Failusion: GUI design or "Fancy is more important than usability."



  •  Recently our online store made some UI "upgrades". We ship worldwide and have some reasonably complicated limitations on where we can ship (US sanctions, anyone?) and on where we can ship at certain rates. For whatever reason, most or all of those rules were lost when the POS company made their "upgrades". This is what my coworker encountered while trying to re-enter those shipping settings:


    If that image screws up your screen, BTW, imagine how fun their fixed-width layout with this nonsense is to use. It was impossible in Chrome to make that list fit in the vertical space of a 1080p screen, nevermind the slightly small screens of any of my coworkers' computers. I won't go into my personal revulsion at floated-bubble-button-whatever-these-are-called lists.

    Also, hi everyone; longtime reader here, first post.

     EDIT:

     Well, using this editor was a learning experience. Now that image hopefully works.



  •  Fuck Beta.



  • @VaelynPhi said:

    US sanctions, anyone?

    No thanks, I just ate.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Fuck Beta.
    No thanks. You know where it's been, right?



  • @Lorne Kates said:

     Fuck Beta.

     

    Wrong site? All here knows that CS has no beta, it goes directly from "developer things it's right" to "out of support" with only a short stop for refuelling at "on sale".

     But yes, at that site that does beta, fuck beta. Let's hijack another comments section, because there aren't enough of them there.

     



  • @Mcoder said:

     But yes, at that site that does beta, fuck beta. Let's hijack another comments section, because there aren't enough of them there.

    Back in my day there were intelligent conversations at that site. My day has long passed. :/



  • @Zemm said:

    Back in my day there were intelligent conversations at that site. My day has long passed. :/
     

    They're still there. Which is why the beta, which primarily focuses on destroying the comment system, was ill received. Several people, for months, tried to have intelligent conversations with those responsible, to illustrate the error of their ways. Unfortunately, the people responsible were upper management bent on making a site for other upper management users.  So that side of the "conversation" ranged from ignoring silence, to condescending brush-offs, to outright hostility.

    "Fuck Beta" isn't born out of THAT frustration-- of being ignored and seeing the inevitable dismantling of a community for the stupidest and pettiest of reasons-- not out of frustration with the beta itself.  Problems with broken software are solvable. Problems with broken management, however...



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Which is why the beta, which primarily focuses on destroying the comment system, was ill received.
    I think the destruction of the comment system is not the focus of the change, but the by-product of the mis-belief that /. has an audience that can be monetized vs a community that they rely on to provided their content.

    Which funnily enough actually ties into the OP post - "Fancy is more important than usability."



  • Ignoring for a moment that Slashdot's comment system is BADLY in need of destruction (assuming they rebuild something better afterward):

    @OzPeter said:

    the mis-belief that /. has an audience that can be monetized vs a community that they rely on to provided their content.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH if you have any money invested in DICE take it out now HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH

    Slashdot is full of the biggest cheapskates on Earth. The only site with more cheapskates, and I'd even argue this, is Consumerist. Nobody reading Slashdot will ever pay a cent for any online service, and if asked to, they'll just whine and whine and whine for hours. Anybody who thinks they can monetize that crowd is the biggest idiot on Earth.

    Also, Lorne: Slashdot comments suck-ass 95% of the time. Sometimes you get lucky and someone directly involved with the story comments something, and it's interesting. But that doesn't happen on Slashdot any more than on any other discussion site. Also, you *have* to read the first few comments because they're nothing but correcting the errors in the story summary, or explaining the obtuse language and acronyms the summary is packed with, or explaining which of the 54 links in the summary is the one actually relevant to the story.

    It does have amusing crazy-people though. Lots of paranoids post there. And a couple unique ones, like CrazyJim1, who believes God literally spoke to him and also that he's an expert at everything and he can't find a job just because his level of thinking is just SO FAR ABOVE everybody else's that they can't keep up. Also he "invented" Tribes only 2 years after Tribes came out!


  • mod

    @VaelynPhi said:

    ... the POS company ...

    Quick question for clarity: did you Point of Sale or Piece of Sh*t? From your story, it appears that either could be applicable.

    Of course, I suppose you could be leaving that up to the reader.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Ignoring for a moment that Slashdot's comment system is BADLY in need of destruction (assuming they rebuild something better afterward)
    Regardless of how broken the current comment system may or may not be, the comment system is what makes Slashdot. Fuck that over and you end up with Beta.

    And I think my use of "monetize" differs from your use. I don't mean subscription (although Slashdot has already tried that) I meant treating people who visit the site as consumers (here's some dumb stories, now watch some dumb ads to make us money) vs treating the people who visit as the creators of the content that brings people to the site.



  • @abarker said:

    @VaelynPhi said:
    ... the POS company ...
    Quick question for clarity: did you Point of Sale or Piece of Sh*t? From your story, it appears that either could be applicable.
    Invariably, any time it can stand for the former, it usually stands for both interchangeably.



    And you don't have to self-censor on here.



  • @abarker said:

    @VaelynPhi said:

    ... the POS company ...

    Quick question for clarity: did you Point of Sale or Piece of Sh*t? From your story, it appears that either could be applicable.

