July 22, 2010

I’ll take bad user experiences for 800

Posted in Musings at 4:30 pm by zhaewry

I’ll take bad user experiences for 800

“This set of user interface changes proves that Linden Lab is still totally incapable of understanding decent interface Design.”

“What is The Second Life Viewer 2.1?”

“That is correct.”

So, because I’m well, stubborn, I just downloaded the current official viewer 2.1 client to play with. I’ve blogged at length about what I think needs to be fixed in 2.0 I had hoped that one of the clear messages in that post was that the 2.0 approach of making people click more to do the same things is bad.  I also hoped that “the sidebar is way overloaded and way too modal” message was pretty clear.

So, I hop into 2.1, and decide that I want to take off an attachment. My usual path to such (in both Emerald and 2.0) involves going to where the “worn” stuff is. (and in 1.23, I do the hack of searching on “(worn” in inventory to find same.) 2.1 makes you do one extra click to get to the currently worn stuff in the sidebar, as simply clicking on my appearance takes you to the shared “outfits/my appearance” view of the sidebar.

Once in your current outfit the right click choices have vanished. You can no longer detach an item or look at its properties or do anything useful. You can do one thing and one thing only. “edit outfit”

So, you click edit outfit, and two things happen. One you spin like you had clicked appearance. That’s annoying and not necessary if I’m changing my shoes. Really, it isn’t.

Much worse, you are dropped into a hellish nest of additional clicking. You now see clothing, attachments and body parts. Your nice little list of worn items is now hidden in tabs which have very little do with getting your avatar clothed, and everything to do with how the application is written. Typical SL shoes consist of a set of attachments and a foot shaper. Are they grouped? no, they are split. If your outfit has shoes, socks, and a foot shaper, three bits on three subtabs.

So, I go clicking off into this swamp. Fine, I have found it. Ugly as all sin, but the prim is off. So, lets see. How many clicks is this? I’ve lost track. During which time, I can’t look at friends, can’t look at landmarks, can’t look at profiles, can’t search, can’t um. interact with the world, because the interface is MODAL

The contrast to 1.23, or Emerald is staggering. In Emerald I go ctrl-i (or click inventory) select “worn” and right click and detach. My avatar doesn’t spin. I don’t get a maze of sub menus and I don’t lose access to 90% of the function of the user interface.  In 1.23 i find my worn stuff by searching “(worn” which is one tick slower, but still infinitely better than this.

Nobody can tell me this is faster, easier or better for anyone, new or old. Making tasks more and more complex is just plain stupid. Adding clicks is stupid. Adding clicks and menus and tabs and making the nested modal swamp deeper is the opposite of delightful interface.

For added fun, click “add more” while you are editing your outfit. Go ahead. I dare you. You wanted a list of random things from your inventory in a sub frame using up  1/2 of the already blocking you from doing anything sidebar. I’m sure you did.

Don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t actually hang your sidebar for a solid minute loading it. Oh. Actually. Um. yeah, It will.

Oh, you put stuff in folders? Well too bad what an idiot you were, we don’t show you folders. We don’t show you stuff in folders, we show you a list of random crap. You think I am kidding. I click “add more” and the fist thing in the list is an item naked, from a folder I setup in 2006. No context, just a freaking item ripped out of my inventory and shoved in a list. it shows about 200 or so random items, none of them recent, and none of them grouped by the folders from my inventory.

The “add more” path is beyond an insult to users. It’s an insult to the content creators who handed you stuff in nice folders with good names.  It’s an insult to anyone who has spent the time to organize their items in a sensible way. It’s an insult to anyone who has used a computer and understands folders.  It is beyond useless, it is actively hostile.

Let me be blunt. Let me make this simple. Until you fix the basics, don’t add new stuff in the same style. The modal nested, click 5 times to do anything style is totally broken. Fix that. Fix it now, and fix it fully. Fix it with help from your users because you’re proving with every code drop of this client that you don’t actually understand your product at all.

