It's even worse than it appears.
Tuesday August 6, 2019; 10:58 AM EDT
  • Ben Thompson tweeted: "The new Twitter for web is hilariously better than the old Twitter. It is amazing the degree to which people hate change."#
  • I responded: "There’s a reason. We incorporate the mechanics of software at a subconscious level after repeated use. It’s not amazing that we hate change, it’s rational. Something that used to 'just work' now takes effort to control. Until we incorporate the new UI at a subconscious level."#
  • I continued: "I'm typing this on a QWERTY keyboard." Some standard UIs are so strong that they can never be changed. The original QWERTY design was optimized to prevent a mechanical typewriter from jamming. The keyboard on the iPad I typed that tweet on was completely implemented in software. Nothing that can ever get jammed. But the original reason it was designed that way is long forgotten. It's just the way keyboards are done. There have been attempts to change the design, but they proved too unpopular. #
  • Another example. I can drive any car because there are invariant UI standards for basic controls. I might not be able to control air conditioning or the radio, but I can steer, accelerate, brake, indicate a turn, the same way on every car. It would be chaos if every time you rented a car you'd have to re-learn how to drive. That said, try renting a car in the UK, Jamaica or Japan where everything is on the other side. It takes a long time to get used to it, even though at a conscious level the difference is simple to understand. #
  • Yet another example, one I like to cite a lot -- imagine if they remapped the streets of a city. "Broadway will run east-west instead of the old inefficient north-south route. Now it will connect the Hudson and East rivers! You'll be able to use Broadway to get to Brooklyn or New Jersey. We encourage developers to build new tunnels that cross these two wonderful third-party opportunities." It doesn't work that way in real cities, but software platforms, managed by Google, Apple or Facebook (examples) often do. Nowadays even open platforms do. Ugh. #

© 1994-2019 Dave Winer.

Last update: Tuesday August 6, 2019; 11:47 AM EDT.