Friday, February 17, 2006

T.C. in the wild...

My friend Carrie Gilbert, a user-experience designer for White Horse spotted a textual coordination problem in the wild! She shared it with me…

cowboyboo: oh hey, I witnessed *textual coordination* the other day… and then proposed improvements to an online app to decrease the number of texts the user was dependent upon. I was *very excited*
Shaun: no way!
cowboyboo: it was funny, too, she saw no problem with it…
: "well, the app only does x, so then I go into SQL and run a query, and size that window beside this spreadsheet, and ...
: lol. so, really, did you stop and go, "This is a problem of textual coordination and I bet there’s a way to co-locate the text" or something like that?
: well, not quite like that, because although I'm a nerd, I'm not as big of one as *you* ;) ...
: few are
: I think I said, "wow, you're juggling a lot there, it would be great if we could display more of that data you need right there in the app so that you don't have to rely on so much stuff" or something
What made me particularly excited was some verification that spotting such problems creates an opportunity for intervention. By seeing textual coordination as a “thing” people do, we can intervene strategically to improve composing processes. Although, the statement "she saw no problem with it" seems to indicate a high threshold for coordination. Is it something we just learn to cope with? Does coordinating many texts impact the task? (I suspect so, but...)

Anyway, it made my day.

1 comment:

Bill said...

heh heh..Carrie said "juggling" :)