Why Technical People shouldn't design interfaces...
Not too long ago , I discussed the fact that programmers are pretty much the last people that should be developing interfaces. My point wasn't that developers are incapable of understanding good UI design concepts, it's just that for some reason or another, we tend not to be very good at implementation.
Basically, it's what I've dubbed the "Pee in pool hypothesis". The P.I.P.H states that, when discussing the subject of kids peeing in pools around people with children, it usually takes around 10 seconds before the parents abruptly state (out of the blue) "Well, I know many young kids may pee in the pool but __________(fill in the name of their child) *DOESN'T*. We've taught ______________(fill in the name of their child) better than that and he/she knows to use the restroom." So based on parental observation, no one's kid would ever pee in the pool. Yet we know the water is yellow in the kiddy pool for a reason, so how do we reconcile the difference. I think the word is called 'denial' Anyway, the main point was that behind every really ugly user interface, behind every really ugly form factor, behind every awful design, is usually some techy guy who thinks he knows what users 'really' want.
If this doesn't illustrate my point perfectly I don't know what does. Talk about pissing on the parade (I know, bad pun). I mean, what could be cooler than a $100.00 laptop computer? Who wouldn't shell out an extra $100.00 just to have an extra Linux box (and if there were any justice in this world, there would be a law against technical support people who try to make a joke out of the phrase Linux/Windows 'Box' every time it's uttered)? Sounds almost too good to be true right? Yah, until you look at the thing. Could you possibly come up with something uglier? I mean, if first prize was a date with Tera Patrick, a keg of beer and a zillion dollars, could you even come up with something 1/10000000th as ugly as this?