I wonder if software designers underestimate the difficulty a user has when changing a user interface so that it is more "intuitive."
This week, I finally upgraded from Office 2003 (which has used essentially the same interface as most prior versions of Office) to Office 2007.
I like the new version, but it's required a significant amount of re-thinking on my part to get simple things done.
For example - File, Edit, View. This is now the standard navigation menu for practically ALL Windows-based applications. I know that if I click File, I can save and print. If I click Edit, I can cut, copy and paste.
Now I'm faced with this.
Am I the only person that doesn't remember what the icons mean and hates having to wait for the little mouse roll-over to tell me?
And where the heck is Cut, Copy and Paste? Do I have to use right-click (which I am trying to wean myself from since I also have a Mac)? Keystroke commands? Oh...it's under Home. Why "Home"? Did you have a focus group and who was in it? (Sorry - just a touch of former-expert-now-a-newbie aggravation).
Software applications really are an exercise in reading minds. Specifically - reading the intent and logic of the designers and software programmers. The historian in me (when I'm not on deadline trying to finish a project) enjoys the exercise. The instructor in me finds that being able to suss out the intent of the designer makes it easier to explain why and how to perform a task - particularly if the steps don't make much sense on the surface.
In the meantime - I am going to slog through the "aggravation stage" and take notes.