Today i want to talk about something important. Something i wanted to talk about for quite some time now.
About how the population and the end user is handled. How dumber and dumber it becomes with the passing of time.
What brought me to this conclusion? You only have to look around. The end user the end consumer is no longer handled as a thinking human being. He is handled as a baby. He is handled as a disabled baby.
Let's look at some examples in the software business.
At late times 1990-2000-ish softwares installer was not very user friendly. If you choose custom install you had endless possibilities. Of course it was all up to you. If you place some of the files necessary for the software somewhere else then it belonged then it was all your fault.
Now the install is of course more user friendly. But i'm sort of offended when i click on custom install and all i can see is defining the main path for the software. And that is not the worst part since it is custom only. Okey, i can live with that. But when i see the button labeled "Advanced" and i can only see the path again... Now that's is when i'm pissed of.
And it gets worse. The problem is that people no longer use there brains. This is partially our fault. Because we give them intuitive interfaces. That's okey, we gotta evolve, technology needs to be better. It needs to be more easier. But at what cost? Today i saw a guy asking the forums to describe to him how you can install and use Selenium RC. All he had to do is go to the website of Selenium and read the fuc... fine manual. But rather then using his brain and come up with the solution he wants others to do that for him. Either because he is lazy or he does not care OR he just didn't want to use his brain. Because he thought what for? Somebody already did it, why should i read how it should be done?
And... there is more. I played a game which was a port from a console to pc. The game had no video settings at all. It had aspect ratio, resolution and brightness. I figured there must be some other way to set it. Some files some config files or ini or whatever. I read a bunch of forums because i'm a guy who searches for information before asking anything. And found out that they didn't bother with it. One of the moderators of the forum of the games website said this:
"In general, my experience with computers is that everything is getting more and more automated with less options to tinker with for the non-advanced users. More people use them now, thus it has to become more user-friendly with less confusing terms and stuff. Everything gets streamlined and automated.
As far as advanced user configuration settings goes, they sure can be handy, but there can actually be a lot of extra work required in adding such features. Sometimes it also wont work, at all, 'cause of the fact that the game's audio/visual presentation depends on a lot of circumstances to be "just right" for things to be "right". (Dunno what you'd like to call that, but I guess it could be called preservation of artistic values or something)
In the future, you'll probably be seeing more and more games where only Resolution, Aspect Ratio and Gamma/Contrast/Brightness settings are the only adjustable pieces of visual functionality."
Do you know what i think when i read this? HELL NO! I don't want a future like this! This sounds like bullshit. I don't want the computer finding out what i want. I don't want bloom because it looks like shit. I don't want anti aliasing because my computer does not support it. I want options. We live in the 21st centure give me options because my brain deservse it.
"More people use them now, thus it has to become more user-friendly with less confusing terms and stuff."
That doesn't mean that only dumb fucks are using the game who just start it and can't barely find the "New Game" option.
I'm offended. My brain is offended. My culture is offended. My ability to find out how things work and alter them to my personal likings is offended.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all in for user friendly and intuitive behaviour. But i'll be damned if it is good and healthy if an iPhone user can't restart his/her iPhone because he is to dumb to read the manual. ( True story, the guy even went so far as bringing his back to the vendor... ).
And this goes for everything in our life. Politics... here in my country there was a voting over if we should pay when visiting a doctor or not. It was a really difficult decision. The far-right and far-left sides campaing sounded like this: "If you are with us you vote: Yes, Yes, Yes." and the left side said: "If you are with us you vote: No, No, No." There were three questions. And nobody cared to explain to the voters what they are voting on... They just told you what you should vote.
I really hope that at some point of time the people will want more. But i know that chances are that of a snowballs in hell. Well i guess that is what we are here for. At least we testers should have the guts and mind to question everything. And be explorers, Buccaneers rather then sheep in a heard.
(The term buccaneers came from James Bach. Check it out.)