“It should be intuitively obvious…” NOT!
I sat in a meeting at AT&T in Middletown NJ in the mid-80’s and heard one of my colleagues argue against spending additional time on a manual for a tool he created for the user community. I was suggesting that he provide an introduction on the purpose of the tool and the scenarios where it could be useful. The exact quote was “It should be intuitively obvious what the tool is used for!”
That phrase stuck in my head forever. In my 30 years experience in developing software, I have gone from embedded systems to GUI desktop to web apps. In my view, communicationis the biggest stumbling block in software development. And the most disastrous mistakes are almost always linked to something that a missing piece of information was intuitively obvious. Nothing is intuitively obvious!
This blog will draw from my personal reflections on the communications issues in documentation, project management and team interaction, including ideas that might seem intuitively obvious…