Working Through Screens

Jacob Burghardt has a very interesting new ebook, “Working Through Screens.”
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If one was to summarize the status quo, it might sound something like this: when it comes to interactive applications for knowledge work, products that are considered essential are not always satisfactory. In fact, they may be deeply flawed in ways that we commonly do not recognize given our current expectations of these tools. With our collective sights set low, we overlook many faults.

Unless knowledge workers are highly motivated early adopters that are willing and able to make use of most anything, their experiences as users of interactive applications can vary drastically. These differences in experience can largely depend on the overall alignment of an individual’s intentions and understandings with the specifics of a tool’s design.

Poorly envisioned knowledge work applications can … present workers with confusing data structures and representations of information that do not correlate to the artifacts that they are used to thinking about in their own work practices.

I’m only a little ways into the book, but a great deal of what he says resonates with me. Much of the problem I saw with previous generation threat modeling tools were that they were created by and for those ‘highly motivated early adopters,’ and then delivered to people who were not used to thinking about their software from the perspective of assets and entry points. (Thus the third excerpt.) In creating the v3 SDL Threat Modeling Tool, I struggled with a lot of these issues.

If you encounter problems like this, there’s no reason to not invest some time in “Working Through Screens.”

Via Information Aesthetics.

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