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Any software/product designers on here? Rant warning

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by gobi_grey, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 7, 2011
    clinton, ia
    Who is designing software these days? Or the people designing basic household products?
    I've been stuck in the technological past for the most part over the last decade or more. Now I have a nice new computer and I've been exploring different software. I'm getting the feeling that the same kids who used to ring me up at the grocery store, stare blankly at me when I gave them more than I owed so I could get a bill or 5 back instead of a bunch of change, those kids who obviously lacked a good amount of critical thinking skills, had no creativity, the 2+2=5 generation... Those kids are now creating and designing the things that I use everyday and it's driving me up the f*cking wall. Everything from basic slideshow software to portable clothes steamers. I feel like if I stabbed myself in the brain with a chopstick, maybe the designs would make more sense. Since when did righty become loosey and lefty become tighty? I'm seeing that more and more on household appliances. Why are sandwiches made upside down at subway? Meat goes on the bottom and veggies/dressings go on top of the meat. I get blank stares when I request my sandwich be made that way. The normal way. Why does every video game have backwards controls? I have to invert aim on every game I play. It didnt used to be that way, it used to just be normal. Today I spent most of the day trying out different slideshow/movie maker programs. All of then were absolutely horrendous and none of them did what I wanted them to do which was a fairly basic function that my ancient programs on my old computer did just fine. It seems like every piece of software these days is the same way. Again, maybe if I gave myself a frontal lobe lobotomy, maybe all of today's products would make sense and work just fine. Can anyone relate?
  2. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

    Feb 12, 2020
    Southwestern, USA
    In the 1980s, software design moved from seat of the pants intuitive design and "I know what the user needs" to structured methodologies that approached design scientifically.

    Around 2000, the Internet came into fashion and design reverted to seat of the pants and an unstructured world. Standards like "consistent window controls and appearance" were left behind. User design went back to "I know what they need" and its partner "corporate arrogance".

    And now, here we are.
  3. boop

    boop Tele-Holic

    Dec 1, 2018
    I can only find the good-natured eye roll emoji, but not the sarcastic one. Kids must have designed this.
    Drew617 and Doctorx33 like this.
  4. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 6, 2018
    Hahaha...... Why do ppl think that what seems right to them is right for everyone? Or even that it is 'right' at all? Meat on the btm?...... That's ridiculous, it goes on the top, of course!

    The perpetual problem faced by software/technology designers..... Trying to plz everyone.
    bgmacaw and loopfinding like this.
  5. mahlamoilanen

    mahlamoilanen TDPRI Member

    Nov 27, 2020
    Software development is done by many different professionals.
    Service design, user experience design, user interface are needed phases before development starts.
    Things are tested with prototypes and business tells if it suits their needs.

    It can also be possible to have an application done by one person.

    If that is the case - better hope it is John Cruz - not John Doe of apps.
  6. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

    Feb 18, 2018
    I think that’s the first “back in my day” rant about software I’ve seen.

    2021 is apparently the year GenX officially becomes Boomer.
  7. LooseJack

    LooseJack Tele-Meister

    Feb 4, 2017
    transit lounge
    Every Subway I have ever been in does meat / cheese first then salad then dressing.

    Are you sure you weren't in a Waysub store?
    GeneB, TeleTubby, DeepDangler and 4 others like this.
  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ok X'r
  9. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 19, 2011
    europe endless
    i find most design these days to be very fisher price. i would like the option to tweak if necessary. it's funny that marketing now is very "your style," "your way," "your choice", but in general it couldn't be more black box than it ever was. i think generally good design is intuitive for those who want to remain simple, but leaves more there for the freaks.

    now as for "those kids who obviously lacked a good amount of critical thinking skills, had no creativity, the 2+2=5 generation..." i don't think that could be further from the truth. every successive generation has been marginally less lemmings or anti-intellectual than the last, just by virtue of the sheer amount of people on this earth, ways of doing things, and access to information

    if anything, the push towards the fisher price black box was the result of decades of older folks bellyaching about how incomprehensible tech was to them in the 80s and 90s. couple that with how Xers and millennials are so preoccupied with a e s t h e t i c. the danger now is that these things won, and a lot of "digital natives" younger than the millennials are being trained to just push buttons instead of actually developing a general idea of how something works.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
    kmaster likes this.
  10. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

    Dec 6, 2018
    Central FL
    I'm sorry, I'm 48 years old and I disagree with everything you've said. I use software constantly, audio, video, tons of editing, mixing, plus photographic suites, etc. The software of today has many many more options than the software of yesteryear, which was very simplistic and straightforward, yes, but very very limited in functionality.

