Wednesday, March 02, 2005

SIGCHI Annoys Me Again

4 pages into the latest issue of SIGCHI's <interactions> bulletin, and I am ready to give up in despair. First,the editor in his 'editors rant' wants us to give up the idea that usability is to be regarded as a science and is more a craft.

Then, in a column called 'pushing the envelope', Fred Sampson, after telling us how he felt about the 1964 World Fair, complains that he is 'chained' by his personal electronics for distracting him too much. I don't want to give the impression that I consider him some sort of dinosaur, but in my life I find that my personal electronics don't distract me enough when I need them to (remember my plea for porno MMSes?), and in the few times they do, (I stopped assigning ringtones because nobody actually ever calls me), I know how to just switch them off.

Then, in an utter crib of 'queue' magazine's Q&A column, we now have 'ask doctor usability'. Unfortunately this person is no George Neville-Neil (whom I need to beat anyway up for writing I am not a software engineer because I do not write testcases -- well GNN, one can't write testcases when your bugs are of the sort that 'Ctrl-C' doesn't work right or a right-click menu is not showing up); this Usability dr person takes a question about expanding a software engineer practice and turns the answer into how a foreign language makes you evaluate a visual design better.

I feel like getting on a damn airplane and pleading with Steven to take up being an editor again.