Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 18:08 UTC
Games

I don't like writing negative articles that don't include a solution to the problem, but in this case, there is no solution. The state of in-app purchases has now reached a level where we have completely lost it. Not only has the gaming industry shot itself in the foot, hacked off their other foot, and lost both its arms ... but it's still engaging in a strategy that will only damage it further.

Why are these gaming studios so intent of killing themselves?

Because massive application stores created a race to the bottom - as well as a huge pile of crap to wade through. Ten to twenty years from now, we won't look back favourably upon the App Store or Google Play.

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acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Make something as simple as it can be, but no simpler.


That must be the most abused of the quotations ascribed to Albert Einstein (the more used form been "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.")

First, we have to have on mind that it can be or not true, depending on which human activity it is applied and who is applying it.

On science, specially on physics and math, it has a very powerful appeal and a way to judge it: we should look for a model capable to generate all the "observable" (present and, hopefully, new ones) "phenomena" and yet, it should have the lowest number of fundamental entities. That is what physicists and mathematicians strive to achieve when they establish the bases of their work.

Now, how can it be applied to art and tools (what programs are, after all)? Perhaps, what you see as excess is exactly what makes some app so useful to me, or a music so appealing.

On my view, and I guess to others too, some people are using this "truism" to justify actions that are perceived as unjustifiable to others, i.e., removing previous functionality and/or altering radically the interface. They self-proclaim they are right and follow their goals ignoring how their modifications affect their users.

On FOSS it sometimes goes to radicalism: patches that could restore some functionality (because, after all, if you rewrite the basic blocks you may be forced to rewrite the implementation of the functionalities and you very well, may not have the time) are refused for no other reason than "it is not a fundamental thing", for who? Luckily, on some cases a fork or the patch goes public.

On binary only apps, we may be forced to look to alternatives, when they exist, and, may the user base be huge and the dissatisfaction big, get the "developer" to surrender and correct course.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think complexity and managing that complexity is a huge issue for our times in the tech field. Both while engineering software or while designing user interfaces.

The cognitive load we impose on users imo is too much, and a rich feature set is often exposed in a non contextual mess of options. For examples look at KDE or Office 2003s toolbar mess.

Look at Office itself today even, packed to the brim with features of marginal use to the majority, but the majority is exactly who pays the price for these features (in terms of longer release schedules, less intuitive user interfaces, and higher costs).

The fierce reduction in complexity that the mobile revolution has ushered in has distilled applications into their purest functional forms. Features which have had their costs hidden by Moores Law are now seen for what they are, a sometimes superfluous nuisance.

Of course I'm generalizing a bit: Not all features are complex and costly, not all are to the detriment of the users, but discerning this difference is what separates entities like Apple from the wannabes like Samsung.

You need to have taste, you need to know what's good for your users often before they know what's good for them. The only reason power users are so obsessed with at times pointless complexity is because they've become conditioned to do so.

The one thing this mobile take over of computing has done that I think is most meaningful is force us to reconsider all of the old rules we played by.

Reply Parent Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Look at Office itself today even, packed to the brim with features of marginal use to the majority, but the majority is exactly who pays the price for these features (in terms of longer release schedules, less intuitive user interfaces, and higher costs).


Right, so you dumb it down because that is what is good for the majority, and if you happen to be not in the majority, then what? You should go jump off a bridge, or just learn to love not having as much functionality as you used to?

Of course I'm generalizing a bit: Not all features are complex and costly, not all are to the detriment of the users, but discerning this difference is what separates entities like Apple from the wannabes like Samsung.


One thing Apple has decided in iOS is that 3rd party apps are not allowed to change their notification tones to use any that are built into the OS. I can understand some of their decisions when they severely gimp the OS of functionality, but other things they do are just retarded.

Reply Parent Score: 1

woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

The cognitive load we impose on users imo is too much, and a rich feature set is often exposed in a non contextual mess of options. For examples look at KDE


Depends on the user. I, for one, would not have KDE any other way.
Scouring through options and configuration in order to produce a perfectly-tailored interface is actually *fun* to me. You are correct in that it's too much of a hassle for *most* users, though.

Thankfully, that's why we have toolbar hiding and discoverable options with sane defaults.
Meeting the needs of 100% of users is impossible, but most of the niche features end up being killer reasons to pick a particular piece of software for different users.

Reply Parent Score: 2