Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who decides radical design change?

After the dust for "Seamless" settled, I went to the Star Tribune web edition, expecting to see the usual facsimile edition.  Instead I found a clutter with a page occupying less of the screen than before.

Why do management and designers make radical changes that maybe only a few want?  Many users like the way things work and only want tweaks to fix a few things that don't work well.

Apple is notorious for this.  What worked one way well suddenly works in a completely different way.   Way back in the first decade of the Mac, I looked forward to updates, especially new levels.  Now, I won't touch a new level unless I buy a new gadget.  And many times, I wish I had stuck with the old gadget even if the newer is faster and has more data capacity.

I think the problem is "focus groups".  Management pays a few selected participants to attend a meeting while management watches behind one-way glass.  The moderator works and works to get the participants to agree to management's proposal.  Only when the participants agree to management's proposal do they get their honorarium and get to go home.

I know!  I was in a focus group to approve "Comfort Systems" for the Duluth gas and water department.  Few of us were happy with "Comfort Systems".  We didn't know until later who the entity was; we assumed it was a private utility.

Back to technology: "New and Exciting" may mean "Frustrating and Buggy".

To add insult to injury, Google won't let me scroll the text I pasted here.  It moves the window as a block instead of the text in the frame.  It didn't do that for the last post!!!