Saturday, May 3, 2008

Olympus and Poor Usability - Lesson 1

Today I was helping my father install a version of Olympus Master 2.0 on his Vista laptop. We were struck back when it asked him to enter the Country. The list seemed to include every country in the world, however they were in no particular order. In his case we has looking for "Canada", and hitting the letter "C" brought up "Cuba". Suffice it to say, we gave up trying to find Canada since finding it in two hundred odd items in no particular order was impossible and frustrating. We selected the first item "United States". Which makes me wonder. Does all software that prompts for a country put "United States" at the top? Is it because the software engineers feel the average American is too stupid to find their country in an alphabetical list? It is these little short cut techniques in software that really destroys to usability of a product.

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