Whenever I think about designing seemingly simple features, I reflect back on this to remind myself how nothing is as simple as it seems: For Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2, I was tasked with speccing out a feature - type-down search. In Outlook and Windows Explorer, this is the feature whereby you can sort on a column and then start typing, and Outlook/Explorer will automatically scroll down and auto-select the first item that matches the characters you type.
We brainstormed the ways this could be implemented, came up with a few, and narrowed it down to two:
So we spun off efforts to investigate the performance & international side of things, and set about doing usability studies for both methods. We weren't sure how users would react: on the one hand, with method #1, there's no indication to the user that type-down search exists - would users think to try it? With method #2, there's an indication to the user about what to do once the user sorts on a column, but it adds a step to the process of sorting by a column, which could be annoying.
Well, under locales where typing 'a gives you accented a your application will never know that the user typed in 'a, you'll only get a notification as if the user typed in accented a.
Take Outs for 11 May 2004
Writing the code is the easy part.
Any new feature which does not serve a large percentage of users is essentially stealing valuable resources that could be spent implementing features, fixing bugs or looking for security vulnerabilities that DO impact the lives of millions of people.
PingBack from http://pschmid.net/blog/2006/08/17/38