User Flow and User Friendliness
I've been hearing a lot about UX and user friendly software. I hear a lot about User Stories and about created experiences. The big problem I have with this is that apparently my user story is invalid. Especially when it comes to mobile and User Friendliness
I've been hearing a lot about UX and user friendly software. I hear a lot about User Stories and about created experiences. The big problem I have with this is that apparently my user story is invalid. Especially when it comes to mobile.
Basically, because I am a nerd who might want to interact with technology as a tool, my user experience is invalid. I has issues with a BlackBerry that I was trying to sideload an Android application on (my actual goal was to get it to work with my watch). In theory, this is something that was advertised when the Playbook was released - during the initial rollout of BB10! Kinda beside the point. However, in order to do this - I needed to put my phone into "developer mode" since all packages need to be signed. In order to put your phone into developer mode - you need to set a password on your phone. So, for all of this, I understand why these choices are made, if someone wants to forego the developer's defences, then they get to put some defences on the phone. Of course, it would make sense if those defenses were tunable. My password was corrupted, and when the password didn't work, there were no tools to reset the password, and when I tried to change it remotely, it wiped the phone.
It seems very odd to me that my user experience should be so narrow. My experience was that a Blackberry is terrible, and doesn't trust the user. And, since they don't give enough control to the user, when they screw up, the user doesn't get to fix it.
This is not a really uncommon problem I have. OSX wont let me use a better window manager. Windows wont let me pick when I upgrade. Systemd integrates with journald and that is required for GNOME. Android wont let me uninstall the GMail app. And when I try to do things like simply build a Windows server, I need to deal with service configurations that are super convoluted, I've definitely had issues with what drive I am allowed to install content to - and so on.
Part of what makes computers useful is that they are tools which are configurable by the user. However, a large part of user experience design has been manufacturing and forcing specific workflows on the user - the workflow of the developer. If that workflow is different than the one that I want, especially if that workflow is going to do something like wipe my phone, force me to install applications the developer wants, use a different version than I want, or not use one of the drives I have - then I have a problem.
The basic goal of this User Flowing is that most people agree that most people are stupid. That is probably the most dangerous lie that pervades computing. Because we can claim that users are stupid, we can justify any sort of technology which controls the user's actions. Since, obviously, the user needs to be helped, fixed, and coddled. If the developer can't trust the user, then they need to do everything in their power in order to control the user's actions. And if the user can't do something - that's because the user needs to be defended from themselves.