1770: "UI Change"

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1770: "UI Change"

Postby speising » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:23 pm UTC

Image
I know they said this change is permanent, but surely when they hear how much we're complaining someone will find a way to change things back.


Yeah, like hiding the "New Posts" link in a hamburger.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:37 pm UTC

More like UTI, amiright?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:22 pm UTC

You think that's bad...

Our Corporate IT Overlords pushed out hacks to Microsoft Office. Now there's all sorts of useless additions to the ribbons, most of which are not removable by us mere mortals. I mean, really: putting in a default start-up dialog requiring us to enter Author Name? Adding a ribbon tab to "create new [company name] workbook," which just creates a blank 3-sheet workbook? ( and lots more...)

Pathetic. Annoying. And grossly violating Tog's User Interface rules.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby somitomi » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:53 pm UTC

This is just slightly better than the dreaded user guide, that pops up after every update to tell me how to use the app even though there wasn't any significant change to the UI. (and so even that one annoying part of the UI remains stubbornly unchanged)
—◯-◯

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Sableagle » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:54 pm UTC

User interface rule: if the user is screaming "FUCK OFF!" at the interface loudly enough to be heard in the street while he closes your pop-up, you really ought to disable that pop-up.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby airdrik » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:49 pm UTC

But that little UI change really is making things better, I promise. Just ask our team of design specialists who spent the last 3 months deliberating over just that very element1.

Or: While I hear and understand your complaints, I invite you to contact the numerous users who complained about the previous layout to no enda.

1: I asked Bill and Jane over here which way they liked more and we all agreed that it looks/works better this way. It's permanent because we've since refactored how that all works and can't[sup]i figure out how to get back to the original layout/behavior[/sup]

a: Somebody submitted a strongly worded change request and he and 3 other users kept adding comments and reopening it until we changed it

i: are too lazy to

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby miket » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:50 pm UTC

I'm not sure that a lot of these UI changes are so arbitrary. For me, the high point in the Android UI was Jellybean. Since then, the Google UI people have been intent on hiding details. In the Jellybean notification bar, helpful colored arrows indicated when data was coming in or going out. In newer versions, they've been hiding that fact. Funny how it makes it so that apps may more easily phone home without your noticing!

I wish they'd let us have Geek Design rather than Material Design.

Its bad when we get both the strange UI changes and the getting old.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:21 pm UTC

Yeah, well since I was forced to upgrade my version of MS Office after moving from XP to W7 I've wasted countless hours looking for familiar features and referring to the users manual. Biggest change for me was the use of "ribbons" rather than drop-down menus. Ribbons suck imho.

I do have to admit that he new MS Word equation editor is pretty cool. Almost makes the rest of the crappy UI worth it. Almost.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby freezeblade » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:51 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Yeah, well since I was forced to upgrade my version of MS Office after moving from XP to W7 I've wasted countless hours looking for familiar features and referring to the users manual. Biggest change for me was the use of "ribbons" rather than drop-down menus. Ribbons suck imho.

I do have to admit that he new MS Word equation editor is pretty cool. Almost makes the rest of the crappy UI worth it. Almost.


I hate ribbons with a passion. Thankfully the program I use the most for work, AutoCAD, has a userbase of engineers, so the manufacturer is basically forced to leave in the option to revert the UI back to earlier versions. My AutoCAD currently looks like it did all the way back in release 14, which came out in 1997.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:34 pm UTC

I got used to the Ribbon pretty quickly, but then I've never made heavy use of Excel or Access, so the experience might be way different for those sorts of people. And Microsoft's attempt to cram Ribbons into everything else they make has gotten annoying — especially File Explorer, which got along fine for two versions without a Ribbon or a menu bar. But at least you can hide it by default.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:43 pm UTC

A distinction is often drawn between "bugs" and "features". Ribbons are neither. They fall into the unique category of "obstacles to be overcome".

