Metro and Micro-soft

These Windows 10 updates are really taking the life out of me ! Fortunately I figured out the restart options for these updates at my desired time settings.

But, then I saw the UI, and unfortunately it wasn’t so pleasant, well at least for me!

time-windows Nothing which looks like scrollable.  Hour, Minutes and Day/Night settings all at the same level. Nothing seems clickable.

I agree this is the real deal. Less is more. But for me too less is definitely not more and it looks shitty. If you have space constraints, I kinda get it, but even when you are a desktop application and you minimize stuff (and only the god knows the reason), you will only be messing with the user’s mental model.

.deep.

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Skype…

This one was pending on my list from a long long time. Skype!

Skype  flaunts one of the worst  UI and UX. (According to me of course) EVER!. Without wasting our time, lets jump in right away.

Let’s start with the main items visible under your profile pic.

skype.home

First visible thing under there, is the status.  Either you are available or you are away or something like that.  Then you have the search button,  and I am not sure what does the search do here ! Then we have the home button which says,  see update from your contacts in Skype.  If I click that, I can see all the status updates I put under my profile and profile updates from few others. Strange eh?

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Next to that, we have dial pad kind of thingy or let’s say a series of buttons,  is that a calculator ?  Oh I get it, That is the Call button from which you can make calls to the landline or mobile !!

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Why can’t they use a damn phone receiver icon which is a standard to depict a phone call. Next to that is a plus symbol and I wonder what it would be?  Adding a contact? If I look at the search box and since I can see the contacts down below, I assume it must be the option for adding a new contact ?! You are damn wrong. It is to start a conversation where others can join in. Let’s move forward and see that there is a video camera icon thingy and I believe this must be to initiate a video chat with the friend and yet again I am wrong. This is a button to add a ….what?  Add a Bot to your contact list…?   are you kidding me?  

Let’s begin to dissect the anatomy of having a chat conversation with one of your friend. Click on any of your friends from the left pane and you get the chat window activated in the middle.

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The right side obviously has a sh#tty advertisement which is totally irrelevant to me but I must see it anyways. The input window below has some plain blue icons which on mouse over will give you a tool-tip description of what they really do. In other words, they send an image, file, video, contact or a smiley.

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Input some text and…

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Fortunately, the input window gives a helper text which says type a message here. When you start typing something into it, the icons for contacts, video and image, immediately disappear, and attachment icon is displayed beside the smiley.  I thought I can attach a file directly by clicking on it but instead it displays a tool tip as more and extends the previously quoted icons once again.  Duh…!

Now coming to the Calling functionality of the Skype.  Suppose you want to call someone, you got to click on that contact and you see the call button on the top right and you click it.

skype8Connecting…. And you are connected. You start talking. (obviously) and through the conversation you receive a chat message from the person you are talking to. Alas…and you can’t find it.

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Why? Well that’s how it is. Where’s it hidden? Over to the top right corner, see the message bubble? There you have it. Click on it and you can see the chat message that you just received. Oh… I forgot, those icons only come up when you mouse over the active window.

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And well, how can you share your screen? What can a plus (+) symbol really mean? Add? Add what? Add people to this call? What else? Show dial pad? And..? Share screen? Share contact? Send files? See that’s a multipurpose Add button. Not every application can do that! That’s the super minimalist approach. One + button to do it all!

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Wait, there is one more super minimal confusing icon that I just missed.

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Any guesses? No chance… This is what it does.

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Settings? WT…*

OK. That’s it. I had enough. I can go on and on, but I am utterly shocked by the bizarre vagueness of this crazy experience I had. Stopping it here…

.deep.

What’s up WhatsApp

So, the big news! Whats App has new updates! Updates to the status.

Let’s first dissect what’s changed.wp55

Majorly seen changes on opening your WhatsApp are,

Before, there were 3 options on menu, Calls | Chats | Contacts

Now, Camera | Chats | Status | Calls

What this meant to me…?

Old: No cam tab on the menu

New: First tab is the Cam. On click of which, you can take a pic (edit it) and continue to share it with someone (or multiple contacts) OR most importantly you can set it as My Status (in which case it would be flooding it to people on your list).

wp77.JPG

Before, the cam option used to be on the right of the text (chat) input field where in, you can take a pic and send it to the contact with whom you are chatting/conversing with. Well it still is the same case inside a chat/conversation window. But adding the Cam button on the main menu as the primary option is somewhat intriguing.

I believe Whats App (now a part of Facebook) wants a more solid personalized profile of its users. Best way to do so is to get more from its users. Upload more pictures, more videos so they can build a more customized and more robust personalized profile of you and link it up with Facebook, so that they can push more personalized adds for you…or whatever…I am losing my mind

Old: If you have an existing chat conversation with a contact, you can click on the profile pic and view the picture enlarged. Same was the case with your contacts on your Contact list.

New: First point holds good. But the second wont. You can’t click on the profile pic from your contact list and view them enlarged. How can you do that? Initiate conversation with them and they will pop up in your chat list and then you can go ahead and view their profile/display pic enlarged (if that was your guilt pleasure, you stalker…)

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Old: Contacts tab

New: No more. And I was in a state of panic, thinking something got messed up and spent a good 5 min search on finding where my contacts at? Pissed off.

Now coming to the most prominent update: Whats App status

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Don’t you dare clicking one on the top, its a non stop update train…

People say they copied Instagram, Snapchat etc. I am not sure coz I don’t use either. To me it was apparent. What’s the hook, that was missing?

For a minute, lets dig Facebook. My crazy brain somehow thinks that this whole Facebook thingy is based on Likes and comments. You upload a pic and you wait for the likes. People start liking your pic and you get a dopamine rush (refer neurology and other BS), you feel good and start uploading more pictures and wait for your virtual likes again. This is how you get addicted.

