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Usability now! - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Usability now!
So, the boss's son is temping for us.

"Usability? Is that even a word?"
"Yes."
"What, really?"
"Yes, really."
"[pause] What does it mean?"
"How you use things."
"Huh? That's 'usefulness'."
"No, that's whether something's useful to you or not. Usability is about how people use things, how they interact with applications, systems, and so on."
"Huh?"
"Look, Google for 'usability'. I'm not making it up, really."
"Nah, I'll defer to your professional judgement."
"No, really, why don't you Google for it. You'll see that I'm not making it up, and you might find out a bit more about it, if you're interested. And if you're not interested, well, never mind."

[tappity-tappity]

"Gosh, it is actually a real thing, isn't it?"

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Comments
oinomel71 From: oinomel71 Date: January 5th, 2007 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure there's a word for the belief that only that which is googleable exists. There should be, anyway.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 5th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was much surprised to see the phrase "Googleberry muffins" in Sainsbury's the other day; turns out that they have long existed within Noddy canon and so a real-world branding is, perhaps, inevitable.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: January 5th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Google Purge is your friend.
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: January 5th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was horrified to find a word on spellfecker for people who believe everything in Wikpedia. I write it and do PR for it, I know how much salt it needs.
nja From: nja Date: January 5th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
But Google's so hard to use! You have to type words into a box - why can't it just tell you what you want to know, without you having to ask it?
arnhem From: arnhem Date: January 5th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see a great need for a google application that monitors every program you're using and all your keystrokes, and pops up useful and relevant web pages at you in response to what you're currently doing ...

</twitch>
aardvark179 From: aardvark179 Date: January 5th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't Gnome have a project where all the applications on your desktop exchanged 'clues' like the address an email was from or to, the URL of the page you were viewing, or the current selection, and it kept a bar at the side of the screen populated with useful stuff. I think it was called Dashboard.
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: January 6th, 2007 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)
"Hi! It appears you're having trouble wiping your own arse! Would you like help with that? TOO BAD."
j4 From: j4 Date: January 5th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
what you want to know

That's begging the question...
martling From: martling Date: January 5th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now he read it on the internet so it must be true!
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 5th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
In order to try and explain things like this, I usually try to communicate the concept of how easy something is to use. It'll do something useful, but is everything in sensible places and not hidden or misleading or ignored because you're distracted by something else, principle of least surprise, that sort of thing.

It glosses over the finer (and important) details, but I usually find it helps people distinguish between function and, I guess, ease-of-use as a sort of metonym for all the concepts you describe.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 5th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good explanation. To be honest I think I was too annoyed by his "it must be made up if I haven't heard of it, but I don't want to lift a finger to find out about it" attitude to try for a proper explanation. My bad, I know, but I am in a bad mood. :-/

I was also surprised that a moderately tech-savvy English student a) hadn't heard the word at all, and b) wasn't interested in a new word. New word! Shiny! ... Is that just me?

Oh, and you don't really smell. :-)

brrm From: brrm Date: January 5th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
This would be the same one who is a second year English undergrad?
j4 From: j4 Date: January 5th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thassa one, yeah.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: January 5th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Willikers? You made that word up! Yes you did. What? LA LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: January 6th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)

whillikers

Two origins I know of: the comic strip called "L'il Orphan Annie", a genuine strip from 1930-ca. 1965 in the USA; and a strip-within-a-strip: the immortal political commentary in "Pogo", which included "Li'l Arf an' Nonny":

gee whilliker woozles, Arf!
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