    Of course, I suppose you could be leaving that up to the reader.

     

    I did assume the reader's level of experience with Point Of Sale systems and online commerce would determine what column contributed most to the phrase.

    Personally, I tend to think of them as about the same thing. POS is one of those things that seems to be designed as an afterthought.

     



  •  Amusingly, fueled in part by all the fuss over Slashdot, I went over there to see what was up, opened a post about a Xbox "reading app" (Xbooks, anyone?), and right in the top of the comments section were people bitching at each other over whatever this beta is (I'm assuming it's a reconstruction of the site...?).

    ...actually I just looked at beta.slashdot.org; mostly just looks like new CSS. Is there some major policy change represented here? I'm assuming it's the sort of thing that isn't immediately obvious from the comments.

    What does this beta actually cut out except for the ability to filter from the upper range of comments? (I won't speculate about why anyone would want to do that...)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @VaelynPhi said:

    Xbox "reading app"

    I sure wish Amazon Cloud Reader (read.amazon.com) was compatible with PS4 and XBone.



  • @VaelynPhi said:

    ...actually I just looked at beta.slashdot.org; mostly just looks like new CSS. Is there some major policy change represented here? I'm assuming it's the sort of thing that isn't immediately obvious from the comments.

    Slashdot has the highest concentration of what I like to call "tech luddites" in the universe. People who pretend to like tech, but are intensely uncomfortable with any technology developed after about 1985. The kind of people who browser the web with JavaScript turned off, purely so they can bitch about how many sites don't work with JavaScript turned off. AKA the Worst People Ever.

    What I don't get is why DICE is even TRYING to change Slashdot. They should save their money and let it fester, assuming the chore of maintaining the circa-1997 mess of Perl is less effort than the rewrite.



  • @VaelynPhi said:

    ...actually I just looked at beta.slashdot.org; mostly just looks like new CSS. Is there some major policy change represented here? I'm assuming it's the sort of thing that isn't immediately obvious from the comments.
    The issues at slashdot are twofold or 3-fold:

    • There are numerous comments from people listing genuine problems with the new format, and how these are basic issues. Thus undermining the trust people have with usability of the site going forward
    • These issues have been pointed out since October last year, and even though Slashdot has kept saying "give us your feedback", nothing has been seen to be done about them.
    • There seems to have been a sea-change in attitude towards the site by the (new) owners as to how the readership is to be treated. Originally it was seen as a community of users generating content, and debating the merits of that content (thus in someways similar to DailyWTF), whereas now the Dice (the corporate owners) seems to be positioning the site purely as a news consumption site.


    You don't go to Slashdot because of the news (as its already days late when it hits there), you go there for the discussion that happens in the comments. Yes there will be lots of noise, but the moderation system does a reasonable job of promoting the quality stuff (although the groupthink does hold its own type of bias). Right now is probably not the best time to see this in action as the "Fuck Beta" protest comments are prevalent due to the belief that all reasonable avenues of advice/feedback have been explored and that the only thing left to do is to flood the site with crap in order to drive off users and hence hit Dice in the ad revenue.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What I don't get is why DICE is even TRYING to change Slashdot. They should save their money and let it fester, assuming the chore of maintaining the circa-1997 mess of Perl is less effort than the rewrite.
    Because to Dice, Slashdot is not a website it is a revenue center. And someone in Dice believes that the best way to increase revenue is to give the site a refresh and make it more hip and relevant - even if that pisses off the readership that is the current Slashdot user base.

    Slashdot may or may not die if left alone, but certainly will if Dice pushes through with its vision of the future.



  • @OzPeter said:

    Because to Dice, Slashdot is not a website it is a revenue center.
     

    No problem with that...

    @OzPeter said:

    And someone in Dice believes that the best way to increase revenue is to give the site a refresh and make it more hip and relevant

    No problem with the looks, but I'm in the minority here.

    @OzPeter said:

    even if that pisses off the readership that is the current Slashdot user base.

    And that's the main problem. Dice does not understand that the readership is the product, and is not focusing on it. They already stated that they are just doing a minor rewrite in yet another new site.

     



  • @Mcoder said:

    And that's the main problem. Dice does not understand that the readership is the product, and is not focusing on it.
    I think that they do understand and are deliberately choosing the current course of action. They have already written down the $12 million or so of good will they paid when then bought the site, and it may be that making a loss could help them in other areas of their balance sheet.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    What I don't get is why DICE is even TRYING to change Slashdot. They should save their money and let it fester, assuming the chore of maintaining the circa-1997 mess of Perl is less effort than the rewrite.
    Because to Dice, Slashdot is not a website it is a revenue center.
    Not any more. The opposite in fact
    @Dice Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results said:
    Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in
    their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user
    engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However,
    advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future
    financial performance of Slashdot Media’s underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of
    intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.



  •  Fascinating, but extremely disappointing. I've seen the corporate machine roll over otherwise decent sites, stores, shops, and places before. It's always sad to see them reduced to this kind of poorly envisioned slop. It's like the only way to fit what's already there into their ridiculously bad business model is to shred it.


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