Rick writes an interesting article
Rick is a really sharp guy who became a usability engineer by an interesting journey (which he should blog about sometime - hint hint). He has an innate feel for how people relate not only to computers but in other situations. Last year when we had some customers in to give us feedback on our early Whidbey plans, we needed to figure out how to structure a feedback exercise. Rick looked at the problem for about 30 seconds, and then said, “You don't want to do <x>, because you won't get a good response. You could do either <y> or <z> - the first would be better if you're interested in <a>, the second if you're more interested in <b>” (though he used actual words rather than saying “less than x greater than”.
He is correct that we're very interested in user feedback, but as I've mentioned in the past, it's sometimes hard to talk with customers about such issues, because the answer will at time be “no”, but the reasons for the “no“ can be hard to verbalize. I'm still looking for a well-contained issue that I'll talk about more broadly, and with any luck, give you more insight into what it means to be a designer (I only consider myself a semi-professional designer...)
I continue to be satisfied about the design of C#, but even in our second version, there are a couple of cases in the past few months where we've said, “Well, if we'd been thinking about that when we first did the design, that would be a wonderful way to express that concept, but since we didn't, we're stuck with what we have now.”