Friday, August 12, 2011

Usability in Real Life

Maybe I'm too immersed in usability considerations, but I see usability issues in almost everything, from television advertisements for 'Johnson's IGA' that don't tell you where it is to keyboards that are impossible to ctrl-alt-del with one hand.

So this morning I see this poster for the Cairns Festival:

and can't help but wonder ...

"What sort of steel pan can go on a grand parade and requires a work shop?"

A misstep we in libraries can make when we write from our perspective and not our (typically novice at researching) users.  The assumption that what is familiar to us is familiar to all is common, and takes a mental commitment to even acknowledge.

So next time a CMS page is due for review pretend you've never worked in your library and see what does and doesn't make sense.

* Yes I found out what it was (I am a librarian, in spite of the denials). A steel pan (more correctly steelpan is what I know as a steel drum (originating in Trinidad and Tobago)
Image courtesy of WikiCommons

If the poster maker had just included one creative commons licenced image, I wouldn't be writing this blog post.

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