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby DanD » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:50 pm UTC

Image

Maybe it's just your workflow that is broken.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:04 pm UTC

Oh joy, another comic smarming about how people who dislike terrible UI are just a bunch of fuddy-duddies.

Getting old sucks, but at least you don't wake up one morning to find that somebody has changed the size and placement of your fingers to be proportional to their most common use cases across a tester base consisting of people who aren't you, re-sculpted your head to conform to this year's trendiest new design fashions, and relegated your eyesight to a popover menu.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Zylon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:04 pm UTC

Randall doesn't seem to understand the difference between arbitrary change and change brought on by age.

Or he does and doesn't care, because the actual point of the comic is to be smug toward people who don't like UI changes.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby ThemePark » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:A distinction is often drawn between "bugs" and "features". Ribbons are neither. They fall into the unique category of "obstacles to be overcome".

Nope, bugs are just features the programmer didn't know he added to the program.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:42 pm UTC

I don't think I have met a lot of people who like getting old. I don't think I have met any over 50 who liked getting old. Does this mean that nearly everyone hates UI changes?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Sableagle » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:08 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:Or he does and doesn't care, because the actual point of the comic is to be smug toward people who don't like UI changes.
Yes, curse that smug Randall, reminding us all that we're growing old while he stays young and beautiful forever thanks to his Elven heritage / his vampiric nature / that marvellous machine / the accident in the lab back in '56 that gave him his powers / DC continuing to make money from comic series featuring him.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:I hate ribbons with a passion.
Menu-Bar Masssiiiiiive represent!!!
I just use the alt-key+otherkey(s) combos from days of yore, rather than trying to find out where on earth data sorting (alt-D S) is on the ribbon.

(On newer version MSOffice. I actually still use pre-ribbon MSO a lot, on some machines, and OpenOffice/LibreOffice on others.)

What annoys me is that {<WindowsKey>, U, U} no longer shuts a machine down (i.e. three rapid taps, or {..., U, R} for Restart), but seems to try to find an application in the Windows Menu starting with U. Yes, there's Alt-F4 (and variants) but that applies to open applications first, and when I'm WinkeyUUing I'm probably in a rush, and {Ctrl-Shift-Escape, Alt-U, U}, if that still works in modern versions of Windows (I really ought to check), is just a little bit more complicated...

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Flumble » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:54 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I got used to the Ribbon pretty quickly, but then I've never made heavy use of Excel or Access, so the experience might be way different for those sorts of people. And Microsoft's attempt to cram Ribbons into everything else they make has gotten annoying — especially File Explorer, which got along fine for two versions without a Ribbon or a menu bar. But at least you can hide it by default.

I like ribbons. In the programs where they belong of course, like the office programs that just have a tremendous set of buttons —the ones in file explorer and paint are clealy bugs that the guys at MS refuse to fix.
The best part is indeed that you can (auto) hide the contents of the ribbon with a simple click, so you're left with a single line with some plain text words and a load of free screen space. Then again, I love removing unhelpful stimuli. Like all the clutter in a modern web browser (IIRC, Edge is currently the best of the 'mainstream' browsers at being just a browser).


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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:19 pm UTC

Apparently this is the minority interpretation of the comic, but I took it as "the older you get, the more things you have to relearn because previous versions got obsoleted and replaced by new ones with different design choices so getting old is an increasing stream of UI changes"

Meanwhile, the general experience of getting old is that stuff that used to be easy gets gradually harder without you noticing until something draws it to your attention - you don't wake up one morning and suddenly find it takes you 5 minutes to bend down to lace your shoes when you could do it in 5 seconds the previous day...

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Zylon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:54 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:
Zylon wrote:Or he does and doesn't care, because the actual point of the comic is to be smug toward people who don't like UI changes.
Yes, curse that smug Randall, reminding us all that we're growing old while he stays young and beautiful forever thanks to his Elven heritage

You're very bad at understanding things.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby madaco » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:15 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:
Zylon wrote:Or he does and doesn't care, because the actual point of the comic is to be smug toward people who don't like UI changes.
Yes, curse that smug Randall, reminding us all that we're growing old while he stays young and beautiful forever thanks to his Elven heritage

You're very bad at understanding things.


