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Strategic analysis
IBM Usability Rating: Below Zero

Written by on May 28, 2004

There are many reasons why I do not like IBM, but the two primary ones are ugly design and complete lack of usability. The last reason (lack of usability) is rather strange because IBM has done extensive amount of usability research. They also a very good, and very popular usability section of their website. IBM should be one the front-runner in terms of usability.

But they are not - not even slightly.

It seems to me that IBM creates products - hardware or software - by thinking in terms of features and functionality. I do not think they ever consider a person's workflow or ease of use.

IBM Updater:

Here is an example: When you use IBM's updater this is the "available update screen". The area used to display the actual updates seems to be the least important element.

IBM Updater's lack of Usabilty

I could understand this if the updater was a version "0.2 beta" - but it is version 5.3 !!!

Not even the worst developers on the planet can go trough 5 major versions and who knows how many sub versions and create something as user-hostile as this.

This example is one of the worst, but I have yet to see a single IBM product with a people-centered design.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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