will be continued ...


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Автор: vasmer
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