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Ice Cream Sandwich
By Dave Winer on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM.

I got my new Galaxy Nexus yesterday. $800 including tax. Works with my $50/month T-Mobile plan. #

I haven't used it enough yet to form an impression, but there are a few things worth commenting on right off the top. #

They change things I wish they wouldn't. #

A picture named iceCreamSandwich.gifMany of the icons are different. Sorry, but this is just plain wrong. The point of icons is that they don't change. It's as if the people who designed street signs felt obliged to change the symbols that mean railroad crossing or here's a hospital, or any of the other cues that drivers depend on to get around the road system, freeing their minds to think about where they're going or what they're doing. #

They also changed the array of controls at the bottom of the screen. These were considered fixtures. Not something optional. I knew where to go to find the commands for each app. It was just starting to feel comfortable after two years of using Android part-time (I also use an iPhone and iPad). I assume there are menus somewhere, but where? And why move this stuff? Who do they pay to make these lousy decisions! #

It's doubly bad for the new Twitter app, which got a complete UI overhaul last week. Somehow something that had become utterly familiar is now strange in two different dimensions. For what benefit?  #

Someone ought to write a bible for platform evolution, and we all ought to sign it before we're permitted to make decisions that affect millions of users. This isn't Unix and we don't care about your art, we care about ours. Quit fucking around, that's my message to the Ice Cream Sandwich folk (and the Twitter folk too). #

While I'm on this subject, my Mom has been having trouble posting to her WordPress blog. I went and looked and of course they had ripped up and changed the UI. I had trouble finding all the new stuff, and I somewhat understand the logic of WordPress. My mom, who is very smart and highly educated, doesn't have time to learn a new way of doing things. Computers are not even close to the primary thing for her. Could we work hard to simplify stuff instead of complicating? Computer designers would do well to see themselves as servants to the users, instead of the way they view things now, which seems to be the other way around. #

BTW, Jakob Nielsen trashed the UI of the Kindle Fire and the press ate it up. This is not big news. All our products have UIs that suck. No exceptions, Apple included. Some have better PR. And Jakob really needs to have a look at the competition before giving all his ire to one product. #

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