Cramming stuff into the sidebar and making people dive into deeper and deeper nooks and crannies of a fixed size, small font information hiding ugly hell is simply appalling. The “add more” button is beyond that. You want people to shop and buy stuff and you then give them a user interface that hides 90% of their inventory and ignores the folders that stuff is put in.

If 2.1 is the answer then the question would appear to be “How can we make the user experience even more appalling than it was in 2.0″


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23 Comments »

  1. Tillie Ariantho said,

    Oh dear, that’s what I feared. :-(

    I can only hope someone is going to port Nyx’ multi-layer clothing changes to another client.

    I refuse to switch to any 2.x client by now.

  2. Ereh said,

    /me stands on soapbox waving Apple’s User Interface guidelines from 1984.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Grace McDunnough, Katherine Mancuso. Katherine Mancuso said: RT @GraceMcDunnough: I’ll take bad user experiences for 800 « Zha’s Virtual Musings http://bit.ly/a4QN6K [...]

  4. How many clicks does it take to get to the center of the inventory? I’ve been lamenting the woes of V2.x for a while now–pretty much since its launch. Sadly, it’s taken much yelling and gnashing of teeth, a CEO rollback, and endless trips to the JIRA to begin to get incremental fixes and changes. V2.x is nowhere near perfect, but I am seeing tiny glimmers of hope; e.g., drag-and-drop between inventory tabs has been fixed/restored. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Philip’s pledge “to very rapidly make Viewer 2.x the best and most widely-used Second Life viewer” is more reality than optimism. Until then, it still needs lots of love and attention (hint: searching for live music)…

  5. brinda allen said,

    Never will use it UNLESS it’s the only way to access SL.
    Then….the way I feel now, I’ll only use it to refund my residents paid tier…say goodbye to all those I’ve met and log out.

  6. Brickhouse Frog said,

    I have always hated Viewer 2 as well. Whenever I’ve logged into it, i’m wearing some obscure outfit I haven’t seen in MONTHS, and my huds are never there, nor is my hair. Now maybe if I gave it 30 mins, it would all show up, but, that kind of defeats my purpose if I’m there to do something on a time frame. I will never switch to Viewer 2, and if it ever becomes mandatory I will become a full time resident of an open source place like Inworldz.

  7. Corcosman Voom said,

    Darn. Yesterday, I told a new user to go Sidebar/My Appearance/Wearing/Right Click/Choose Take Off. I hope she was still on 2.0.

    She never did respond in Group Chat. I hope she is not still clicking away trying to find the clothing item she wanted to take off.

  8. Crap Mariner said,

    Ever since the early days of the web, I’ve had a term for this: Land Of A Thousand Clicks and the 99% Rule.

    – If there’s a problem, make the alert prominent and explanatory, but not obtrusive (The Build button goes grey when you can’t build, so why not other things? The recent @SLGridstatus alert on the LindeX buy failures was mirrored in the Viewer with “Cannot Buy Now” error, but no “check status blog” link. Point people to explanations. Add yellow warning icons to Inventory or Buy L$ or other functions when there’s a known issue.)

    – If someone wants to perform an action on an object or item, 99% of the time they should see it with a left or right click.

    – Object-to-object behavior should be possible with drag-and-drop in 99% of all occasions. (I still get the warm fuzzies over OS/2 drag-and-drop of a document on a printer, or dragging corn on a torch in Ultima Underworld to make popcorn.)

    – It should never take more than 2 clicks to navigate to a place to get to information you want. (“I will pay you X dollars to build this website, but fine you Y dollars for every click I use beyond 2 to get somewhere.”)

    – The button bar should be customizable with most frequently-used functions so obscure multi-click deep stuff can easily be performed.

    – If someone makes a “skin” or mod or hack of your client/interface and it gets popular, download it and use it to see how it differs from your own. Figure out what’s easier about it and then incorporate it into your own. (Otherwise, quit so your boss can hire THEM instead of you.)

