API Usability

11/18/2004 10:42:54 PM

API Usability

I went for another Longhorn API usability test yesterday, my fourth one this year, testing various techologies using Microsoft Business Frameworks, Avalon, Indigo, and System.Management. Every single one of these future technologies exposed managed APIs.

The person who was testing me was Steven Clarke, who I just learned has a blog. I was actually proud of myself for teaching him a feature that he was unaware of on a product that he was testing me on.

Well, the reason that I thought this test was interesting, was that Brad Abrams, NET BCL program manager, just posted an entry on an usability test he observed just yesterday tying Indigo, Avalon, .NET FX together under the supervision of Steven Clarke. I believe that he was observing me, since the day, the usability specialist, and the area being tested all match. In addition, the quote Brad mentions sounds similar to something that I vaguely remember saying but without the word dope: "I can't believe that it's taking so long just to build such a simple application."

I was referring to the fact that Avalon does many things differently (but in more general way) from Win32, leading to a number of discoverability issues that I encountered; and I am already familiar with Avalon. This doesn't necessarily imply that the new way is harder to use, just less discoverable the first time you use the feature.

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Net Undocumented is a blog about the internals of .NET including Xamarin implementations. Other topics include managed and web languages (C#, C++, Javascript), computer science theory, software engineering and software entrepreneurship.

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