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Death by 1000 cuts, it’s an apt expression in today’s software world. I’m a user, and I create software. In a single day, I encounter an excessive number of bugs and annoyances. It’s not fair to subject anyone as a user or a user that creates software to frustration and suffering.
Some people say that it is a sign of the impending apocalypse. Once I convinced myself that they were right, I wanted to save and share the message, but even that wasn’t possible. It’s not just bugs that are causing issues but annoyances like having your cursor stolen from you. Unfortunately, someone thought their app was more important than what you were doing, and the operating system allows a developer to hijack your experience.
Some people have ideas for solutions, but solving those problems will likely require a scorched earth approach. We will need to adopt new platforms that will limit the lines of code in between clicking a file and saving it. If we don’t do that, we will continue to decimate user experiences and annoy people.
Change is Hard
Unfortunately, people do not like change. There are still people using the Bulletin Board Systems of yore. The only thing that will improve user behavior is better user experiences. I’m confident that people think their operating system is flawless and just works, but they are kidding themselves. Every operating system has bugs, and every operating system annoys users daily. If we want to improve the user experience, software development and platforms will need to be rethought and redesigned.
It’s a Battlefield
While I have been writing this article, I have run into several annoyances and possibly bugs. I’m typing these words, and LinkedIn has decided that putting zero-padding below the text was a great design decision. When pasting in some text from another web page, the formatting was kept intact, and the whole paragraph went bold.
I just pressed enter after inserting that image, and my cursor was underneath the download dialog. It doesn’t take long to realize you are in hell, and there is no way out.
Love & Technology
I love my wife; she does not love technology. I love using software to improve productivity, and we just started using Evernote. Evernote has been around since 2008. I would have hoped that 11 years would be enough time to iron out the bugs, but my hopes were shattered. I was sharing a notebook with my wife, so I grabbed her phone and went through the sharing process. I spent well over ten minutes doing this because someone decided that they would not push an invite to devices but instead require synchronization to occur. Why?!
I do not know what the answer to this madness is. I do know that I don’t particularly appreciate living in it. Humans tend to have blind spots when it comes to understanding the experience of people that interact with them. If we spend more time thinking about how we can improve each other’s experiences, maybe we can solve the technology problem as a human problem.