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June 15, 2007

One law

BBC News: "[Scooter] Libby's lawyers ... argue that Libby was not able to present a full defence because classified information could not be discussed in court."

Oh the irony.

June 15, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 12, 2007

Adobe Update: a study in understanding usage patterns

I just fired up Acrobat Reader -- I beg your pardon, Adobe Reader -- and it decided it was time to install some updates.  When I said that was okay, it told me it was going to have to shut down Acrobat in order to do so.

As a techie, I understand why Acrobat feels this way, but as a user, I feel Acrobat has completely misjudged the moment.

I bring up Acrobat when, and only when, I want to read a document.  Usually, as soon as Acrobat has launched, I start reading.  Given that it takes Acrobat a little while to download the updates, by the time the restart-or-cancel prompt appears, the chances are better than 95% that I am right now in the middle of reading that document.  If I have a choice between continuing to read or shutting down the application and having to find my way back again later, I'll stick with continuing to read, thanks.

A better approach would be for Acrobat to install the updates as it shuts down, or the next time it starts.  In the former case, I have clearly finished reading, and it can beaver away in the background without bothering me.  In the latter case, although I clearly want to read something right now, I'm only going to be a bit delayed getting started, rather than losing my context to a shutdown-restart cycle.  The only wrong time for Acrobat to require a restart is when I am in the middle of a document; and yet this is exactly the time it chooses by default.

June 12, 2007 in Usability | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack