User Attention Deficit Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association has just released the fifth edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, known as DSM-5. Currently, 20 percent of American boys aged 14-17 are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and with the new guidelines, that number is set to increase.

Maybe that’s why your users can’t figure out the new system and keep calling the help desk? Maybe some Ritalin would help?

On second thought, don’t dope your users with prescription drugs. But do try some of the non-pharmacological interventions for ADHD: “clear rules, lists, and other structured routines”. Where have I heard this before? Oh yes, that’s called good usability.

If you don’t have a usability book handy, start with the Oracle User Interface Shell guidelines.