[LAD] Experience driven design and Linux Audio

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Sep 30 18:53:02 UTC 2014

On Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM, Fons Adriaensen <fons at linuxaudio.org>

> On Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 02:58:23PM +0100, Harry van Haaren wrote:
> > Should we improve experience for users?
> > Should we design "experience driven open" software?
> > Should we forward the UX of Linux Audio to the "age of experiences"?
> Well, I watched the video until the end, and the only way to
> avoid this having been a waste of my time seems to react to
> it.

given that i don't really agree with his talk, i'm going to defend it

what has happened with automobiles? when first introduced, they were the
domain of enthusiasts only. then they spread out to a wider audience, an
audience that was frequently irritated by the maintainance requirements,
breakdowns and poor behaviour of the machines. that gets us to the 1980s.

and now .... cars are almost all of a near-uniformly high quality, and that
quality exceeds the levels attained even in 1970's era elite vehicles. you
need to know almost nothing about them to use them (other than knowing how
to drive). their reliability and longevity have improved dramatically, as
have their safety qualities. maintainance is generally simple - regular oil
and other fluid changes, less frequent tire replacements, occasional body
work due to damage. oh, and much better fuel mileage too. of course, every
single one of these improvements isn't the end of the road (no pun
intended), and new engine and propulsion systems still offer huge new areas
of potential improvement, along with self-driven cars for some situations.

if i give this presentation the benefit of the doubt, what he's arguing for
is that *consumer* software, having arrived at feature parity, should be
planning to evolve in the same general direction that automobiles have.
that is: away from an object only maintainable by an enthusiast who is
willing to take the time to learn about it, passing through the phase of an
unreliable, short-lived object that gets fixed by others, to reach a state
where fundamentally, the owner/user doesn't need to know anything and the
thing just works today, tomorrow and the next day.

i don't think i want to write software for people who think software should
be this way, but i will concede that if you accept the premise, it has its
own compelling internal logic.
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