Operable systems

Especially for complex, multi-purpose systems, the gap between how things are supposed to work and how they actually work can be quite large. (Ask any police sergeant about the difference between policing in theory and policing in practice!) A primary function of operators is to bridge this gap in ways that result in better rather than worse outcomes. The capacity of systems to be operated is what allows operators to perform this valuable function, sometimes called technical work.

~ Richard Cook, from Making Systems Operable

More and more I’ve been getting a lot mileage from this idea: Make things easier TO USE, rather than trying to fully automate (i.e., so I don’t have to use them.) One cornerstone to accomplishing that is creating “affordences“.