Continuity of design is required by persistent users

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The more users a tool has, the more inertia it will posses. Radical changes can lead to complaints. However, incremental change can lead to undesired outcomes, because we are piling up decisions based on existing users, not on future users who were never before exposed to the solution.

People born in the XXI century probably never interacted with a type-writer, but they are still exposed to the same letter-input layout: the qwerty keyboard. This is a design and technical debt that was carried over for at least one (perhaps even two) generations of users who required small changes.

In other aspects, education could be suffering from such a condition. People is exposed to the education system essentially once in their lifetimes as users, and perhaps once in their lifetimes as consumers. This is, people going through the education, and parents of kids going through the system. Therefore one must ask why incremental change leads to unsustainable educational paradigms.

It is this continuity that can explain, perhaps, why the web does not resemble the memex.


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Aquiles Carattino
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