Software Design Usability Commandments!

On his wonderfully-named blog "Not The User's Fault," software developer Jono at Mozilla Labs lays down a 10-commandments-style manifesto for usable software design. Definitely read the whole thing, but I love these highlights:

"We software developers, being not exactly average users, must work extra hard to understand how average users will relate to our software."

"People say things to me like, 'Linux is only free if the value of my time is zero.'"

"When a user makes a mistake, don’t blame the user. Ask how the software misled them. Then fix it."

"The qualities of software that make for a good advertisement or computer-store demo are not the same qualities that make software usable and pleasant to work with long-term, day-in day-out. Often these qualities are opposites."

And, demonstrating a Steve-Jobs-like disdain for buttons in a hypothetical microwave: "The best microwave has no buttons at all. It doesn’t need any buttons because it already knows how long you want your food cooked and how hot. You never need to set the clock, either: it’s just always right."

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