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.