December 22, 2006

Hollywood's Usability Bloopers

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox for December 18 is called Usability in the Movies -- Top 10 Bloopers, and it pokes fun at computer user interfaces as depicted in the movies.

Kind of funny, esp. the line from Jurassic Park in which a 12-year old says "This is UNIX, it's easy" -- and proceeds to save the day.

But does funny mean anything? Nielsen asserts that it does have a negative effect, and user interface design aficionados would appreciate his conclusion:

"Users blame themselves when they can't use technology. This phenomenon is bad enough already; it's made worse by the prevalence of scenes in which people walk up to random computers and start using them immediately. "

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