11 May 2009

Is Version One a Software Chindōgu?

Chindōgu is the act - some would say art - of creating a product whose usefulness is precluded by its absurdity.

Chindōgus are not absolutely useless, since they typically solve a problem; yet in practical terms, chindōgus are much more humorous in their inherent absurdity than they are useful.

The Japanese word chindōgu means unusual tool. Chindōgu, and its inventor Kenji Kawakami, were featured on the BBC television show It'll Never Work.
How many software chindōgus are you aware of ?
Our team is consistently bewildered, confounded, and confused trying to use Version One to plan and track iterations and work tasks. This isn't a rant about Version One. Maybe Version Two will provide tangible value....who knows?

If you have a Version One success (or failure) story,

Or, if you have a Software Chindōgu to share...
Please post a comment!

Donald Norman's case studies in The Design of Everyday Things awaken us to the successes and failures of everyday things from the standpoint of usability. Software professionals involved with user interfaces would do well to read Norman's book if only to re-sensitize themselves to the user's experience.

As software professionals, we should strive to grow software that is well-thought out and cleverly usable -- not spawn software oddities suitable for chindōgu museums.