Usability is an extraordinarily powerful characteristic of an application, tool or piece of equipment. (Or, for that matter, anything you “use” at all.) You can build an absolutely amazingly powerful product, but if no one can determine how to use the features you’ve built into it, you might as well not code them at all.

The Seattle PI has a great piece featuring an email that they unearthed from Bill Gates to some of the top engineers at Microsoft. Gates tried to download and install Windows Movie Maker 2 when it was first released in 2003. He documents the trials and tribulations he, a pretty-damn-experienced user, encountered as he tried to do what should’ve been a very simple task.

The full content of his email after the jump and what we do to make sure our applications are usable without driving the end-user absolutely insane.

Read More »

Posted in: Cool Stuff, Rants