Friday, April 19, 2013

Mystery Meat is a Dish Best Served Never

So after receiving a promotion at work a few months back, I was forced to enter the modern world and carry a mobile phone. While I certainly understand and appreciate the utility and know without a doubt that mobile is the future of computing and HCI, I took some pride in being a walking anachronism. Not being able to text and drive or check my email at lunch when people are talking to me or be able to call my wife to ask what salsa to buy from the store sort of suited me.

But I digress - the purpose of this post is to talk about what is on my phone. Since others on my development team have iPhone and Android, I thought it would be a good idea to have a Windows phone available for application testing purposes. I was wrong. Not only could our IT department not support it properly, but you need to be able to read hieroglyphics to use the thing. Microsoft is no Apple and the Windows 8 interface makes me want to punch the "UI" team responsible for this monstrosity. I am really starting to question whether the folks that Microsoft hires actually have any user interface development experience. Start menus to shut down and now a primary interface littered with what Vincent Flanders coined mystery meat.

I often get requests at work to create icons to represent all kinds of things. So I can appreciate how difficult it can be represent something or some action that doesn't have real world shape and form. I do have the sense, however, to always pair the icons with text. You don't even get hover help with this phone. Here's the good news: After incorrectly clicking something fifteen times, you figure things out.