Ring any bells?

How can I make you more addicted to WhatsApp? You used it to have a chat with someone. Was there a way where you spoke your mind out? Yes, the status! Was there a way people reacted to your status? Nope, unless they want to have chat with you about your status! duh…

How can we solve this?

Make it more dynamic, (by not allowing to enter text anymore) let’s have a status wherein I can put my stupid selfies or pouting videos in a restaurant and flood it to countless members on my list. (well they have privacy settings for it, I am a moron for not using it, and I can selectively share my half naked pics only to my spouse/partner as well!)

Best part, it will even flood it to the contacts you might have added for a temporary reason despite they don’t have your number saved on their contact list! Fkin Great! , the plumber, the cab driver and god knows who was Harry!!? But, hey !they are on your contact list and you just flooded your status to them.

Have a great day! What about the hook…ah right, back to the hook?

Then comes the twist! Eureka, you can see, who have viewed your status update!

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You post your status and keep looking at it, to see how many have seen it yet.

 

You know what’s the next thing? Adding reactions and likes and comments to your status!

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Oh…I forgot, the status will only be alive for 24 hours, which means you gotta update again after a day, damn hook…

And well, if you mistakenly click on any of the updates on your list, you are doomed, it keeps playing the updates from everyone on that list one by one…enjoy those stupid selfies…or a sh#tty video

There you have it, a wannabe Facebook on crack at your fingertips!

.deep.

Clean and Crisp

In recent past, I have seen updates to Terms of use, Privacy policy etc. from firms like Facebook, Google, Whatsapp and the likes. But, the one I received from Glassdoor, made me delighted.

Usually when there is an update to privacy policy, or terms of use or some sh#t of the same kind, these software giants send out a notification, which usually says, “We have updated the privacy policy, bla bla..bla…what this means to you…Click here..”

And the click takes you to a monstrous list containing bullet points, numbers, and paragraphs, which somewhere hides, how these updates can fk up your privacy. But, who got the time and patience to read it all, you must click on I agree, accept, understand….

But, these Glassdoor guys summarized it well. Look here. It says what changed, why it changed and what you ought to know, all in one page, and if you want all of it explained in detail, click on the link. This certainly makes the user to breathe easy.

gd

.deep.

 

Forget you…

Here’s how Google or more precisely Gmail, handles forgotten/wrong password.

If I enter a wrong password, then it throws the below screen.

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However, if I have changed my password ‘n’ number of days ago and if I err and try to use the same old password (which most of us often do, till we get used to the new password), it displays something like below

gmail

Few thoughts here, if you see the counter in the above pic, it keeps on stepping up. I have even seen the counter hit as high as “55” days. I am not sure how high it can go.

But, what’s the point here? By telling me, I have changed my password 20 days ago, you are informing / reminding me that, this was not the wrong password, but this was however an obsolete password? OK. I get it. But, what if I forget the fact that, I even changed my password? And, what’s the final count of days ? Like, “Your password was changed 253 days ago?”. However, what’s the catch here?

I am still trying to figure it out…

.deep.

World is Flat !

Continuing my previous discussion from the last post, I don’t have any hard feelings against Flat design or Minimalism or whatever you wanna call it.

I am not totally in for Skeuomorphism as well. But we need to find a little balance between the two. There does exist a sweet spot between them.

But there are some designers who are just riding the flat/minimalist unicorn and have taken things for granted. This has spread extensively to web design as well. I have observed some discussions where in, these so called “designers” doesn’t even hesitate a bit, to isolate a group of people who find it difficult to understand/use the flat design.

Here, this is from freecharge.com

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Amount button is clickable, Switch to fresh recharge is clickable ! But you wont get a clue.

Grey on Grey?, Common….

ff2

Why? Why cant we have this,

B1

Instead of this :

b2

Think about it…

.deep.

 

 

Check-Mate

So this is an old one. (Might have changed currently!) I was going through my collections of screenshots that I usually make sure to capture when I surf through these sites.

This is from Paytm.com.

I was recharging my mobile through this site. I still do but “sometimes” (because of its overly secure nonsensical OTP authentication. Lets pause it right there, for later discussion ). Back to the recharge situation. I select my mobile number, enter the amount, click next and land up at this.

paytm23

OKK! MY Paytm Wallet balance is 1000, I need to pay 250. So how do I do that? Scratched my head a little. Looked here and there. Drank a cup of tea. (Yea coffee is not my cup of tea!), went for a stroll. Watched a movie.

But I was dwelling deep down my soul, how the hell I use Paytm Wallet?

Finally, (insert drum roll) I found out that, the circle on the left hand side of the “Use Paytm Wallet” label was actually a “radio button”, some people call it “check “box” even though its a “circle” !

Like this:

paytm2

See that? the green thingy?

And voila, you can “uncheck it” to use other options.

Wish the developers said, “Check the the Paytm Wallet option” to use it, in the beginning !

It might have given me a “clue”.

Oh, and by the way, here are some radio buttons if you are bored.

radio

A little shade, a little button-y feeling definitely helps. Atleast for me.

A curious observation might tell you, 2nd pic from the left in the 2nd row, is quite matching with the Paytm thing. Right?

Yea, but did you notice that there are more than one button? Hence it becomes easy to recognize it, that we need choose one from many. Well there’s a whole lotta psychology behind that for sure.

Check this out. This one is my favorite when dissecting the UI: Gestalt psychology

Sorry for the long post. Here, a piece of cake for you.

Idiom-piece of cake

.deep.