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Grumpy old man - Thoughts of a meat popsicle
3rd March 2014
09:33 pm

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Grumpy old man
The older I get the more some little things seem to annoy me. For instance, when products made in 2014 don't obey user interface principles known for 20+ years. When I take an action (push a button, click, etc.) a well-designed UI presents instant feedback to let me know the action was received.

In California, some kinds of indoor lighting require an occupancy or vacancy sensor attached, to save electricity. This doesn't bother me too much, though it's annoying to pay extra when I'm already anal retentive about turning off lights, and the marginal electricity cost for a few hours of use is only a few cents. What bothers me is that, when I manually turn off the light, it doesn't turn off. It dims itself off over about 5 seconds. So the first thing I see when I turn off the light is that nothing happened.

This isn't the only instance. I just discovered today that the oven light is the same way -- it turns on immediately when the button is pushed or the door is opened, but it shuts off slowly when the door is closed or the button is pushed. And again I am left wondering if I really turned it off or if the button is malfunctioning. Unhelpfully it's also one of those surface buttons with no action -- there is no click, no button depresses, you just have to hope you got it right. To not present the instant feedback of really turning off the light is a terrible, terrible UI failure.

I feel like this is even worse since these things used to just be on/off back 10 years or even 5 years ago. Some poor schmuck wrote code for the oven's microcontroller to do the light dimming. This is a feature no one needed, that no one should pay for, and is actively counterproductive.

Like I said, I'm old and I'm grumpy. Now get off my lawn.

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From:goulo
Date:4th March 2014 08:39 am (UTC)
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You are correct, sir! I hate that too. Dimming/etc special effects are a pointless annoying "feature" that apparently somebody thinks looks "cool" or something. Just turn the damn light off when I press the button. :)
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