    – Changes that defy explanation or increase frustration/effort to perform an action will be interpreted as part of your corporate agenda and philosophy. They say “This is what we want you to do less.” In the end, users/customers will interpret that as “Use your product/service.”

    – If you add landing pages and extra clicks just to send people through a gauntlet of ads, goodbye. You’re toast.

    – When I hit F1, I want context-sensitive help that makes suggestions based on my most recent behavior/actions. If I am too stupid/ignorant to do something, then assume I am too stupid/ignorant to know where to find help for it. Find it FOR me.

    – Left Hand Dance functions (Control-Z X C V A S) Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, All, Save should be universal. Use what people have learned in other applications in your own.

    – If you add steps to perform an action or navigate to a place and you work for me, you’re fired. No severance, no excuses, nothing. You don’t even get a cardboard box to put your stuff in. Just get the hell out and we’ll throw your crap into the street to pick up.

    – Your experience should have value in adapting to user wants and needs, not baggage and blinders. If what you know is a burden to the development process and not something that lets us advance our product/service, you’re gone. 9% unemployment rate and graduation rates have plenty of fresh approaches out there for the taking.

    Wasn’t there a recent TED presentation where an Apple evangelist/fan talked about how Palm used to have a “clickologist” or “tapologist” who counted the number of clicks and taps it took to perform any function, and if it went over a certain number they had to redo the interface?

    LL needs a clickologist/tapologist badly before they dig themselves into a deeper hole.

    -ls/cm

  9. Ari Blackthorne said,

    IMPORTANT: This is not a “hostile” comment! LOL I am simply trying to post a respectful counterpoint to your post.

    I can see how Linden Lab is at least *trying*. As a brand new user: V2 is perfectly fine and much easier to learn – and that user wouldn’t know a lemon from an orange with regard to different viewers and user interfaces.

    It’s that we all have been trained differently with the classic interface. New ways of doing things is discomforting to us. Human nature. May I suggest you actually step out of your comfort zone and really give it a go?

    Even Emerald Viewer users don’t know what they’re missing. So if it’s “user experience” you are looking for: http://imprudenceviewer.org/ Why? All the features of Emerald on the Snowglobe engine: Emerald on Steroids.

    Here’s my point; Viewer 2.1 is a *good* viewer. It is only a “bad” user experience because it is a massive paradigm shift for *you* (and all others deeply familiar with classic interface). I still use Imprudence, however I also have used V2 for three months straight to learn it, get accustomed to it, deal with the bugs and quirks. And you know what? I like it. yes it was frustrating at first. But unlike you (no offense, just stating the *apparent*) I did not “give up” so easily. I stuck with it. And yes, I call it “giving-up” prematurely.

    In fact, to be perfectly fair to Linden Lab: the 2.1 update really *is* a big improvement over version 2.0x. For those people who have started their Second Lives on V2: it’s an excellent viewer.

    You are simply being anal about the interface (don’t get me wrong, I am with you and so are many others who prefer the classic UI). Perfect example: if you have been using Photoshop as long as I have: then you remember the UPROAR over the massive UI change between version 2.5 and 3.0. It actually broke many of our methods for accomplishing things. In the end: it was a good move on Adobe’s part.

    I feel the same about Linden Lab’s V2. But they have a long way to go. Especially in performance (same with Emerald and many others).

    In your description above, I would counter by stating “UrDoin’ it WroNg!”.

    You are not using V2 as it is *designed* to be used. I do not have any of the problems you are describing because I am using V2 as it is designed. The modal nature of the sidebar is a moot point because there are buttons and methods to accomplish everything that can be accomplished with the classic UI. You are trying to do classic UI actions in the wrong area. You can do all that stuff you describe in the INVENTORY tab – the same way as you do it in the classic UI. The OUTFITS tab (where you were trying to do this) is the wrong place as it is designed for *quick changes*. The edit mode on that tab is designed for tweaking outfits you already have created.

