Usability and its opposite

My mind boggles at all the user-hostile unusable software released lately.

Even in Mac OS — which I like — some of the decisions are frankly fucking stupid. Such as not having scroll bars. Or having tablet-style scrolling on a non-tablet device. By not having any scroll bar, it is impossible to easily determine where one is on a page. If it were not possible to return to having scroll bars, I could not use Mac OS. That is how much I depend on their presence.

The new Google Maps is also nearly unusable. The interface is much slower. Icons are cryptically unlabeled. Previously-available options are removed, with no replacement.

As quite a few people have pointed out, even if only 10% of your user base uses a particular feature, it’s often not the same feature that each 10% is using. Designers and developers seem not to have a firm grasp on this as the way they compile their usage stats usually is not designed to suss this out.

And of course no matter how much designers claim they are using stats, they often implement what they think is “cool” regardless.

That’s completely ignoring what I think is the largest factor in these user-hostile decisions, which is the increasing authoritarian mindset of our society that influences every milieu.