my go-to weather app made some incredibly sweeping changes. And
with them, they probably lost me as a frequent user. Ultimately,
it is quite possible I might end up removing the app from my phone.
course—because it’s what I do—this got me wondering a bit about
things. Was I fearing the changes, and really just needed to give
them a chance to become more familiar? Were these changes possibly
for the better, and I was just missing out because I didn’t understand?
What was it that I hated?
answers to that last question are actually the easiest to provide
(and maybe the most telling as well). It was everything. I hated
every change that got made. It looks different, feels different,
navigates different, and different different different. If I had
to sum it up, I would say that it isn’t so much that they changed
what they were offering, but that those changes made the app different
and it no longer offered what I was looking for.
if that was simply the case… it no longer provided what I wanted…
we could wrap things up around here for today. If you’re looking
for a bagel breakfast sandwich and your favorite place stops serving
bagel breakfast sandwiches, then it quite possibly isn’t just
that you resist change when you start looking for a new bagel
breakfast sandwich provider. For the app though…
app used to open up to a screen that displayed the current temperature.
Nothing much there that doesn’t describe roughly 100% of weather
apps. It also showed a quick snapshot of the forecast for the
rest of the day and the next five days. So, when you opened it
up, you could very quickly gather just about anything you wanted
to know… temperature, if it was raining, and what was likely to
happen in the near future. Scroll down, and you could easily find
maps and longer-range details.
summary… Open it and find out if it was going to rain that weekend.
Scroll down and find out more specifically when it might rain
on Saturday and/or Sunday. All of which means that this app gave
you a perfect summary of basics right from the start, and then
provided a clean appearance and easy navigation from that opening.
first image now is a wave of sorts. A chart. A temperature wave
chart. It progresses along the expectations for today, depicted
in four blocks as morning, afternoon, evening and overnight. I
find that it doesn’t register immediately what I’m looking at.
For lack of a better expression, it just doesn’t feel right. Always
takes me a few seconds to adjust.
wave-chart-thingy does allow you to alter the view from the day
to an hourly graph of the day and a third view that covers a short-range
forecast. The sticking point for me… the one that makes me wonder
if I’m just getting old and cranky… is that the longer I look
at it, the more I can understand the information being offering.
So, out of fear that I was complaining against change and that
I might like it if I really try it, I decided to give it a chance
before throwing my hands up and swearing at the storm clouds overhead
that weren’t depicted on the radar map…
slightly quicker in being able to read things, it still looks
all wrong when it first opens. And still, I wonder if it’s me…
years ago, I loved video games for sports. And one of the things
I really enjoyed was when a game could be played immediately without
too much thought. For instance, a baseball game where a diamond-pattern
of buttons on one side of the controller played out perfectly
for where your defense would throw the ball. The bases… first,
second, third and home… all where you would expect them to be.
the games began becoming more complex. Instead of knowing six
to eight buttons—old and cranky alert—you needed to memorize button-pressing-sequences.
You needed to navigate a half-hour of settings in order to switch
off things like penalties. The games were becoming astonishingly
realistic, no question there, but they lacked a simplicity and
comfort for a first-time user. In order to enjoy them, you really
had to throw yourself into them and invest a ton of time. It felt
like there was no more casual play.
used to describe my issues to friends by explaining what would
happen when Jay and Justin brought home a new video game. For
between one and three days, I could play with them. Might win
a game or two. But once they put in a bit of time… more time than
I had available, along with a lot more patience… that was it.
My random-button-pushing ways and limited understanding of what
combination-sequences would create placed me at such a disadvantage
that I didn’t just lose and lose badly, it was extremely frustrating
and not at all fun.
not underestimate that simplicity. That comfort. I will forever
be convinced that the genius of the Nintendo Wii was the immediate
start and play ease it provided.
course… one of the problems with getting older is that technology
has a tendency to race right along. While it can provide moments
of frustration, for the most part there is a reason why we are
talking about the moves as progress and advancement. The true
test is knowing when change is for the better and accepting it
as opposed to waving a stick because you’re annoyed by anything
and everything just because it’s new.
not asking for everything to be intuitive and perfect, based on
my criteria and needs. (That would be nice, of course, but I’m
a reasonable man.) I just wish that when looking to create the
new and improved version of things, it felt like some consideration
was given to what was actually appreciated about the old and basic.
always possible that it’s me… that the change is a good thing,
and I need to catch up and learn. It’s also possible that it’s
not me… and the new and improved is no longer offering what I