From the "Sad State of Software Design Department" this article which I picked up off of slashdot 

Bottom line (my interpretation)

  1. Tail Wags Dog - The software didn't help.
  2. It could have - maybe.
  3. Crappy Design trumps all other concerns.
  4. No mention of gold standards for design.
  5. You can pick your conclusion - including "Don't Computerize Medical Records"


Situation Normal: No-one learns from Steve Jobs

Everyone wants to be a star, no one wants to

take lessons on what it takes.

Our entire industry is plagued with bad design. Software engineers like me are just that - software engineers. We are not designers. Neither are the business persons that guide us and direct us. The world is awash in crappy software, but the problem isn't in the engineering (yet) it's in the design.

If you wanted to actually save money with good medical software, here's what I would suggest.

  • Hire Steve Jobs, or someone equally good at design nazi-ism.
  • Do NOT write any software until the design is complete.
  • Test the design, not the software (yet).
  • Re-write the design over and over until Steve Jobs and all his customers are ecstatic.

Now, implement the software.

Is It Really That Bad ?

It's up to you and me, buddy. We're software engineers for heaven's sake, but we design most software, if you could call that design. Sure, it's a huge ego boost to be involved with design. "You want it to do that? Sure, let me try something out and see if you like it". That's our life. Very satisfying. That's how things are done.

But is it really working? Are we really usability experts? Are we really sure that of the 100 ways to solve any problem, we just might stumble upon and advocate the best way? Hardly seems likely, does it? In my experience, what I will usually advocate is the latest technology that I haven't learned yet that I want to get in my arsenal of skills, and I haven't seen a whole lot of my peers doing otherwise, unless it's just advocating the stuff that is easiest to do. But the best way from a usability standpoint? What's that?

From Rant to Action Plan

No action plan here.

The reason things are bad is because people want them to be bad. People want software designed by people who are crappy designers. I believe that with all my heart. Until we change that first, nothing else will change.