Crazy IT people

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Kittyhawk

Established Member
Joined
30 Apr 2021
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Location
New Zealand
This is a combined whinge and genuine enquiry.
What is it with IT people? I used to use an app called WeatherPro. This was a great program for getting accurate forecasts for any location for the forthcoming 10 day period. But then they came out with the new 'improved' version and as you have probably surmised it was a huge retrograde step. In spite of numerous complaints from users the developers stuck with it and the last I saw, it had gone offline due to a lack of support from highly annoyed former users.
Another app I used was one that showed all the diesel truckstops in NZ where you could buy heavily discounted fuel. This was great in planning your refuelling stops when making a long trip. Unfortunately that has also undergone an 'upgrade' making the program unwieldy, necessitating navigating through multiple screens to find the information which is not there unless you pre select the fuel company you wish to use but which you then dont know if that particular company has a branch in that place because that requires navigating to yet another screen. Then there's the banks, our district council, my favorite hardware store - all have come out with useless, complicated, unhandy bug ridden upgrades which they laughingly describe as website 'improvements.'
I cannot see any purpose in these upgrades other than to keep IT people in employment. From a user perspective, if the website provides the information needed in a user-friendly manner then why the hell can't they just leave well enough alone?
 
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same with most phone etc up-grades.......they let us sort out their mess.......

I wont up-grade untill the next one appears.........always staying one step behind......
at least the bugs have been sorted by then.......

like designers, they should be made to use the cr@p they create......
mind, most are work shy, snotty nose kids in nappies just released from play school....
I mean univercity........
 
It's like painting with a brush, you apply the paint and then lay it off, walk away and do not touch but so many people in design come up with something really good but because they have kept fiddling the end product has suffered. You have mentioned one of the problems, you have a team that is on the payroll and so they need to be doing something, this should be the next product rather than fiddling with the bells and whistles on there last project. Cost is also a major factor, just like property developers wanting less skilled people to throw up expensive sheds this has occured in the software sector where in some attempt to reduce development time they seem to have introduced complexity and lost a lot of commonality so actually making things harder and requiring more people. Add to this the fact we seem to have lost a lot of beta testing and shortened the pre release phase of development and left it down to the customer.
 
I may be unduly cynical but I have a feeling that if they didn't keep introducing "improvements" their prospects of continuing employment might dwindle.It might,on occasion,be driven by a desire to create a better and more inclusive level of data harvesting to improve the marketability of the information they collect and hence improve the income stream.Which may lead to a less than fully developed product taking over from one that actually works.
 
As worn thumbs says the developers must be seen to be doing something to keep their jobs. It would be a brave company who listened to the users and reverted to a previous version because the customers hated the new one, but it would also be a good company if they did!

Strangely I have been impressed with most gov.uk websites and forms therein for being logical and simple, ie HMRC,DVLA etc
 
The problem is often adding new functionality. Most apps start out with the aim of doing just one thing. Some get it right and do that one thing well. Unfortunately you have to keep ‘engagement’ and that is often achieved by adding some peripheral feature, sometimes pushed by the design guidelines of the platform. For example I had a utility app rejected by apple because it only had one function. They suggested I add a social media element to enhance my app. Seriously they wanted me to provide a button to ‘share’ the fact the user had converted a file from one format to another. The problem with this is each addition to functionality clutters the UI and complicates the use.
 
The problem is often adding new functionality. Most apps start out with the aim of doing just one thing. Some get it right and do that one thing well. Unfortunately you have to keep ‘engagement’ and that is often achieved by adding some peripheral feature, sometimes pushed by the design guidelines of the platform. For example I had a utility app rejected by apple because it only had one function. They suggested I add a social media element to enhance my app. Seriously they wanted me to provide a button to ‘share’ the fact the user had converted a file from one format to another. The problem with this is each addition to functionality clutters the UI and complicates the use.
This explains a lot.
About the app I mentioned in regard to the truckstops, they were indicated by little flags overlaid on Google maps. All you had to do was click on a flag and the truckstop details would come up, address, whether Castrol, Shell, McKeuons etc and diesel fuel type available. Then you would select 'navigate to' and off you went. Easy. With the upgrade, each branded truckstop has it's own flag/map overlay page, so you must open all three seperately to see if there is a truckstop near to where you wish to refuel. To make matters worse you can't scroll from one map page to the next - the page must be shut down before the next page can be loaded. And programs based on Google maps are not fast loaders and for some reason the map now always initially opens in Burkina Faso in west Africa. As you said about multi functionality, what the website now displays is a Shell/Castrol/McKeuons logo before the map page opens, creating yet more delay, and clicking on a truckstop flag gives a photo of the place taken from the street before the relevant information is shown. So presumably the logos and photos are detrimental to the viability of the app and for the life of me I cannot see how any IT person can think the usability is improved by adding them.
 