    Yes: I agree, for those of us intimately familiar and years of “training” with the classic UI: it’s frustrating as hell. Please forgive me if I sound rude or like I am trying to insult you; I am not. However, your description above tells me that you either do not fully understand how V2 is designed to be used or worse (and I do not believe this): you are outright sensationalizing the “bad points” of V2 with a malicious intent. I repeat: I do not believe the latter.

    May I suggest something?

    Do as I did: fire-up V2 tonight: Friday night. Use only V2 until next Friday night. No cheating! *Only V2* all week.

    Yes, your first day or two could be very frustrating. However, all good things come to those who prevail over their obstacles. You will be “forced” to find out how V2 actually works, the way of thinking required (think of driving on the other side of the road in another country). Once you get a true handle on that part of it, I believe you will “lighten-up” on V2.

    Yes, you will likely return to Emerald or Snowglobe or Imprudence or (name your preferred viewer here) after your in-depth trial – but at least when you blog about V2, it won’t be “Gee, I tried it for 30-seconds and have decided that Linden Lab has totally Fecked-up on this!!11!!!!1ONE11!!”

    All good reviews of anything are from those who have used the reviewed hardware or software for a minimum of a week exclusively. That’s not a rule or a law, it’s simple responsibility.

    Allow me to reiterate: Just hoping to provide a respectful counterpoint in feedback. :)

  10. Crap Mariner said,

    Found the TED Talk:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/david_pogue_says_simplicity_sells.html

    David Pogue NYT 2006

    (I’ve been going through the entire backlog on iTunes during my walks and work.)

    -ls/cm

  11. Joel Foner said,

    @ari I have been using Viewer 2 series exclusively for months, so I am far from a “Gee, I tried it for 30-seconds” user. I agree with Zha and Crap.

    Do you have any objective basis for saying that the v2 series is “much easier to learn” than v1? Having supported many new users who started on both versions, I have not encountered any difference in the types of questions nor subjective support load based on viewer version.

    For what it’s worth, I see your example of “well you shouldn’t be trying to use that panel that way” as illustrative of the types of issues that are being discusssed. If the interface does not make it clear that something should or should not be done a particular way, it is not the job of the user to somehow channel the developer’s intent and “magically know what to do.” :)

  12. Spyvspyaeon said,

    Im a fraid to say u r totally right. Actually on 2.0 i though old resident were having problema to adapt to new clicks and menu changed. I assume that i didn’t waste my time trying anything, it won’t work, never. So i still on 3rd party viewers forever, no stress no f…. 100 clicks to do something so simple as taking of anything. Stay cool don’t get freak with this at least we have alternatives

  13. salomestrangelove said,

    Ari while your comments are well taken, the fact is that SL has an existing user base and we have a right to expect a transition from one interface to another without complete disregard for our previous experiences in the medium.

    Introducing a new interface was necessary, and 2.0 does deliver good things in the way of speed and other elements. No one argues that. But there is no excuse for adding time and hassle onto to everyday activities. There is no excuse for failing to recognize when you are taking steps backward amid the steps forward. There is no reason for it, except that the designers continue to demonstrate that they are not using their product the way most of their existing users do and they’re not engaging people in feedback who can help them with understanding these elements. SL’s lagging growth rate doesn’t justify inconveniencing the existing population; the “new” residents who don’t know any better are the minority and will be for a time.

    Linden Lab should be actively seeking this kind of feedback and bending over backward to bring existing residents over to 2.0. Many issues are simple fixes that could be implemented side by side with the newer innovations 2.0 has to offer. Telling members of the community that they’re “not using the viewer the way it was intended to be used” is meaningless. It’s not our job to accommodate designers; it’s their job to accommodate us. Linden Lab continues to fail to recognize what nearly every other technology player knows to be a fundamental truth of product development. And the more people make excuses for that failing, the less we are consumers leading them toward responsible development and the more we’re just enabling bad methodology.

