On the Importance of Good User Interface DesignWritten by V. Berba Velasco Jr.
It seems obvious, but itís often ignored. A good user interface design can spell difference between acceptance of a software product and its failure in marketplace. If end-users find software to be too cumbersome or difficult to understand, then an otherwise excellent product could be doomed to failure. The developerís goal should be to make software as professional-looking and easy to use as possible.
Sadly, Iíve found that a great many companiesóespecially small or highly specialized software firmsópay little attention to mechanics of good user interface style. ďAs long as it works, thatís what matters!Ē seems to be their mantra, with little regard for inconvenience that this imposes on user.
Thankfully, thatís not how we operate at our company. Our team of developers invests considerable effort into making out user interfaces as intuitive and foolproof as possible, since we know that this is something our customers would appreciate. Iíve often commended my teammates for recognizing that excellence is worth pursuing.
Going back to topicÖ I canít remember how many times Iíve encountered software that was designed to work, but with little regard for ease of use. If software forces operator to constantly consult a manual or a cheat sheet, then thatís a pretty good indication that user interface needs improvement. Similarly, software should allow user to perform tasks quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing power and flexibility. This seems intuitive, and yet these considerations are so often lacking.
Splitting the Heat and the NoiseWritten by Thomas Yoon
The most common air conditioning units we see nowadays is air-cooled split unit. It used to be window unit many years ago. I guess it must be quietness of split units that won hearts of users.
In any air conditioning unit, there must be a process for absorbing heat from indoors and discharging it to outdoors. For air-cooled units, heat is discharged directly to atmosphere.
What's difference then between window units and split units?
In window units, whole refrigeration circuit is installed in a box-like enclosure. The cold portion is separated from hot portion by partitions. As name suggests, usually it is installed at a window, mainly because this is easiest place to make an opening in wall. Failure to find a window opening may mean hacking wall to create an opening roughly same size as window air cond unit.
Because compressor, blower fan, condenser fans and other moving machinery are all installed in same box, much of noise they make gets transmitted to room indoors. This type of air conditioning unit tends to be quite noisy.