Calendars, Concept Count, and User Experience


Jon Udell has a detailed post on connecting Google Calendar and Outlook, but that's just the vehicle for talking about "concept counts"--the number of difficult concepts a person must understand and sort out to accomplish some task. Jon enumerates seven for this particular task; clearly too high. He concludes:

All this only scratches the surface. We could elaborate a whole lot more of these conceptual underpinnings. Bottom-line: support for standards is necessary but not sufficient. Even when products comply with standards like iCal, people struggle mightily to use those products interoperably. It's the conceptual barriers that get in their way. It's really hard to figure out how a concept expressed in one system maps to the same (or a similar) concept in another system. To make that easier, technology providers will have to agree on more than just protocols and file formats. We'll also have to work together to minimize conceptual clutter and normalize core concepts.
From Calendar cross-publishing concepts « Jon Udell
Referenced Wed Jan 31 2007 11:34:09 GMT-0700 (MST)

This week I posted a Technometria podcast on IT Conversations with Jon as a guest. His focus, now that he's at Microsoft, is evangelizing things geeks take for granted, like subscribing to an Outlook calendar in Google, to regular computer users. Obviously, doing that requires surmounting hurdles like concept count. Give it a listen, I think you'll find Jon fascinating.