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Variable length opinions about arbitrary: things, situations and opinions (meta, right!).

Posts tagged gui

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Why I don’t like Spotify

It can all be reduced to the user interface, I don’t like it and they probably won’t fix that anytime soon, to some extent the interface is a bit abusive and this is probably the biggest problem this software has. Thinking a bit more about this, it is not only a software problem but also an ideology problem of the whole company.

When I downloaded the app to my computer it immediately required a Facebook login, now call me crazy or whatever you want but, I want to listen to music, not to give you my Facebook profile, I know a lot of people (young software active people) that don’t use Facebook. I know for a fact a few of them would love some Spotify, but hey: “WAIT! If you don’t have a Facebook account, I don’t care about you!”. That’s the message I get from that requirement another example is presented in Figure 1.

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Figure 1. If you don’t share that you are using Spotify on Facebook, you have to close the application. The left blue button says “Añadir a Facebook” (Add to Facebook) and the right gray button says “Cerrar Sesión” (Close Session).

Again, it’s free and all that. Is it really free, are these guys really giving away their software? … NO!!! I don’t think so. They are requiring you to make public the fact that you are using their product. That is something I really don’t like, although making public the use of a product is good for the product and the company, this should be something optional not obligatory.

It’s that all? … nope, I don’t like the user interface. If you pay close attention it is a lot like iTunes, which is good, they are trying to keep everything homogeneous using similar interfaces and following the Apple’s human interface guidelines. So what’s the problem? These are the problems:

  • The design looks a bit weak. 
  • The controls are at the bottom of the window. 
  • There is nothing indicating what the fuck you are listening to.
  • Library & Local Files are two redundant sections on the left bar.
  • The search bar is on the top left, whilst most of the search bars (even Spotlight) appear on the top right.

For a graphic example of these problems, see Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Features the app running under Mac OS X Lion. 

I’m a strong believer that if you are going to design something for multiple platforms, you have to think on the user of each and every platform. They clearly didn’t think that much in the Mac user. 

Anyway, a friend of mine told me: “What can you expect for $ 0.00”. In my opinion I would expect a good product, a well designed one, because that’s the least you can do when you devote your time to something like this.

Filed under gui spotify user interface user interface mac lion apple software facebook evil corporation

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How software can fuck your day

Say you are a physician/lawyer/mathematician and during the course of your day you are required to use certain software, this software was either developed by a big corporation, an open source organization or by someone with some spare time. The best case scenario is for you to just use it, have your things done and move onto some other stuff to do. But on the other side, what happens when the software you use won’t work the way you expected. Here are some of the most common reactions I have seen:

  • "I’m really bad at computers, technology hates me …".
  • "I’m done with this, I’ll ask for [insert geek friend name] to help me with this …”.
  • "That freaking Microsoft, I’m going to buy a Mac …".
  • *googles for the problem, goes to a forum where the problem has already been posted and finds it hasn’t been solved since 2002*.

I don’t know which one of these description fits you best, but this is a crappy way to go right? And I bet you know someone that fits at least one of these descriptions. In the end is something you shouldn’t be doing, the unexpected behavior or malfunction is something that should have already been fixed. Most of the times I can GUARANTEE that the problem is not the user. The problem is usually a lazy programmer, who didn’t want to do the things the right way or who didn’t want to spend just a few more hours to fix a bug. 

So what’s to do when this happens? Report the problem, be sure to do it otherwise those lazy MOTHERFUCKERS won’t do their job … that was a bit harsh, let’s try again: Report the problem, otherwise the programmers won’t have any feedback and the system won’t be able to compensate the error. Truth is most people won’t report the problems they have using software, I don’t know why but people just won’t do it.

Now if for some reason you contact the person responsible for the software you are using and he/she answers you by saying: “Why would you want to do that!?” give him/her a big FUCK YOU! You are the user, if the programmer didn’t limit the functionality then you are in your right to do it.

This post was inspired by someone who tweeted about his frustration about some Adobe software.

Filed under software ui gui