Monday, February 7, 2011

Generating complexity

Information is power someone said. I can agree on that. If you have more information, you can easily surf through the complex human relationships.

But what does it take to get information? First of all, the most complex job of getting data. Paul exposed an important question in this process that many are arguing about: "Is getting the data making our world more complex rather simple?".

I must agree on that and have already exposed it in the comments. The blame is on programmers. Now I must add that many times the blame is on poor management as well. Here is an example:

This is a form for foreign payments (outside EU). Any average European guy like me must fill in next few months if he wants to make a reservation for the summer vacation in another country. Of course, if you pay directly to the owner of the appartments.

On this form, there is a "statistical" part. There you must enter the purpose of transaction, 2 crazy fields and amount of money that goes for this purpose.

The bad thing:
 - dropdown field was done by some programmer that doesn't care about users. You have numbers and then the text. Since there is some 70-80 options, that's a lot of reading
 - the options were inputed by some crazy mechanism of EU that will get data back to different analytics officiers that should do something with it

This could have been simplified. It is just not simplified because of bad management of EU and bad programming habbits of somebody that works on this.