• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Iteration

It is a commonly accepted truth about software development that the way to get good interaction is to iterate. The devotion to usability testing at most universities and many large software-development companies—particularly Microsoft—led to the spread of this idea. And, yes, iteration is an important element of good design: Keep working on it until it's right. However, many product developers have interpreted this to mean that you can dispense with design and merely iterate across random thrusts in the dark.

In 1986, Microsoft rushed version one of Windows to market, and it was so pathetic, it deservedly became the laughingstock of the industry. Six months later, Microsoft shipped version 1.03, which fixed some bugs. A year later, Microsoft shipped 1.1, and then version 2.0.[2] Each iteration of the product tried to solve the problems created by the previous version. Finally, four years after the first version shipped, Microsoft shipped Windows 3.0, and the industry stopped laughing. Few companies in the industry have pockets deep enough, or the tenacity, to ignore public humiliation for four years to finally get it right. One side effect of this is that the industry sees its de facto leader staggering blindly about until it does get it right, and the industry makes the obvious assumption that that is the correct way to do things.

[2] Microsoft's version-numbering logic is nonexistent. There were at least four major releases of Windows before Windows 3.0. Windows 3.1 was a dramatically different and improved version, with many major changes, and it clearly should have been called Windows 4.0. I'm sure that Microsoft marketing people called it 3.1 instead because they didn't want to squander the market equity already earned by “version three.”


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint