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Usability…

I’m on a usability drive. I want to make sure that whatever website or web app I write is immediately and easily usable. So I’ve almost finished reading Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think”. Great book, great style of writing. So now I think of everything in terms of usability. Take the coffee cups that Vida e uses. They don’t cater for my style of coffee drinking. I like to drink my coffee hot. No patient waiting around for it to cool down so that it doesn’t burn away the lining of my throat (if there is such a thing). I want to get that caffeine rush and I WANT IT NOW! But what’s with these pathetic mugs? Sure they look pretty, but how are you supposed to hold the bloody things? You put your index finger through the eye and the cup automatically slips down so that the cup is pressing against your middle finger. But the cup is hot, so you can’t keep it there. So you rush that first sip so your finger doesn’t burn, but because you have to take a sip really fast, you end up taking a rather large slurp, larger than you normally do, and you burn your tongue, palette and anything else that’s in the path of the burning hot l(j)ava. Using a straw would just be poncey and it would probably melt. So I either have to wait for the coffee to cool, or steadily burn both my middle finger and tongue/throat, etc.Who thought these mugs were a good idea? A designer, probably. One that doesn’t actually drink coffee. Probably one of those typical Capetonian hippy-types that only drinks spring water and the occasional dainty porcelain cup of Chamomile tea. Probably with the pinky pointed skywards too.Would it not be too much to ask that everyone does usability tests? I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to offer a free cup of coffee in exchange for a few simple questions, such as: “can you actually drink out of this mug?”. I’d be the first to put my hand up for that.

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