Usability defect and Covid-19 message

Dragons Out book's English version is in the publishing process of Austin Macauley. Currently, I don't have a publishing date proposal from them, but the book is proceeding nicely. As for the Finnish version, I have two offers from Finnish publishers and I am pondering them.

The big question for both language versions of the book is the effect of Covid-19 pandemic to book sales in general. I think both versions can be available well in time for the Christmas market, but is that a good time to launch a book this year? Drop me a line through the contact form, and give me your opinion. Thanks very much for helping in this bit of market research.

Today's excerpt from the book for your enjoyment is taken from Chapter 6 which is about usability. This particular piece gives the background for the adventure, and it is talking about isolation, appropriately for these Covid-19-ridden times. I hope you find it amusing.

Enjoy. And stay safe.

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Due to the dragon's regular visits, no one used the tower at all. The last time someone had used the tower was over a hundred years ago. The cousin of the then Lady of the castle had almost starved to death as she had kept the tower as her apartment when the dragon arrived. She had been trapped in the tower for a week as the dragon took it over. She was only able to escape when the dragon left.


People have abandoned parts of the castle. In the bank's information system, some of the information is presented in such a confusing manner that no one wants to use it, even though it is available. Payment information may be in such an order that finding the right information is laborious. Payment information is usually in chronological order. On the other hand, someone might want the info sorted by the payer.

People suspected that the dragon wanted to be near golden treasures, which were in the basement of the castle under the middle tower. On its first visits, the dragon had circled the central tower before settling on the tallest tower. Maybe the dragon smelled gold. However, it was by no means able to access the gold. Probably it came back from time to time to check if people had moved the gold to a place where it would be easier to steal. At least that is what many castle sages thought.

Even if there is a desire to eliminate usability problems, it can still be impossible, as poor usability can be an integral part of the chosen technical architecture that cannot be changed. The software can do certain things, but with less usability. Perhaps better software isn’t available. In the story, the castle gold attracts the dragon again and again, but since the trouble only affects one tower every few years, over the centuries, no-one has bothered to fix the situation. Perhaps no one has seriously tried to banish the dragon. This failure to get things done is often the case with usability problems. There always seem to be more important things to do, and people have to live with poor usability.



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