Not Reading or Illiterate?


Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 4:33 am Pacific USA Time.

The official eBay blogger took a picture yesterday of one of my slides that I gave at the Developer Conference. He blogged about it. Someone has already responded in sheer horror that I would say these things, and she put words in my mouth, saying that I think eBay sellers are illiterate.

eBay sellers are not illiterate, and I never said that. Could people please stop putting words in my mouth?

Besides, it doesn’t reflect well on you to read something and take away from it something that’s not there, all while complaining that I am saying that people don’t like to read and don’t often understand things. I think you just proved my point!

The point of my slide and most of that presentation was to wake developers up and make sure that they are designing and creating things that are easy to use. I believe that the typical eBay seller fits what I wrote… they don’t want to read something that sounds like a college or grad school text book. They think they can figure things out themselves, and they will if developers make their tools easy enough! They won’t read help files and may not read instructions in general.

That’s not an indictment. We’re a fast-paced world now. Once upon a time, we wrote letters. We took the time to read letters we got. Now, we read 2 sentences, and we don’t care about the rest. We sign contracts without reading them. We try to figure out software and things without reading help files or manuals. It’s just who we are as a society. Some people will read, and some will read less than the average. But on average, we’re not making time to do these things or to care.

So developers need to design and develop for the fast-moving person who wants it to be so easy, it’s impossible to not figure it out.


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Categories: Just An Observation

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