Idk, I initially interpreted it as being sympathetic to the complaints.

Like, yeah, those both seem like generally unpleasant things.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:18 pm UTC

madaco wrote:Idk, I initially interpreted it as being sympathetic to the complaints.

Like, yeah, those both seem like generally unpleasant things.

I'd be willing to extend that benefit of the doubt if we didn't already have other comics like the "Workflow" one posted above wherein Randall smarms about people who don't like change and implies that they're all just irrational sillies who need to get with the program. As is, nah.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby schnadoodle » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:55 pm UTC

Randall is no doubt being smug here, but the comic hits on a serious problem to do with the digital divide between young and old, which I've noticed a lot with older members of my family.

With every year that goes by, it becomes harder and harder for a person to get by without using things like computers or smartphones, and more and more older people have to start using them. Unfortunately, the technology is mainly designed by and for people who grew up with computers and who aren't sympathetic towards people who never used anything more complicated than a VCR until they were in their 40s or 50s.

I've found with a lot of the older people I know that they're not only less confident in their ability to use computers, but they learn more slowly and they seem to learn in a different way as well (for example, they don't learn that "the envelope icon is email"; they learn that "the icon in the top-left corner is email"). Even small changes in a UI can really throw them off, to the point that they have to relearn almost everything. Unfortunately, changes to the UI sometimes happen so often that before they've fully learnt how to use the current system, the designers force a change on them and they have to learn everything from scratch all over again.

As a result, they're constantly in a state of not fully understanding how to use their devices and suffering from low-level anxiety about breaking everything because they don't really understand what they're doing.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Heimhenge » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:40 am UTC

schnadoodle wrote:I've found with a lot of the older people I know that they're not only less confident in their ability to use computers, but they learn more slowly and they seem to learn in a different way as well (for example, they don't learn that "the envelope icon is email"; they learn that "the icon in the top-left corner is email"). Even small changes in a UI can really throw them off, to the point that they have to relearn almost everything. Unfortunately, changes to the UI sometimes happen so often that before they've fully learnt how to use the current system, the designers force a change on them and they have to learn everything from scratch all over again.


Precisely what happened with my mom. Last time I visited I did several accessibility tweaks (font and icon size, contrast, etc.) so she could at least see the interface. But she still has problems with the upgrade from XP to W7, even though I made the UI as close as I could to what she was used to. She lacks the vocab to be talked through an issue over the phone, so last time I visited I installed TeamViewer. Set it to start with Windows. Now I can just go in remotely and fix shit from 1700 miles away when she calls for help. Tip for those who tech support parents. :D

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Carlington » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:57 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:What annoys me is that {<WindowsKey>, U, U} no longer shuts a machine down...

Win+X, U, U does the trick now, which is only negligibly different.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby StClair » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:13 am UTC

God, this is (has been and will be) my life.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby da Doctah » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:29 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:
schnadoodle wrote:they seem to learn in a different way as well (for example, they don't learn that "the envelope icon is email"; they learn that "the icon in the top-left corner is email").


That's not their fault. Even when I can tell the many icons apart (which isn't all that often), I still can't tell what they're supposed to be. So it's not "the envelope icon is email", it's "the vaguely rectangular white icon with some blue slightly more concentrated toward the top is email". The problem is made all the worse because of the annoying tendency to "regularize" icon appearance, so they're all circular with a cyan background and a navy blue border, and only minor differences (sometimes adding up to three or four pixels) between the sixteen icons that meet that description.

