User Inconvenience / User eXaspsration Design

My printer/copier/scanner sucks because it doesn’t suck in the paper, and I haven’t been able to figure out why; I can definitely relate, then, to your sitch.

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It’s been Improved™!

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So besides 1. harassing autistic users, 2. using ethnonyms as insults in its policy pages, 3. removing comments which criticize libellous articles, now 4. Wikipedia has rolled out a new site redesign, which follows standard web design trends and makes me very seasick.


Wikipedians have spilled more than 200,000 words on the page for Vector 2022 feedback, offering suggestions and criticism—meaning that there’s a corpus longer than Jane Eyre (and almost as long as Moby-Dick) about button positioning and table formatting.

That’s not even counting the 90,000-word-long discussion on whether the new skin should be default, which went down in autumn of 2022. It was a bloodbath: Crotchety Wikipedia veterans practically yelled “too much white space!” in unison while starry-eyed progressives condemned the kneejerk resistance to change. A few clever thinkers crafted a compromise plan. In the end, the 165 people who voted to oppose the redesign outnumbered the 153 supporters. Nevertheless, it’s happening.

That was as of a week ago, just before they inflicted it on the public. I’m sure by now the well-deserved criticism word count is at least a few War and Peace’s plus a Les Misérables, an Atlas Shrugged, and an Encyclopedia Britannica.

Naturally there are already browser plugins to force it to use the old skin (via adding the parameter ?useskin=vector to any Wikipedia URL, which coincidentally bypasses the cache and is therefore going to cost them a lot if many people use it).

It’s definitely a regression, but at least not as bad as it was the first day or two, when the main content column was only about 2 inches wide which was just ridiculous.

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It pays to complain. I probably wasn’t the only one.

I reported my issue to Google on Sunday. There were a couple of emails back and forth. I assumed I was talking to some type of AI. I probably was.

Anyway, on Wednesday an update to the iOS Drive was released. The problem has been solved.


I’ve been trying for a month, but I just can’t install Linux. It seems each version requires working wifi, but there are driver issues… I found a set of Linux distros which are supposed to work, but they require a script to copy the drivers, and the script requires an OS update, and I am trying to install Linux because I can’t use the updated OS … headdesk.

P.S. It wasn’t a wifi issue. I wanted Mint + Cinnamon, but it didn’t have a compatible iso. I settled for Fedora. I needed a parameter ram reset for some reason, and then I needed a couple days after installation to sort out the wifi. I am going to try to install Cinnamon for Fedora.


I’m trying to give feedback on the Nation’s site redesign. It adds a lot of animation. They have a feedback link, it doesn’t work. They have an online support form, it doesn’t have an accessibility option, gives an error each time. They have a pain number, I tried calling, spent a long time on hold, am currently waiting for a call back.

P.S. Painful, but doable in Troubleshoot Mode.

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If you delete some of your posts on Reddit, they’ll un-delete them, because Reddit needs user content to survive.

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It’s 2023. Why can’t I use my Apple Pencil with my iPhone?!!?


You probably just need to daisy chain a few dongles together from the backpack full of dongles, adapters, and hubs that you need to always carry around to be able to use anything with Apple products.

I actually have a coworker that has a backpack like that. Personally, I only carry 3 of them in my backpack and borrow anything else I need from him.

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Most everything is printed in vertical/portrait layout. So if I’m writing, I mostly use vertical layout, and it’d be a pain to reformat everything for horizontal/landscape layout.

Most books and article are printed in vertical/portrait layout.

Either way, if I need to zoom in enough to read and write, and I need to see the whole page at once to match footnotes with text or to search, a horizontal/landscape layout lets me do one or the other, I can read what’s on the page or I can see the whole page, but I can’t do both at once, a vertical layout lets me do both at once.

“But a horizontal layout lets you see 2 pages at once!”

But not read them.


Currently using the horizontal layout, so I can’t post a whole post in one post, the Post or Save edit button disappears off the buttom of the window.

Because most monitors are designed for horizontal layouts, a lot of apps and websites use sidebars, and because a lot of apps and websites use sidebars, I get more migraines from scrolling.

Fortunately my monitor can support a vertical layout.

Unfortunately few apps and websites can support this layout, and if I suggest options to move sidebars to the top or bottom, and explain my use case, I get told there is no use case, and if I explain it again, I get told there is no use case and I should just use 2 monitors. Aside from the expense, and the ergonomics, I’m not sure how that is supposed to help.


Yeah, I can twist my monitor to vertical which is perfect for reading PDFs.

It’s kinda crap on most websites, but then most websites nowadays are targeting cellphones anyway. And even though most people use their cellphones in the vertical, the standard solution seems to be to just hide stuff instead of making best possible use of the vertical orientation. It might could’ve been better, but the fad of infinite scroll to drive addictive engagement has led to it being the way it is.

Nobody’s going to scroll all the way back up to the top or all the way down to the (non-existant) bottom. But there’s no room on the sides. So currently most mainstream web design is just kinda crap. It’s not easy to handle both widescreen and vertical infinite scroll, so they don’t do well with either and it kinda sucks whichever mode you’re in.

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Since the same poster insisted that yes it was “more practical” for me to get a new desk and 2nd monitor and still have all the same problems than to fix the damned app, and since he stealth-edited the title, I’m linking my bug report. (what is a tabbar? is it supposed to sound like tavern?)

157385 – [Enhancement] Allow users to put navigator deck and tabbar at the top or bottom of the window.

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It does come across as a rude dismissal. I think the responder was attempting to be helpful by suggesting workarounds. But the real rudeness shows in them declaring what is or isn’t “reasonable”.

Unfortunately, a lot of us developers are pretty blind to social niceties and stuff we say is likely to come across as rude. I’ll take this as a good example of how not to respond. In fact, I might even bring it up in a meeting next week to discuss with my team.

Not that that will help you with what you’re dealing with. But it’s still worth addressing. I’d like for our developers to do better and if/when they move on to other projects to take that with them.

ETA: I added a comment to try to explain why your suggestion is beneficial to everyone, not just you, and how they should’ve properly addressed it.

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