I still use Windows 7 on all my non-Android devices and when faced with these kind of 'upgrades ' I usually search for someone that is hosting previous versions you can download. Someone somewhere will have a previous downloadable version of that app surely. I recently bought 3x CCTV cameras from BT and within months they withdrew their software support in favour of a newer model of their cameras rendering all of my cameras useless ! so I bought 3x Tapo cameras and within the space of a year Tapo deleted their App so now I have another 3x cameras that are useless. ! This scheduled obsolescence is becoming a right old scam
 
Google maps are the work of the devil.
More likely the user.
Recently we drove from Whangamata to Matamata, wife navigating with Google maps on her tablet. She reckoned the map was showing a quicker route than the main highway one. When she directed me to turn onto a rutted track across a paddock I had an idea something was wrong. And that turned out to be that she had Google maps set to display cycle routes.
 
To me, and I suspect many forum members, functionality is the capacity to complete a task swiftly with minimal chance of error.

Functionality for the geeks who write apps and software is about adding additional capability, not simplifying what already exists to make it more usable.

Age may be a significant differentiating factor.

We have also grown used to the idea of having all the WWW functionality available to us at almost zero cost. Yet its development and maintenance costs lots of money. We are the product - hence tracking, advertising etc etc.

Personally I know I use (probably) 20% of what my smartphone or laptop is capable of. Changing this is an annoyance that I periodically have to get used to.

A market driven economy - in some senses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Forums, Chatrooms etc are all ways of exchanging ideas, information and opinions. Yet they all try to gain ascendancy over the other which the geeks think can be achieved with more functionality and options.

All the foregoing is probably a consequence of being the wrong side of 60 rather than the better side of 25!!
 
More likely the user.
Recently we drove from Whangamata to Matamata, wife navigating with Google maps on her tablet. She reckoned the map was showing a quicker route than the main highway one. When she directed me to turn onto a rutted track across a paddock I had an idea something was wrong. And that turned out to be that she had Google maps set to display cycle routes.
I did that on the end of a 400km bike ride, Google tool me over a bridgeway and I bust a spoke and punctured! Not nice at 11pm!!
 
It’s the same in all industries, not just IT.

Some people feel the need to justify their existence.

Ever had a trade come in for an issue and be greeted with a sharp intake of breath? Or a “shouldn’t have been done like that”?

All the same principle.
 
I have no trouble with O.S. maps, having used them since I was about ten years old. Trying to search for places with Google maps is a nightmare.
Agree. Don't use Google maps either unless forced to by it being the default map an app uses. It's just too hard. My preferred option is OsmAnd
 
IT guy here ;) although not a programmer more in Infrastructure and operations
 
Functionality for the geeks who write apps and software is about adding additional capability, not simplifying what already exists to make it more usable.

Age may be a significant differentiating factor.

Another factor is that today a lot of programmers are sloppy because they do not have the tight constraints that we used to have when it came to memory and we had to work with kilobytes, if you were lucky there might be a 1 meg ROM.

Some people feel the need to justify their existence.
Good management should keep the workforce gainfully employed and it is often the middle management who come up with daft ideas to make themselves look essential to the business.

I have no trouble with O.S. maps, having used them since I was about ten years old. Trying to search for places with Google maps is a nightmare.

Mountain rescue love the smartphone hikers who cannot read maps or use a compass and relie on some phone app, it often gets them into trouble. I tried to help one and suggested that if they insisted on the phone then at least use a decent product with OS maps such as Memory Map which I use on a very old Hp Ipaq PDA. They did not like it because there were a lot of wigly lines and thought it was confusing, they were contour lines which there phone app lacked !
 
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