Thursday, April 20, 2006


Windows Live - Are the Inmates Running the Asylum?

Maybe it's just me, but I don't "get" Windows Live. Check out the following:

This is horribly reminiscent of the ill-fated MSN Version 1 which Microsoft released back in 1995. For those of you who don't remember it, Microsoft attempted to "seamlessly" merge an online service with Windows. This was accomplished by organizing MSN into folders which were grouped with the user's hard-disk folders in Windows Explorer. All of this was tremendously cool from a technical perspective, but was extremely naive when it came to catering to the customer. Normal users just don't relate well to the Explorer view of the world.

Looking at the above home page, I haven't a clue where to start or what I can do. The user interface was obviously designed by a committee of programmers who were operating without adult supervision.

This is another example where it would help to follow Wyman's fourth law (see Wyman's Laws): If you can't think like a customer, you shouldn't be designing systems for them.

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