I had a fun time at a Microsoft event in SF yesterday, essentially a product demo day, with 300 people watching presenters tweak HTML (and other arcane variants of such code), and then some more intimate discussions on design, user experience and so on by Chris Bernard. Given the emphasis on User Experience, I thought these demo kiosks were lovely but discouraging to use.
Things look nice.
I’m not sure about the term demo assets exactly, and why I need to get them ready, but the mess of a screen at least has a “do this first” zone.
Except it’s a non-stable trick. They put a Windows shortcut on top of that white triangle, but I accidentally dragged it when I went to click it. It’s not really a button, it’s a fake button, and one that easily breaks when someone tries to use it. Oops.
Okay, so now you do the double clicking they want you to do. And up comes a DOS window that lasts more than 1 second. Maybe I’m just un-tech enough to have that bother me, but it really seemed like the backstage was being revealed in a way that it shouldn’t. Why do I see DOS stuff when I’m running a new Windows app?
Anyway, it wasn’t clear what that was doing (perhaps restoring things to a pristine state) and it was even less clear what to do next. Some things to click were just Word documents that you couldn’t interact with (that’s a demo?), and others were apps that gave dire warnings about expiring betas. Again, maybe I’m not the right person to be trying this stuff anyway, but you can see that the commitment to design and user experience has a long way to go.
My hosts were exceedingly kind with their time and made me feel very welcome, so I apologize for having the poor grace to only post something negative. I suspect they are only too aware of the many instances of this sort of thing going on, and are marching uphill. But at least they are marching!