  14. Ari Blackthorne said,

    @salomestrangelove

    I am totally with you on this. To expect the existing grid users to instantly migrate to v2 is nuts, wrapped in idiocy. The viewers should be maintained in a parallel fashion for at least a year with focus slowly drifting from the old to the new. By then, V2 will be well established and most bugs and “quirks” worked-out. But Linden lab is on a fast track to make V2 de-facto standard (in terms of the “official” viewer.)

    However, as Linden Lab states on their “system requirements” page: they will maintain only two versions of viewer: current and one generation back. That means as of the release of 2.1 (his week), official support for 1.x versions ceases.

    Thank goodness for the after market viewers (I use Imprudence myself). However, here is the problem: how long will it be before they also are forced to use the V2 code? How well will the V2 code works with the classic interface? Additionally, all good creators will need (not want, need) to become familiar with V2 so they can offer support where it is needed regarding their products if they create anything that uses scripts.

    See my points? I’m not defending LL in any way. I *am* defending the actual viewer and yes, it still needs a LOT of work. I’m just saying this: it’s bad, just not as bad as some are making it sound.

    So I suppose my “counterpoint” would be this: “hate Linden Lab’s implementation of use” of viewer 2, but don’t hate the viewer itself. It deserves a chance.

    Linden Lab’s obsessive push to get everyone on this viewer: just business as usual in terms of how LL does things.

  15. salomestrangelove said,

    Ari, I do get what you’re trying to say. As I blogged previously, I think 2.0 is a perfectly fine viewer for people who have nothing to do but consume and exist in 2.0.

    But there are issues that need to be streamlined, and given that roughly 70% of the SL population is here to look cute and play virtual paper dolls, making it more time consuming to swap in and out of attachments is just plain stupid. It actually demonstrates a disregard for the customer base that borders on hostility. The entire “outfit” system is an example of “do what we want you to do” instead of designing something beneficial. The concept behind outfits is good; the way it’s been implemented is horrendous, even for the casual user, let alone for the hardcore virtual fashion tramp like me.

    I personally can’t build in 2.0. Or host an event. Or do anything worth doing. I’m exhausted with being punished for being a productive member of the SL community by Linden Lab. It’s frustrating to be paying money to people who run their businesses like spoiled children and pay zero attention to the actual needs of their consumers.

    While I respect those who are trying to put a positive spin on the rotten apple, and while I can see there are positives among the peels, I refuse to act like those make up for the wanton disregard that continues to be demonstrated over and over to existing residents in the name of what’s best for LL and whatever market they’re chasing this week.

  16. zhaewry said,

    I ran 2.0 exclusively for five months. I’ve paid my dues. The user interface is fundamentally flawed. It is deeply modal, and adds a huge amount of gratuitous clicking to get to basic tasks. The nested mazes in the sidebar block out all other tasks while blowing away context. The 2.1 comments are based on pure usability, not having used other clients.

    2.0 and 2.1 are built on deeply bad user interface elements. No amount of gentle polishing is going to fix those underlying flaws. Getting core stuff back out of the sidebar and making things less modal will fix 60% of the problems. Adding a small amount of direct pathing would fix the next 20% or so. The deep mazes simply need more attention.

    ~ Z

  17. @Ari

    While I disagree with a few of your points, I was at least following the logic of your argument right up until you said this:
    “hate Linden Lab’s implementation of use” of viewer 2, but don’t hate the viewer itself. It deserves a chance.”

    Help me understand why an abysmally poor execution “deserves” a chance?

  18. Ari Blackthorne said,

    @Grace:

    Very simple: what’s right for you may not be right for me. Look at all the hype about how Apple banishes Adobe Flash on iOS, yet that stuff is still sold out. So I liken it to the main article here as being a bashing of something that a lot of people still find to be “right” for them.

    We as long-time SL users are set in our ways. So sure, we can become quite vitriolic about things; to-wit Viewer 2.

    So the statement you reference: hate the lab, not the product applies. Even Apple does not force anyone to buy their iPhone. That’s why the Android sets are so popular. Linden Lab is forcing us to “buy their iPhone”.

