David Platt (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Software-Sucks-What-About/dp/0321466756 ) has a good and fortunately very popular talk here at Teched on "Why your software sucks" aimed at the very developers that write the software. IT is basic stuff like "your users are not you" but David Platt's examples and instance on "Just make it work" makes me reconsider some of what I have been thinking about for our Group Policy designs. Are we really making it just work?
So making GP just work is one thing. Hard to do because you can easily be overwhelmed by all the things you also make the software do and all the complexity you could expose. But the notion talks well to my corner stone thought that you have to build in knowledge about what people should do.
But how do you accomplish "Just make it work" and "you are always building a platform"? The latter is just as important as it states that the role of a design team is to make a UI that lets you, the person who paid us to work for you, able to recompose, reconfigure, and mash together a new use for our software that we did not anticipate. How do we anticipate your next move and at the same time let you redefine what your next moves are going to be in the future.
I can't say I have an answer yet. I think we have to separate the focus. You always have access to the data. But we make a purposeful UI based on one understanding of you. Maybe that is too old fashioned, too old school. Hmmm, still thinking.