Silver Lining (was: RE: [fwd] RE: [thelist] cookies)

Rory.Plaire at Rory.Plaire at
Mon May 21 13:28:48 CDT 2001

<dsp:noise_reduction filter="possible real irritants">

Nobody wants to wait two days to have their message posted on a listserv,
because they have a suspicious Header (Send Mail Error) Whats so suspicous
about that you ...(out of courtesy)!

Your mail to 'thelist' with the subject:

    send mail error

Is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval.

The reason it is being held:

    Suspicious header

Either the message will get posted to the list, or you will receive
notification of the moderator's decision.


Perhaps, though the confirmation email to signup did, indeed, include
education about sending HTML, that education is a process and, with the
current toolbox of implements with which to send mail including such
HTML-abundant, ease-of-use-deficient clients as the MS bunch, some of the
users may be sore pressed to understand the somewhat ambiguous message
generated upon receipt of the HTML-laden delivery. Ok. Having said my peace,
on with the show...

<tip type="usability">
There are general rules to making software usable by the intended audience
presented in a highly valuable and insightful work called "Software for use
:a practical guide to the models and methods of usage-centered design "
co-authored by Larry Constantine and Lucy Lockwood (see also: These rules are not hard and fast by any measure, but
gracefully describe any situation with a degree of comprehension and
clarity, allowing the direction of the design to be influenced by highly
applicable and universal aims. From "Software for Use" and, the five rules of
usage-centric design are:

First Rule: Access: "Good systems are usable--without help or
instruction--by a user having
knowledge and experience in the application domain but no experience with
the system."

Second Rule: Efficacy: "Good systems do not interfere with or impede
efficient use by a skilled user
having substantial experience with the system."

Third Rule: Progression: "Good systems facilitate continuous advancement in
knowledge, skill, and
facility and accommodate progressive change in usage as the user gains
experience with the system."

Fourth Rule: Support: "Good systems support the real work that users are
trying to accomplish,
making it easier, simpler, faster, or more fun."

Fifth Rule: Context: "Good systems are suited to the conditions and
environment of the actual
operational context within which they are deployed."

Education which is immediate, simple and direct, yet reiterative and
reinforcing, about the software can fulfill at least the first four of these
rules. Being sensitive about how the education is presented, keeping in mind
culture, environment, language, capacity and stress, can fulfill all five.


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