  19. @Ari

    You are on a slippery slope comparing anything Apple does with the Lab so I won’t bother to go there but to extend your argument, if you purchase an iphone in the states, you are FORCED to be an AT&T customer. And yes, I do despise Apple for not allowing me a choice.

    However, the value of the iphone to me far exceeds the downside of the lousy AT&T service. Can we say that about Second Life and Viewer 2? I guess you know my answer is currently a resounding no.

    As for chances, I pay the Lab to provide a service that meets my needs – the customer deserves the chance, not the other way around. This release does not deserve any more “chances” – in addition to the points Zha made, it didn’t meet the over-hyped intentions, it has low adoption and it may actually be having the opposite of the intended consequences – it needs to be rolled back or abandoned for viewers like the one you use, for example.

    Zha’s post is a critique from a technician’s perspective. It’s not any sort of random bashing, vitriolic or “oh how I hate change” post (although it’s clear she’s reached the point of frustration that so many of use have), it’s about what is common practice for anyone trained in the most basic user interface design principles.

    That is actually my only concern with the post – few people could even define MODAL – and for the cases described let’s not kid ourselves that we are protecting those sensitive new users from cognitive overload with modal magic. It’s not about what’s right for you versus me, it’s about HUMAN interface design based on USER actions.

    The trouble here is that the Lab sold the kids a trip to the candy store (shared media, the browser bar, etc) right AFTER they go to the dentist to get most of their teeth pulled.

  20. Ari Blackthorne said,

    We’ll simply have to agree to disagree.

    My point is the anger over Viewer 2 is misdirected. What is right for you may not be for me and vice versa (just being the Devil’s advocate here). I know some people who *do* like viewer 2. I like it myself, though I like Snowglobe *better*.

    The issue with the Viewer 2 scenario is in how Linden Lab is forcing it on the unsuspecting population without choice, not the viewer itself.

    I prefer Imprudence over Emerald. Does that mean I should take the same tact and blast Emerald over the difference in design? Of course not. Because Emerald is “right” for those who choose to use it. it doesn’t make the viewer itself bad.

    However, what if Linden Lab ruled that Emerald will be the sole official viewer they support and evangelize it as such? Does that make Emerald a bad viewer? Of course not. Not to you, anyway. But what about me who prefers Snowglobe? “What a piece of garbage that Emerald viewer it, LL should burn to the ground!!!” What would be bad about that is Linden Lab limiting choice to the unknowing. Rather than offering V2 at the download page, they should have the download link lead to the “authorized viewers” page and let each viewer dev team “sell” their viewer. Many will still choose V2.

    *That* is the gist of my argument. Viewer 2 might be bad to *you* for the reasons you state. But that does not mean it is a bad viewer to *me*. So, hypothetically: if I actually preferred the Viewer 2 interface and how it works, does that mean you are now insulting my sensibilities because my preferences are different from yours? In such a case I say shame upon you.

    This is where I say the anger over the whole viewer 2 thing is misdirected. I believe Viewer 2 to be a good viewer, for those that feel it is right for them. I believe Emerald to be a horrendous viewer: for those who feel it is *not* right for them (and those people do exist – I know of a few).

    It’s okay to slam on the “qualities” of viewer 2. I’m just saying when doing so then qualify the disdain by stating to effect: “Viewer 2 is the worst piece of garbage evar!!! For *me* – though your mileage may vary” …or something.

    Just like everyone proclaims Second Life is used by dullards who don;t have a first life and seek only pixel sex because that’s all there is to do in that *game*. Right? :)

    But, because *I* think something is a piece of crap: it is a piece of crap for *everyone else* too. Tell that to all the people actually using V2 and even enjoying it.

    /me shrugs.

  21. Ari Blackthorne said,

    We’ll simply have to agree to disagree.

    My point is the anger over Viewer 2 is misdirected. What is right for you may not be for me and vice versa (just being the Devil’s advocate here). I know some people who *do* like viewer 2. I like it myself, though I like Snowglobe *better*.

