The Perfect User
Since Skynet hasn’t yet become self-aware, since the human race hasn’t yet been exterminated by artificially intelligent machines, since end-users are still largely human beings, the technological progress now stands at a crossroads: reengineering all the software or eugenically engineering the human evolution?
This all stems from the fact that almost all existing software is designed for end-users with these requirements:
- Memory of an elephant
- Dexterity of a monkey
- Visual acuity of an eagle
- Navigation skills of a bat
- Stamina of a camel
So at least in the future, as William Hudson says, does not fall prey to the temptation to believe that users
- are working in a quiet, ordered environment with no interruptions or distractions;
- will remember everything they have ever done on a device;
- are motivated to solve any problems that come up without regard to their mental well-being;
- have no need for breaks, meals or sleep;
- only make mistakes through spitefulness;
- understand the internal workings of the system just as its designers do.
The mythological perfect user is only a product of a bad design, so, once in a while let’s take a break and tell ourselves that the user is not stupid, it’s our design that’s wrong!