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MORE JOEL ON SOFTWARE: Further Thoughts on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity by Joel Spolsky

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fifteenIT'S NOT JUST USABILITY

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2004

For years and years, self-fashioned pundits, like, uh, me, have been nattering endlessly about usability and how important it is to make software usable. Jakob Nielsen has a mathematical formula he'll reveal to you in exchange for $122 that you can use to calculate the value of usability. (If the expected value of usability is greater than $122, I guess you make a profit.)

I have a book you can buy for a lot less—User Interface Design for Programmers (Apress, 2001)—that tells you some of the principles of designing usable software, but there's no math involved, and you'll be out the price of the book.

In that book, on page 31, I showed an example from what was, at the time, the most popular ...

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