    In all honesty, you sound a bit like an old curmudgeon, old man racing his fists to the clouds, lol. Don't take it to heart just a little jab.
    gobi_grey, middy and NateD81 like this.
  11. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 29, 2016
    West Lothian, Scotland
  12. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 21, 2007
    My mom's basement.
    You need to name specific programs for me to be able to make more sense of this because we're in an era where a tremendous amount of effort is put into the interface and experience. With that we also have a lot of people who know or new something from the past and don't embrace change.

    At times a much bigger feature set gets to people.

    I'm a beta tester for some products including the formal insider process of giving feedback. In most cases I always see sincere efforts to make something better. For two of these I've also seen our users (we have nearly 1000 employees) react poorly just because it's change. Weeks or months later same people call the old versions stupid.

    A dear friend is a UI specialist who's worked for a for companies most of us probably know. Currently for a major consumer products company that has their own apps. They make huge efforts to display the same data and function across desktops, web and mobile where I wonder if the end users realize that. Another for a major clothing firm I'm sure some of you use. They always get some ranting when they make a change that's positive for most. The real point though is a huge effort is made to produce better stuff.
  13. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I work at a software startup. We have a full time UX designer to help with these types of things. That said, we don't always wait until he's done to put something out that "works". Then we live with it for awhile and see where the rough edges really are. Then we push out a new version.
    Leonardocoate likes this.
  14. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 7, 2018
    Part of it is called the inventors dilemma.
    You design a product that does it's thing very well.
    Then the competition comes out with a product that has a "new feature".
    Well....in order to stay in the market, you have to add that feature to your product.
    Before you know it, you're adding all kinds of "fluff" (that only 20% of the people use) just to keep in the game.
    It stinks, it takes away from the core product, and it takes up a lot of time and resources, but....you gotta do it or get left in the dust.
  15. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

    Nov 16, 2015
    In many cases the marketing research drives the design. Millennial are the largest consumer group to ever grace our planet so they are the target for most design. Marketing research data gathering has also shifted from demographics to psycho-graphics. We still own the adult diaper market. I feel your rant
  16. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Mar 2, 2006
    San Benito County, California
  17. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 22, 2010
    What are you willing to pay to have it done right? In my experience, this is consistently the problem. Product research, design, and manufacture are all outsourced to the lowest bidder in a never ending race to the bottom for quality and price. If you’re cruising around Amazon looking for the lowest price on a widget, you’re part of the problem that you’re lamenting.
  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    This usually breaks down to pleasing the product owner/sponsor followed by the loudest squeaky wheel users who complain to the product sponsor or salesperson.

    Another problem is replacing old products that, over the years, begin to resemble the Winchester Mystery House. You find bits of code that don't do anything but changing or removing them can cause the program to crash. It's haunted by past developers' mistakes. It's confusing, obscure and takes newly hired developers a long time to understand. But, users love it in spite of its quirks and limitations and won't hear of it being replaced by a new and modern system.
    Doctorx33 likes this.
  19. kmaster

    kmaster Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2008
    Should we be concerned about your desire to self-harm?
  20. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 28, 2014
    I can only speak from my own experience, but I've worked on both hardware and software products. The "kids" aren't the problem - I've seen lots of good UX designs and they are avocates for the customer.

    The problems creep in when you have developers who can't or won't implement the designs or ignore customer data. The usual excuses are "it's too late to change the design" or "that's not how we used to do". Adding Marketing to the mix just makes things worst.

    For the most part, it boils down to not understanding your customer and not doing customer testing (or not acting on the results of testing).
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
    loopfinding and kmaster like this.
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