Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Babylon Denied!

Argh! Nobody, but nobody, had Babylon 5, except for Amazon. I'm wary of Amazon, but I gave in and placed an order for overnight delivery. We'll see if it arrives.

While I'm on the topic of things that annoy me, the building in which my doctor (who rocks) is located has a ground floor and a first floor. People, people...since the ground floor is the first floor one sees, most folk think of the ground floor as the first floor. The first day of January is January 1. The first house on the 1400 block of a street is 1401. Why, then, is the first floor of that building the ground floor?!?

This leads to a larger topic. People expect certain things to work certain ways, which is what we call an intuitive approach. When you receive an application, where on the page do you first look? Top left corner, naturally, because we in America write left to right, top to bottom. If you design a form in which applicants must begin in the bottom right, then proceed to the top right, and then to the center, you have designed a form that is counterintuitive. Say that with me class: counterintuitive. That's why the famed butterfly ballot was so bad; sure, it contained directions, but it worked contrary to all expectation. I design forms for a living, and that was a bad design that any normal person would immediately recognize. That's why government worker Theresa LaPore thought it was just fine.

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