Contradiction in terms

Spend most of my evening going through one of these heavy demand specs that only governmental institutions are able to make. Hundreds of demands, ranging from the very abstract (“The solution should be easy to use”) to the very concrete (“The user presses a button that brings up a preview…”).

Hidden among all the text it states that the vendor must use all the fancy usercentric methods of design and do it all in a very dialogue-based and agile way. … but why? All the design decisions are made (poorly, though) by the specification. To go out and ask the users will result in hundreds of change request for the project managers and laywers to fight over.

Could we please stop making these lame specifications? They’re a bloody waste of time and money. Collect your organization’s needs (that’s needs, not wants), put down a core team in your own organization, call your UX consultants, and together we’ll make it happen.

1 Response to “Contradiction in terms”


  1. 1 Kristian Tørning

    1) Must have / Need to have
    2) Nice to have
    3) What we think might be smart, since we have zero knowledge of computers.
    -and -
    4) “Invented” by people with zero knowledge of computers; that insists that: “anything can be done”.

    KISS is the only thing that really works. Also, you might what to hit them with a single slide of the Technology Acceptance Model (http://www.fsc.yorku.ca/york/istheory/wiki/index.php/Technology_acceptance_model).

    That usually will keep the mistaken so called creative people silent for a while; since it takes the conversation to a level, where you have to think before you wish for creative-features.

    BTW: The customer is always right :-)

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