Beyn Technology
Published in

Beyn Technology

Worse is Better and It Shows

Handwritten wireframe
Photo by from Pexels

Worse is Better

Richard P. Gabriel has elegantly coined the term ‘’Worse is better’’ in the context of software, in his book ‘’the UNIX Haters Handbook’’. It expresses that functionality has no direct correlation with software quality. That is of course considering that the ‘software quality’ is a quantifiable constant. The software should be confined to the bare minimum and do not make any distractions. Software that is simple from ground up, often means that users can easily get on board, documentation would not be a nightmare to navigate and the list goes on. The benefits can be reaped without running a handful of risks and sleepless nights.

There is a race between the increasing complexity of the systems we build and our ability to develop intellectual tools for understanding their complexity. If the race is won by our tools, then systems will eventually become easier to use and more reliable. If not, they will continue to become harder to use and less reliable for all but a relatively small set of common tasks. Given how hard thinking is, if those intellectual tools are to succeed, they will have to substitute calculation for thought.

Cognitive ergonomics

Humans have a smorgasbord of cognitive highways that are all loaded with crucial information. In order to relay these signals, neural pathways are utilized so you do not have to cognitively make decisions every time you are confronted with the same or similar tasks. Cognitive ergonomics concern having the system and human cognitive limitations to work in harmony and optimize their interactions. It advises systems are designed around the cognitive workload and factoring in the human reliability or lack thereof in some cases. The most notable examples being the cockpit design and related software. For example, a GOMS model is a standardized way to assess the feasibility of your system with regard to human cognitive limitations.



Articles are written by our teammates on the subjects we have experienced.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Passionate about, Creative Writing & Fiction, UI, Software Philosophy. Enthusiastic about Flutter, TLA+, Python, Decentralized systems. /