Title: Should Software Come in Advanced and Beginner Versions?
Context: Treating new and veteran users the same in your software is a sure way to ensure no one will be happy with it.
Synopsis: You can’t be all things to all people. Unless, of course, you are software. Then you have no choice. Yes, poor software, struggling to be simple enough for the most novice user to figure out but also robust enough to meet the lofty expectations of the long time power user. This is not an easy balancing act to pull off and the tactics traditionally used to cater to the wide spectrum of user ability (i.e. user preferences, progressive disclosure, crossing your fingers and hoping it works) are patchwork solutions at best. We, as software designers, have a spotty history of pulling this off. With the exception of one specific type of software: games. The very point of gaming is to create scenarios that adapt to the player’s (read: user’s) skill level and not only deliver a challenge that doesn’t overwhelm them, but also notches up the intensity as skills increase. So maybe designing for multiple user types isn’t a problem to solve, but rather a game to invent?
Best Bit: “Sometimes a program becomes so bloated and abstruse, only professionals can invest the time and money to master it.”

via scientificamerican.com