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People Hate Change...

posted Apr 4, 2011, 8:24 AM by Heather S   [ updated Apr 26, 2011, 5:00 PM ]
I’m not going to start spouting out quotes from Who Moved My Cheese.  Well I couldn’t even if I wanted to because I haven’t read the book, though I have seen the cover and at some point in time I may have read the book jacket, which obviously makes me an expert on the book, since these days all you have to do is remember seeing something somewhere at some point in time and voila!  You are an expert!  Now, you may think that I’m being sarcastic here, and I am, but it’s really not that hard to be an expert in relation to the general population if you do a tiny bit of research on something because I have come to the conclusion that somewhere between 80%-99% of the general population is stupid.  I have no scientific evidence to back this up, but I know I’m right.  I’d bet your life on it. 

But more on the general stupidity of people in future posts.  I’d like to focus on a particular type of stupid.

I’m a software nerd by trade and this hating change thing is rampant in my industry.  It’s a scourge - a plague if you will, this change hating thing.   As soon as you change something in a software application, the haters all grab their pitchforks and jump into their bitchmobiles and congregate on you like flies on shit.   So what if these changes increased productivity or cut something that used to take 100 bazillion mouse clicks down to 7?  So what if it’s taking a very non-intuitive process and making it intuitive?  It’s different and therefore people hate it. 

I’ve heard stories of people having to develop web apps with black backgrounds and green text because, “Our users are used to that and we don’t want to upset them.”   Seriously?  What pansy-ass software development firm would agree to that nonsense?

So what does the poor, beaten down, software vendor do to combat this?  Generally it will inform you of changes beforehand, offer training, provide screenshots, hold your hand, and perhaps provide a pacifier if these changes get so upsetting that you want to curl up into the fetal position and die.  Sometimes, in dire situations a software company will actually revert back to the old way.  (Pussies.) 

But there are some exceptions.  Some companies just don’t give a shit and I LOVE them for that.  They’re making changes so seemingly drastic that they may completely upset the universe that you think revolves around you and you’re going to like it dammit.  And if you don’t, too fucking bad.  

Well, Microsoft is coming out with Windows 8.  I know.  I know.  A lot of people hated Vista.  They hated Windows 7 and they’re gearing up to hate Windows 8.  And many of those people will say that it has nothing to do with them not liking change.  It has to do with those OSes sucking worse than anything has ever sucked before.  (Dammit, Vista crashed my computer every day and the blue screen ‘o death became the bane of my existence!!!  It ruined my life.  I had to go on disability it was so damaging to my soul!!!!!!)

But that’s not my point, Mashable has released some leaked screenshots of Windows 8 with a ribbon interface (similar to the one in Office 2007 and 2010).  If I had a dollar for everyone who bitched about that ribbon interface I’d be rich (and if you did bitch about it and would like to send me a dollar, please do).   But for anyone who uses Windows but doesn’t use Office, this will be a new and exciting venture for you!  You haven’t been exposed to this yet, so warm up your bitchmobile and get ready to rumble, ‘cause don’t lie.  You will hate it.  But the beauty of it all is that Microsoft will ignore your hatred like you don’t matter (and sorry to break it to you, but you really don't).  But be honest, if they started out with a ribbon interface and then changed it to the way it was before you’d hate that too, wouldn’t you?   The real reason you hate it is because you’ve already conditioned yourself like a Pavlovian dog to working with something one way and you’re too stupid and/or lazy to want to have to deal with something different.  

Am I right?

Of course I’m right.