June 26, 2002

Computer Personality

Nathan Shedroff has put up a good article on Boxes and Arrows about how to make computers more natural to use. He derides previous attempts such as Bob and Clippy, and says that computer applications need to watch and learn our behaviors and react to us like real people react. A taste:

So when you’re developing a tool, an interface, an application or modifying the operating system itself, my advice throughout development and user testing is to ask yourself what type of person is your interface most like? Is it helpful or boorish? Is it nice or impatient? Is it dumb or does it make reasonable assumptions? Is it something you would want to spend a lot of time with? Because, guess what, you are spending a lot of time with it, and so will your users.

Good stuff to think about as more and more non-geek types start using computers.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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