Sexy Software Sells: User Interface Ranks Higher than Functionality


Reading time ( words)

We all know the car salesman’s trick of draping a busty girl in high heels and skimpy shorts over a fancy sports car. But after you get to work in your new car, does this approach work for the next generation of EDA software? Put a slick, easy-to-install, easy-on-the-eyes application in front of a potential new user, and the time to close the sale may be less than five minutes. If a user can’t jump right into the driver’s seat and hit the accelerator, the sale is lost, regardless of the software’s horsepower. Forgive the mixed metaphors.

This isn’t news to most of us, but it is worthy of examination in the EDA world. The concept of a user interface was really only introduced with the success of Windows  95, less than 20 years ago. There had been earlier attempts, but none were as widely adopted. However, in the EDA world, the new operating system proved to be a headache for the existing vendors, because CAD software had been supported on HP-UX or Sun-Solaris for nearly 20 years. Supporting a new operating system was a resource burden.

While EDA companies struggled to upgrade to support Windows, Microsoft was taking the world by storm.  I spent my sophomore year of college learning how to hand-draft drawings, but by my senior year, we were all fluent in AutoCAD.  When I was recruited by Intercept, you can imagine my dismay and confusion at the clunky and nearly impossible-to-use schematic application that I tested for quality assurance. What a buzzkill. I couldn’t understand how anyone could get anything done with this software.

Read the full column here.


Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

With App Notes, Trust But Verify

07/20/2020 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
For this month’s issue on app notes, I checked in with Clive “Max” Maxfield. The author of Bebop to the Boolean Boogie and countless technical articles and blog posts, he has been involved with all manner of app notes and datasheets during his long career. Max shares his thoughts on data. As he points out, “Remember that these documents are not written by an ‘infallible creator.’”

Meet Our Newest Columnists From NCAB Group

08/31/2019 | I-Connect007
Meet our newest I-Connect007 columnists from NCAB Group! Jeff Beauchamp, Ruben Contreras, and Harry Kennedy are field application engineers from NCAB Group's technical team. In their columns, they will explore fresh PCB concepts, including medical and telecommunications applications, topics related to RoHS, and much more.

Thermal Management Materials: Easing the Decision-Making Process

08/02/2018 | Jade Bridges, Electrolube
There are many different types of thermally conductive materials, and choosing between them will be dictated by production requirements and application design, as well as critical performance factors that must be achieved.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.