Heimhenge wrote:Precisely what happened with my mom. Last time I visited I did several accessibility tweaks (font and icon size, contrast, etc.) so she could at least see the interface. But she still has problems with the upgrade from XP to W7


It's not an upgrade. It's a downgrade, or at best (for instance if you didn't use the "record what you hear" feature of the audio system) a sidegrade. A sidegrade that they made us pay extra for to get a few features that we didn't ask for in the first place.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby ucim » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:32 am UTC

schnadoodle wrote:(for example, they don't learn that "the envelope icon is email"; they learn that "the icon in the top-left corner is email").
This, in spades. I have dear family members who simply cannot get the concept behind things like saving a file, or the difference between "birthday list" (the file), Notepad (the program that opens the file), Firefox (the browser they use to get their email), AOL (the service their email is hosted on), and username@domain.com (the source of the birthday list file that they downloaded). So I get calls to "help me find the AOL that has Notepad on it".

And then, when the email service changes the look and feel of the incoming mail list, they are totally lost.

da Doctah wrote:So it's not "the envelope icon is email", it's "the vaguely rectangular white icon with some blue slightly more concentrated toward the top is email".
This too. Yes, icons are nice, but they have to be clear and mean something self-evident. (Really - an eggplant means penis?) Not all things lend themselves to iconic representation however, and insistance on icons instead of words is turning the screen into mock Chinese.

And then tablets come along and break even that interface, because you can't even hover to discover what (if the designer was clever enough) the hovertext would hint at that the button did. And before anybody chimes in with "Oh, on a tablet you just wiggle-de-doo-da and you can see the whatchamaacallit", that's the problem! How is anybody supposed to figure this out?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:34 am UTC

miket wrote:Its bad when we get both the strange UI changes and the getting old.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby sotanaht » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:02 am UTC

Worse when not only does the UI change drastically, but features are removed in the process. In my own recent experience Nvidia's Shadowplay feature has been in oscillating between "broken" "mostly broken" and "not implemented" every version change and when OBS changed to OBS studio they removed the Replay Buffer. At least unlike Nvidia's forced updates to Geforce Experience I can still find the classic version of OBS with enough digging.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Plutarch » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:46 am UTC

Some of the previous posts are rather patronising about ageing. I grew up some time before there was so much as a VCR to program, and I'm managing just fine in the modern world, thank you. As is everybody else I know my age. Nothing in the internet age is particularly difficult to use. I didn't actually encounter a computer till long after I'd left school, but the transition from the pre-internet era to now has been no problem at all. Everything is simple these days, life is much easier than it used to be. Well, apart from declining living standards for a lot of people, I suppose.

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby x7eggert » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:27 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:I like ribbons. In the programs where they belong of course, like the office programs that just have a tremendous set of buttons —the ones in file explorer and paint are clealy bugs that the guys at MS refuse to fix.
The best part is indeed that you can (auto) hide the contents of the ribbon with a simple click, so you're left with a single line with some plain text words and a load of free screen space.


So you like toolbars instead of ribbons?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby EEMac » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

I read the comic differently. To highlight the bits relevant to my case:

1. Character complains "stuff I do all the time just got harder for no reason"
2. Off-screen comment: "you are not gonna like getting old"

To me, that sounds like "when you get old, stuff you do all the time will get harder for no reason.", implying "you won't like that either." That matches my experience, and what I hear from people older than me.

The UI change call-out just provides common reference. "Getting old is like putting up with a bunch of bad UI changes."

Of course, that's not the only way to view this. Reading the different interpretations in this thread has been interesting!

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby GlassHouses » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:31 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Biggest change for me was the use of "ribbons" rather than drop-down menus. Ribbons suck imho.


Argh, ribbons! :evil:

They managed to make even that all-time paragon of ease and simplicity, MS Paint, into something frustrating and confusing.

I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, heck it's only been several years so far, but why?!?

And it's not like I stubbornly stand by my initial negative reaction no matter what. I hated the new, flat, iOS 8 look at first, but not any more; now I actually do think it's better than the old look. Not so with the ribbon, though...

