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"Since June, the police department has been using a new mobile dispatch system that includes a Windows-based touch-screen computer in every patrol car. But officers have said the system is so complex and difficult to use that it is jeopardizing their ability to do their jobs. (...)
'Do you think if you're hunkered down and someone's shooting at you in your car, you're going to be able to sit there and look for Control or Alt or Function?' said Sgt. Don DeMers, president of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, the local union and the most vocal opponent of the new system. 'No, you're going to look for the red button.'
Officers also say they were not consulted about the design of the user interface - how information is presented and how commands are executed using on-screen and keyboard buttons. Many have said they wish the department had retained and upgraded the old system, in place since 1990.
Such complaints have a familiar ring. Anyone who encounters technology daily - that is to say, just about everyone - has a story of new hardware or software, at work or at home, that is poorly designed, hard to use and seemingly worse than what it was intended to replace. (...)
At the heart of the dispute is the question of how much the technology itself is to blame, how much is a training problem and how much can be attributed to the predictable pains associated with learning something new."
New York Times: Wanted by the Police: A Good Interface, 11 nov 2004