Designing for Usefulness Across Cases

In the scenarios we have seen in this section, Benkei, Anya, and Katherine work in different domains and solve distinct problems, but they all experience a similar gap between what they want to do and what their software readily lets them do. In countless ways, their programs keep them from turning data into decisions in the time available to them.

This gap is no surprise to professionals in the computing industry. In a recent report from Forrester Research, a firm that assesses the impact of technology trends on business, analysts disparaged as “shovelware” applications “that may be technically appropriate for a task but [practically] of little value to people who actually end up using the application” ...

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