It’s not what the software does, it’s what the user does.

hugh macleod at Gaping Void does these great little cartoons, “drawn on the back of business cards.”   First, that’s a cool idea.  It’s a great size, and it lets you express just one idea in a little tiny format with which people are familiar.

This cartoon in particular says something very insightful, both about PowerPoint and about software in general.  I agree with the sentiment, though I have a quibble.

The problem Tufte and others point out is not that PowerPoint is abused, it is that the particular cognitive style of PowerPoint encourages lazy thinking, and poor communication.

When we’re building software, in my view, we should be concerned about the correctness of algorithms, using appropriate design patterns, and building designs that are sustainable and maintainable.  It is also essential that we build systems that users readily understand, and that encourage users to build correct results.

Because technology matters, but people matter most.


Explore posts in the same categories: SEB, Software, STScI

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