Monday, October 30, 2006

What have you done to make it better?

"When you hear that a Japanese library is about to start using palm-vein technology to recognise the borrowers taking out its books, what is your instinctive reaction? Do you think, how marvellous - I've spent years worrying that someone might nick my identity and start taking out Anita Desai and Agatha Christie under my name? Or do you think, hang on a minute - that plastic library card has really been no hassle, and I really don't want to find myself living in the tracking and surveillance world of Minority Report?"

This, for me, highlights one of those critical elements in information technology. We get caught up in the wonderfully fantastic things we can do. Look at the cool technology we can bring to bear on this. How amazing!

 But whats the point? How often do we stop and ask where the benefit is? We can design many many cool pieces but if it doesn't solve a real problem for users then who's time are we wasting? Theirs or ours?

Or to put it another way; If it's not broken, don't fix it!

[Ref:,,1923240,00.html Jenni Russell]



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