05 April 2011

A bus story: of Windows and user interfaces

This morning going to work the traffic was a killer, fortunately waiting in the bus in the middle of the traffic jam, I got the opportunity to relax a bit overhearing the conversation of two guys, apparently Windows sysadmins at something like public administration institutions.

They did catch my attention while talking about security and the primary threat being the internal users, which, as every sysadmin know, are stupid, they do stupid thing, including writing passwords on post-it notes they stick on the computer display. Then they went about user stupidity and how they set their users to classic grey user interface they learned and knew, then moved to Office, where in Office 2007 the suite is better, but the ribbon interface is bad, hated both by them and their users, unable to find the functions they knew, with Office 2003 having a better interface but they being forced to use 2007, because that's they have license for. And then they moved back to Windows: not one of them even tried to deploy Vista, which is awful, with Windows 7 correcting some of the drawbacks. Then it came the absolute pearl of the conversation: "If you want a stable computer, use XP, that is tried and tested" (they know XP is going out of support soon?), after which they moved away from the IT topic.

If you wonder, no, I couldn't put my half-ambassador hat and tell them: "Hi, I am Nicu, let me introduce you to the beefy side, we are inventing an even worse interface."


  1. They should see Unity :|

  2. yah... some don't understand most users want something as close as possible to the win 9x interface, because this is what i know and don't want to learn new metaphors

  3. Win 9x interface was cool. People who prefer fancier glittery interfaces are the same ones who listen to faux-neo-gipsy romanian music ("manele"). Simplicity is not a design constraint anymore :(

  4. they are manelists or... americans :)

  5. I try to use unity and the story is , dude where is my taskbar
    you know the list of tasks like it was in all 10 years gnome/kde something
    I know now is a shiny icon in the left but my habbit is too look up or down after it
    Second skype, psi doesnt do notifications in the right corner
    but only on the invisible (autohidden stuff on the left)
    so if someone writes to me is perfectly invisible

    There is still 10 years until we have a usable 3d something interface like apple does