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.

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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.

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