User Friendliness: Do Computers Have to be Clinical and Boring?

Written by Daniel Punch

Continued from page 1

Some ofrepparttar greatest Easter Eggs came from Microsoft's software stable. Word 97 used to have a great little pinball game built in if you followedrepparttar 137586 correct steps, while Excel 97 had a fun little 'flight simulator' built in. Unfortunately employees are apparently no longer allowed to include these after some offensive messages were once included in a program.

Companies now require a very professional image and software costs quite a lot to develop, so we're likely to see allrepparttar 137587 amusing quirks removed from software that's released making it nothing but functional. I think that this is unfortunate. I agree that error messages need to be functional and letrepparttar 137588 user know what's gone wrong but there's no harm in takingrepparttar 137589 edge offrepparttar 137590 fact that they've possibly just lost a few hour's work by adding a little humor intorepparttar 137591 picture. As long as common sense is adhered to I don't really see why my grey pop up boxes all need to say exactlyrepparttar 137592 same thing and be filled with data that's largely useless to me. Thank you, I realize thatrepparttar 137593 program has encountered an error. I assumed this when it stopped working. Why not give me a reason to actually read error messages instead of having to dismiss them as soon as they appear?

I thinkrepparttar 137594 idea of user friendliness has become too clinical and precise. We have rules and structures defining what is or isn't helpful. We put fancy, bubbly skins onrepparttar 137595 dull and mundane and think that we're making it all more interesting. Just occasionally I'd like my computer to pop up and say "Human Error. Please replace user and try again."

Daniel Punch M6.Net Web Helpers

Daniel Punch is a writer working at M6.Net: 'The web-hosting company for humans.' M6.Net is working hard to help humanity experience the power and freedom to develop their own part of the Internet, to share their information and connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Strategic Outsourcing: Testing the Outsourcing Waters and Staying Afloat

Written by Jenne Wason

Continued from page 1

So how do you secure allrepparttar benefits of this outsourcing wave without getting dragged intorepparttar 137553 undertow? The key is strategic, selective outsourcing. According to Corey Ferengul, VP ofrepparttar 137554 IT research firm META Group, an increasing number of companies are choosing to outsource non-core IT tasks. Common responsibilities going to third-party providers include Web hosting, call centers, data storage, and database administration.

"There's a learning curve and a life cycle to outsourcing," said Caldwell, "and it can be expensive findingrepparttar 137555 right vendor, as well as going throughrepparttar 137556 transitions of taking your operations to that vendor." Stable, yet customizable IT functions provide an excellent training ground for outsourcing. Any function with known benchmarks for performance and results, as well as available, reliable outsourcing partners is a good place to start.

Ultimately you may want to outsource your entire IT department, but first you need to get a handle on managing an outsourced process. Some companies may discover they don't need to incurrepparttar 137557 risks and organizational chaos of switching to total IT outsourcing. By nimbly carving out and outsourcing small pieces ofrepparttar 137558 IT function that deliverrepparttar 137559 most cost and quality benefit, companies may find they are already receiving maximum savings at minimal risk. However, they will have done some carefully planned and executed experimentation before making that decision.

Gertrude Ederle once said ofrepparttar 137560 sea "I never feel alone when I'm out there." The channel became her ally as she swam her way to England in record time. By starting on a small, strategic scale, you'll turn IT outsourcing into your ally rather than a cold, tumultuous, foreboding sea.

Jenne Wason works with The Pythian Group, a leading database administration firm.

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use