Why Post-Its are (sometimes) better than computers

Posted on February 13, 2009 by

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various-hateful-postits

In a recent article on Forbes.com, we can read about how MIT researchers argue that computers need to become as easy to use as those yellow sticky notes.

David Karger helps lead a group at MIT exploring the way people work with computers. A recent paper from his team chronicled the attraction of “information scraps” like Post-Its, which, says Karger, are actually near-perfect data base tools. They’re accessible and easy to use, and they take advantage of the brain’s facility to remember an object’s location in the three-dimensional world.

The study found that “capture speed” was the main reason a worker might choose a Post-it note over a computer program, even those programs specifically designed for these sorts of jottings.

Personally, I love the yellow/pink/green stickies and prefer them over computers for certain tasks like initial user story mapping etc – in particular when developed as by a team in a workshop or similar. It is so quick/easy to move the stickies to new spots and no “computer gets in the way” (for less technically able).

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