Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Blogger Interface - Crap

Blogger just forced their new interface on me.  I was actually going to include this in another post, which I decided not to post...but this needs to be said, as it will likely be the last thing I post here.

Like the stereotypical view of FOX News, Google thinks if they say something enough times it will become true. In Google's update on the "new Blogger interface" they say:
we’ve made dozens of improvements for devices with smaller screens and touch screens.
Really? Where? Where have you addressed the numerous complaints I have sent in feedback and have outlined in this blog page (http://madcompscientist.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-interface-yuck.html)? It is the same craptastic layout that I have in my blog posting.

If you're really interested in addressing my issues with your interface, and I know you really aren't, but just in case you are, set your browser display to a horizontal resolution of approximately 750 pixels. Now look at your work. You will notice that it looks like crap. I'll even allow you 800 pixels wide, if you want to give yourself 50 more. Now before you say, "buhhhttt...screens are wider these days." YES, THEY ARE. I know that. I don't run JUST your application. I have other stuff on my screen too, at the same time, and 800 pixels is a lot of real estate, for me. I'm not saying that everything needs to fit within that 800 pixels, but the more important stuff most certainly should, and I should be able to horizontally scroll to get to the not-as-important stuff that doesn't fit there. The posting editor should definitely adjust to the width of the browser display. I mean, why in heck wouldn't it?!

Vertical space, too, shouldn't be just wasted, because again, I only have so much space before I have to start vertically scrolling.

Instead of incorporating every whiz-bang font and feature you can conjure-up into your web designs, take a deep breath, step back, and incorporate some human factors analysis into your web design. What are the important navigational parts of the page? How can the page be made to flow easily? How can the fonts be made to work properly on a variety of different dot-per-inch display formats? Use fonts that don't look like crap when anti-aliasing is turned off (because anti-aliased fonts look fuzzy, kind of like it was done with a 30 year old typewriter and an old typewriter ribbon, when viewed on a LCD display, which is what everyone is using these days).

Things shouldn't start popping out in the middle of the screen as soon as the mouse passes over some place. That's absolutely annoying. I can do a single click of a mouse button to pull down a menu if I need it. If it's something I will be clicking a lot, then, for heaven's sake, add it somewhere in the navigation area!! Is that too much to ask? Google Maps' right-hand interface (map/satellite and the pop-down menu below it) is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of this DREADFUL interface.

You're going to force me to use your new interface? Wonderful. Thanks for adding yet another craptastic user interface to the world.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Define Your Abbreviations

I keep seeing the abbreviation "Ft." in some YouTube videos and could not figure out what it meant (certainly not foot, or feet, or Fort, or...). For example:

Define Your Abbreviations (Ft. The Mad Computer Scientist)

Upon looking around through several search engines, I was able to figure out that the abbreviation, in this context, means featuring. This is used in music (and video media) to credit an artist who influenced (provided the basis for), or was included on the work.

For those arrogant people (mostly young'uns) who said in various forums that one should know this already, since they say it all the time (and show the abbreviation) in music videos: Some of us, both old and young, don't watch music videos (on MTV, etc.). Since there is already an established definition of the abbreviation Ft. (at least in American English) it would seem that the obligation is on you to define your abbreviations somewhere. If you arbitrarily change the language, it becomes very difficult to communicate. A better abbreviation would have been feat., and my understanding is that they did use that, but someone decided that four letters was way too many and shortened it to two.

I can't wait until someone creates a Fort The Mad Computer Scientist. Then nobody will be able to tell whether my example above is referring to the fort, or if I'm being featured. Haha.