Usability at the PDC

Graeme Mott, a colleague of mine in the Visual Studio Usability group will be at the PDC next week. He’s planning a few interesting activities: He’ll be walking around the conference with a video camera giving attendees thirty seconds of ‘air-time’ to provide their feedback to the Visual Studio product team. He’ll also be running usability…

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Aesthetics, language design and usability

Here’s an interesting interview with Anders Hejlsberg in which he makes some points about programming language usability. Anders says that “good language design boils down to assembling a team of people who have good taste.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s absolutely vital to understand your target customers so that you know what they will like and…

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Fixed links

I’ve finally fixed the broken links in my first posting below. Sorry for the delay…

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API usability is not just about the API itself

Matt Jadud sent some interesting references to the PPIG (Psychology of Programming Interest Group, www.ppig.org) mailing list this morning one of which is a fascinating paper from 1963: CORC — The Cornell computing language http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/366604.366651 What is especially interesting about this paper is the lengths the authors went to in order to improve the whole…

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API usability and the cognitive dimensions framework

Brad Abrams posted a slide deck that I use to talk about the cognitive dimensions framework which we use at Microsoft to evaluate and describe API usability. I thought I would take this space to provide a little more explanation about how we use the framework. The cognitive dimensions framework presents a set of dimensions…

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