Monday, September 04, 2006

fortune cookies

Many people are familiar with the story that buildings put mirrors in front of elevators as a way to keep people busy while waiting for the elevator to arrive. It is cheaper to do this than to speed up the elevator.

Well, I just learned that the fortune cookie was invented by a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles to accomplish the same thing. They were served at the beginning of the meal to keep diners busy while they were waiting for their food to arrive.

It is amazing what user requirements can be accomplished through innovative design, rather than solving the most obvious problem. We can design web pages with lots of high resolution graphics as long as we force something that will keep users busy to download first and fast.

In the interest of adding our gender topic to this post, I wonder how much of this is gender-based. I have always heard that men are more impatient than women. It could also be cultural, with Americans being more impatient than Asians.