I think it's telling that the one Microsoft product that is really critical to their business, Visual Studio, still uses a good ol' menu bar. Although the menu titles are ALL CAPS now... Why?!?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby HES » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:05 pm UTC

My solution to ribbons is to make a custom ribbon with everything on it.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Isaac Hill » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:39 pm UTC

schnadoodle wrote:Unfortunately, changes to the UI sometimes happen so often that before they've fully learnt how to use the current system, the designers force a change on them and they have to learn everything from scratch all over again.
Having to start over when you still haven't fully learned the previous system creates a sense of futility. Why should I try to learn this new UI when it'll just be changed again before I'm caught up? Figuring out the new UI becomes far more frustrating when I doubt I'll ever be able to use my newly aquired knowledge again.
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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:57 pm UTC

EEMac wrote:To me, that sounds like "when you get old, stuff you do all the time will get harder for no reason.", implying "you won't like that either." That matches my experience, and what I hear from people older than me.

The UI change call-out just provides common reference. "Getting old is like putting up with a bunch of bad UI changes."

I agree; I also read it as a geeky version of "gettin' old ain't for wimps!". Maybe all the people reading it the other way aren't old enough to feel their bodies slowly breaking yet?

And maybe this is Part Three in the "Randall is moving" saga (Moving Boxes, Settling, UI Change)? Packing up a house certainly reminds you of which muscles you haven't used recently...

HES wrote:My solution to ribbons is to make a custom ribbon with everything on it.

The Dalai Lama solution!

Ribbons annoy me, but mostly because of the screen space they waste. Even without ribbons, my browser has the top window border, an old-school pull-down-menu row, a tab bar, an address bar, a frequently-used-bookmarks bar (which is technically the same thing as a ribbon, since I also have "bookmarks" in the menu... but it's one I can choose to use or not), then the actual useful screen space, then a status bar at the bottom. It does not need another row of icons 4x the size of all the other static stuff. Especially with all the html5 menus/ads/etc adding new bands of static stuff to the "useful screen space" part... when something as simple as a browser is 40% static UI elements and 60% "real work", someone has made a fundamental mistake. A tool like this (which is what I use at work) needs a lot of buttons available all the time. A web browser needs... maybe four?

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Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby JoshTriplett » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:44 pm UTC

EEMac wrote:I read the comic differently. To highlight the bits relevant to my case:

1. Character complains "stuff I do all the time just got harder for no reason"
2. Off-screen comment: "you are not gonna like getting old"

To me, that sounds like "when you get old, stuff you do all the time will get harder for no reason.", implying "you won't like that either." That matches my experience, and what I hear from people older than me.

The UI change call-out just provides common reference. "Getting old is like putting up with a bunch of bad UI changes."

Of course, that's not the only way to view this. Reading the different interpretations in this thread has been interesting!


That was my interpretation of the comic as well; it never occurred to me that someone would interpret it as "complaints about UI changes are for old people". I like the metaphor of age-related degeneration as "bad UI changes".

As for the alt text ("I know they said this change is permanent, but [...] someone will find a way to change things back"): SENS is working on that.

rmsgrey
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1770: "UI Change"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:07 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:Ribbons annoy me, but mostly because of the screen space they waste. Even without ribbons, my browser has the top window border, an old-school pull-down-menu row, a tab bar, an address bar, a frequently-used-bookmarks bar (which is technically the same thing as a ribbon, since I also have "bookmarks" in the menu... but it's one I can choose to use or not), then the actual useful screen space, then a status bar at the bottom. It does not need another row of icons 4x the size of all the other static stuff. Especially with all the html5 menus/ads/etc adding new bands of static stuff to the "useful screen space" part... when something as simple as a browser is 40% static UI elements and 60% "real work", someone has made a fundamental mistake. A tool like this (which is what I use at work) needs a lot of buttons available all the time. A web browser needs... maybe four?


My browser has the tab bar (with minimise/maximise/close window buttons), the address bar (also home to search and a row of cryptic icons ending in the menu burger - all of which is contained in the same height as the address) and then occasionally has a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the window, and usually has a vertical scroll bar at the side. The rest of the maximised window is viewport.

Firefox, if you want to know.


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