Utterly priceless...

10 Nov 2004 - 7:45pm
11 years ago
1 reply
622 reads

...when you need to convince others of the importance of design:

The New YorkTimes
Wanted by the Police: A Good Interface

Since June, the police department has been using a new mobile dispatch
system that includes a Windows-based touch-screen computer in every patrol
car. But officers have said the system is so complex and difficult to use
that it is jeopardizing their ability to do their jobs.

Officers complain that routine tasks are so difficult to perform that they
are discouraged from doing them. And they say that the most vital safety
feature - a "call for assistance" command that officers use when they are in
danger - is needlessly complicated.

"Do you think if you're hunkered down and someone's shooting at you in your
car, you're going to be able to sit there and look for Control or Alt or
Function?" said Sgt. Don DeMers, president of the San Jose Police Officers'
Association, the local union and the most vocal opponent of the new system.
"No, you're going to look for the red button."

Officers also say they were not consulted about the design of the user
interface - how information is presented and how commands are executed using
on-screen and keyboard buttons. Many have said they wish the department had
retained and upgraded the old system, in place since 1990.


Question: How many IA/UI/UX professionals were slain by Intergraph during
the design of this?

Bonus: Is Alabama a Red state?

Jackpot: How long was the documentation for this project?

I'm a Designer: I Solve Problems


11 Nov 2004 - 9:29am
Elizabeth Buie

>From looking the pictures, I strongly suspect that the system does not
meet the (ANSI/HFES-100, ISO 9241) requirements for touchscreen interfaces
-- sensitive areas that are at least 0.75" by 0.75" and separated by at
least 1/8".

Even the best interaction design could not overcome that.

Elizabeth Buie
Computer Sciences Corporation
Rockville, Maryland, USA

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