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June 27, 2007

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Re: "Overloaded with information", one of my favorite design anecdotes is the developer who showed me a design for a single form that had in the neighborhood of 40 fields (as one page in a wizard!), and when I suggested that this might be a bit much, he said, "No, actually it's really simple... because all the fields are optional, so they don't actually need to do anything! It's only one mouse button click!" After pounding my head repeatedly on the table, I suggested that perhaps "simplicity" is more than mouse button clicks.

I have disagree with you about users never being dumb. I'm a user.

Thanks for your comment Terry. I enjoy your blog.

The user might never be dumb, but the user is often angry. Just why are so many users angry? This blog post, glossing on several psychological surveys, says it's because users don't feel in control...
http://powazek.com/posts/1263
It's somewhat off-topic for a usability expert, but perhaps there's an angle in it for you anyway.
For instance:
Virtual communications like email, blog comments, and instant messages come without the associated social data our brains are used to. In the absence of context, our brains fill in the rest. What we fill it in with is a byproduct of our own insecurities.

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