Recently, I’ve had a bunch of problems with my computer.  All I want to do is be able to select a hard drive to boot off of.  Supposedly, my motherboard will allow this, but everytime *I* try it, my BIOS goes off into la-la land.  What’s funny is that there is a boot menu that I can select which drive to boot to, but I have to press Escape, and select the drive from a menu.  That doesn’t sound so tough, right?  But, that’s not what I *want* the system to do.  I expect a computer to make things easier, not add more steps.

Why am I bringing this up?  Because, recently, I had a customer of mine ask me to set up a spreadsheet for him.  He wanted to keep his books like a general ledger.  Fine and dandy, but sorting in Excel is a real pain.  Not in the fact that it’s difficult, it just requires several steps that a user doesn’t realize.  It is not intuitive that one must select ROWS to sort COLUMNS.  For him to sort his data by dates requires that he select all his rows, select sort, then pick a column.  Heck, that doesn’t make sense to ME!  Now, I’m not knocking Excel at all.  Excel is a great product.  It is NOT what I would have chosen to do what he wanted.  But Excel does have the capabilities, and that’s what was requested, so away we go. 

Where’s all this headed?  Just this.  Users don’t think like developers, hardware or software.  As a developer, be ready, user’s ask for the darnest things.  And those things are IMPORTANT to those users.  I’ll never buy another board from the company that I have my motherboard. My customer probably thinks I’m a little crazy for making him take three steps for something that he thinks (rightfully so!) should be automatic.

Back to the drawing boards…


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