Bringing Design to Software

Stumbled across this essay from Mitchell Kapor published in Terry Winograd’s Bringing Design to Software. Despite being nearly 30 years old, it’s crazy how relevant it still is.

Despite the enormous outward success of personal computers, the daily experience of using computers far too often is still fraught with difficulty, pain, and barriers for most people, which means that the revolution, measured by its original goals, has not as yet succeeded.

Although some parts haven’t aged quite as well:

Designers must have a solid working knowledge of at least one modern programming language (C or Pascal) in addition to exposure to a wide variety of languages and tools, including Forth and Lisp.

Having a “solid working knowledge” of a modern programmer is just another notch in a designer’s toolbelt.