    The issue with the Viewer 2 scenario is in how Linden Lab is forcing it on the unsuspecting population without choice, not the viewer itself.

    I prefer Imprudence over Emerald. Does that mean I should take the same tact and blast Emerald over the difference in design? Of course not. Because Emerald is “right” for those who choose to use it. it doesn’t make the viewer itself bad.

    However, what if Linden Lab ruled that Emerald will be the sole official viewer they support and evangelize it as such? Does that make Emerald a bad viewer? Of course not. Not to you, anyway. But what about me who prefers Snowglobe? “What a piece of garbage that Emerald viewer it, LL should burn to the ground!!!” What would be bad about that is Linden Lab limiting choice to the unknowing. Rather than offering V2 at the download page, they should have the download link lead to the “authorized viewers” page and let each viewer dev team “sell” their viewer. Many will still choose V2.

    *That* is the gist of my argument. Viewer 2 might be bad to *you* for the reasons you state. But that does not mean it is a bad viewer to *me*. So, hypothetically: if I actually preferred the Viewer 2 interface and how it works, does that mean you are now insulting my sensibilities because my preferences are different from yours? In such a case I say shame upon you.

    This is where I say the anger over the whole viewer 2 thing is misdirected. I believe Viewer 2 to be a good viewer, for those that feel it is right for them. I believe Emerald to be a horrendous viewer: for those who feel it is *not* right for them (and those people do exist – I know of a few).

    It’s okay to slam on the “qualities” of viewer 2. I’m just saying when doing so then qualify the disdain by stating to effect: “Viewer 2 is the worst piece of garbage evar!!! For *me* – though your mileage may vary” …or something.

    Just like everyone proclaims Second Life is used by dullards who don;t have a first life and seek only pixel sex because that’s all there is to do in that *game*. Right? :)

    But, because *I* think something is a piece of crap: it is a piece of crap for *everyone else* too. Tell that to all the people actually using V2 and even enjoying it.

    As for “human interface” design: what does Microsoft say about that? Windows Vista to Windows 7 is the first time in the company’s history they’ve actually maintained the same UI from one version to the next version (no, not referring to parallels such as Win 200 and ME – I mean by generational versions).

    Personally: I prefer the XP interface. So rhetorically: does that mean I or Microsoft is now in the wrong today?

    /me shrugs.

  22. Anna Meier said,

    microsoft is on the wrong way.

  23. Porter Fields said,

    @Ari:

    I understand what you are trying to say here, but there are a few things you should remember.
    First, there are some basic (G)UI design guidelines that have been formed on years of research, use, study, feedback, etc. Viewer 2 disregards a lot of those basics!
    Second, The “anger” as you call it (is it really that?) is not directed at the viewer as a whole, but at its (UI) design. We all wanted a better viewer, and we were promised a better viewer, only to get a new viewer in its infancy. Nothing from the old viewer was transposed to the new one, meaning we are talking about two different products here which both started from scratch.
    Third, While it is true that Microsoft has changed the looks of Windows every release, the basic UI-design has always remained the same. In fact, every windows version has the option to revert its looks back to the previous one. No matter which version I used (perhaps except 3.x?) I know that right clicking on a file will always give me the option to delete, rename, print or open a file. They may add extra ways of doing it, but they will never remove that basic functionality.
    Four (and final) I have been using 2.x for a few months now, at least 5 hours a day, exclusively. I just can’t get used to it, no matter how much I try. I keep getting confused about all the pop-ups that seem to wander around, the panels that can only show me one thing at a time (I used to search for stuff and then open up multiple items like user profiles, impossible to do now). So yes, I am using the viewer in a way it is not designed to be used. Is that my fault or the fault of the designer? I guess that could be open for debate, but I do think that products need to adhere to how something is being used rather than forcing people to do more work instead of having fun. Maybe if we are talking about a productivity tool like Photoshop, yes…but a viewer which is used (for the most part) by people to have fun? No. That’s like going to the movies and then they tell you you must first learn to walk on your hands and watch it with one eye closed.


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