The badness of engineer designed interfaces

In a pre­vi­ous post I talked about Adam Greenfield’s essay “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” as an impor­tant com­pan­ion piece to Moreville’s Ambient Findability.

In his essay Greenfield also describes the haz­ards of allow­ing engi­neers to design the inter­ac­tions between humans and tech­nol­o­gy iter­at­ing the com­mon under­stand­ing that we the users are, at the moment, pret­ty roy­al­ly screwed.

I have to quib­ble with one state­ment that he makes- sys­tems designed by engi­neers always fail their end-users even when (not -unless- as Greenfield says) those users are the engi­neers them­selves. Just ask any­one who pounds code for a liv­ing how they feel about the bug database…