8:15 p.m. Humph. Cannot locate operating instructions.
8.35 p.m. Hah! Found operating instructions under Hello!. Right. 'Programming your video is as easy as making a phone call.' Excellent.
8.40 p.m. 'Point the remote control at the video recorder.' V. easy. 'Turn to index.' Aargh, horror list with 'Timer controlled simultaneous HiFi sound recordings', 'the decorder needer for encoded programmes', etc. Merele wish to record Penny Husbands-Bosworth's rant, not spend all evening reading treatise on spying techniques.
8.50 p.m. Ah. Diagram. 'Buttons for IMC functions'. But what are IMC functions?
8.55 p.m. Decide to ignore that page. Turn to 'Timer-controlled recordings with VideoPlus': '1. Meet the requirements for VideoPlus.' What requirements? Hate the stupid video. Feel exactly the same when trying to follow signposts on roads. Know in heart that signposts and video manual do not make sense but still cannot believe authorities would be so cruel as to deliberately dupe us all. Feel incompetent fool and as if everyone else in the world understands something which is being kept from me.
So, we know that most of instruments are not usable. How do the manufactures make up for this flaw? You guessed it! They write help manuals. (smart aren't they?) Are these really useful? Judging from Bridget's experience, I guess not. The help manuals are so full off jargons that you need to have designed the equipment to know what it means. Wait a minute.... if I had designed the equipment, I would know how to use it and would not actually need a manual. Hmm, I guess the audience is not defined and the attempt to make it easy for the reader falls flat.
Not only are these instruments not usable, they end up making you feel stupid. Bridget is not feeling too good about herself. I have come across so many people who feel small because they do not know how to operate a particular particular phone. The users should not be made to feel inefficient as it is not their fault! It is the instruments fault.
Technology is meant to make lives easier not complicate it further... Let's hope people begun to take usability issues more seriously and actually design instruments that are a pleasure to use.
(Thanks to Helen Fielding for writing such a hilarious and amazing book.)