Title: Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think
Context: Making software is hard. Using software better not be.
Synopsis: 8 billion features later you don’t have a piece of user-friendly software, you have a usability cat ‘o nine tails. We abuse our users under the guise of giving them what they want and pat ourselves on the back without ever really knowing if we have been successful. We design it, struggling mightily against the crushing weight of complexity. Hiding features and alerts and controls and feedback because lord knows, the last thing we want to do is overwhelm our users with unnecessary cognitive overhead. The poor bastards. Little do we realize that we’ve just dropped them in the middle of the ocean without a paddle. “You don’t need a paddle” we say. “Just stick around, a rescue boat will be by any minute now.” Simplicity is often confused with sparseness. We prioritize feedback without bothering to check if the original question was understood. The answer of course—as it always is—is alcohol: make your product so simple a drunk person can use it. And the world will beat a staggering path to your door…
Best Bit: “When you can’t find old or young people, drunk people are a good approximation.”

via techcrunch.com