Sunday, 10 November 2013

Something Better Change

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here

What on earth is Marissa Mayer of Google, er no sorry Yahoo thinking about?
First she directed a makeover of photographers social media website Flickr to be more like Facebook, losing most of the sensible features that photographers enjoyed, back in May 2013. See old Wikipedia entry , the current one has been edited by a loyal Yahoo employee to erase that.

The official Flickr help thread of more than 298 pages and 29,000+ of complaints was ignored at The ever helpful Thea Lamkin closed the monster thread because of the amount of disk space being chewed up

In October, a few weeks ago Yahoo Mail was Google-ised. Now Marissa was Google employee 20 and still maybe has those letters running through her like a stick of rock. Unfortunately now she has brought all the stuff that people hate about Google mail to Yahoo Mail. Without fixing some of the faults in the last incarnation.

So, neat tabs that allowed you to work with 5 or 6 emails or a search site by side were gone. A bit like the old MS-DOS you close what you are doing and have to open your new thing. That annoying but not readable history view is displayed, a-la Gmail.

Contacts are a mess too. Due to poor use of the screen estate, the contact page is now longer. Most of the common fields you need are hidden and need revealing before you can fill them. E.G. Address, Website, even ‘Job Title’ to add to the always present ‘Employer’. So, more clicks than ever before. Why not just let customers switch on a view of all, all the time. Was that a problem needing fixing then?

The biggest irritation for me is that when I add a contact and need to select my country. An irritation already my country does not come up defaulted ‘United Kingdom’. No, we get the leader of the free world, ‘United States’ at the top (where else), but a list that cannot be navigated by typing a letter. A ‘V’ for me, used to get me to ‘Vanuatu’ and three arrows up, would find me ‘Blighty’.

I use Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. Sad to say that Hotmail I now find the most usable and that is rubbish.  I don’t know if any of my readers have been frustrated by the Yahoo mail redesign? Then again we are used to it in housing. Anyone done the migration from Optitime DRS 4 to 5, Windows 7 desktop to 8 or even just Windows 8 to 8.1? While you might have to do the first one, put the last two completely out of your mind, for a few years...

The situation might get worse too as more of our business solutions are hosted and updated for us in the cloud. Something we need to be aware of when procuring these solutions, our freedom to take or delay upgrades that might have a detrimental effect on user productivity, customer satisfaction or other key metrics in our organisations.

We must not let ‘suppliers’ think we don’t have a choice. We can check our contracts, give notice and up sticks. Even ‘free’ software takes a slice of revenue from us, in ad referrals and click through’s. New ideas and companies come along all the time to challenge the status quo, then decline. Just like Ford, Courtaulds, GEC, IBM, DEC, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook have in the past and A.N.Other will in the future.

Paraphrasing from Darwin “It is not the strongest of the software that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, in the way their customers find useful”. If Marissa survives another 18 months at Yahoo I will be very surprised

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Read On, Bigger, faster, better, is there any point upgrading then?

The Stranglers - Something Better Change .

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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