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Old 07-02-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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Question why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

is there a reason for this?
I'm no computer wiz so maybe there's a good reason for it. it seems odd to me that programs are only made for those who already know the program or computer wiz's, or for people who wanna spend hours learning how it works and figuring everything out like a combination to a safe.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Various reasons: bad interface design; functionality for functionality's sake; or they are actually not complicated, and user should RTFM. What are you working with anyway?
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

It depends on the program and what you call complicated?

To the simplest of users word or PowerPoint could be considered complicated?

Others will happily navigate themselves round something like the admin panels of Joomla or Word Press.

Program's being complicated is often all down to the user using them.

Also you will tend to find but not always that a complicated program is so as it is very powerful and customisable.

But as dale said there are still sme program's that are simple, not powerful and are complicated to use because of bad design.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Programs are similar to tools, you can use a simple tool like a handsaw or a much more complicated & powerful tool like a table saw.

Wordpad and Word are both word processing programs. One is very simple but lacks power, the other more complicated but offers much more power & capability to the user.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dale View Post
Various reasons: bad interface design; functionality for functionality's sake; or they are actually not complicated, and user should RTFM. What are you working with anyway?
well getting an avatar on this profile for one. i'm sure there is a way once you are shown, but knowing that recipe could take months to figure out.

i downloaded a photo to my jump drive. that's as far as it goes after several experiments.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc456 View Post
It depends on the program and what you call complicated?

To the simplest of users word or PowerPoint could be considered complicated?

Others will happily navigate themselves round something like the admin panels of Joomla or Word Press.

Program's being complicated is often all down to the user using them.

Also you will tend to find but not always that a complicated program is so as it is very powerful and customisable.

But as dale said there are still sme program's that are simple, not powerful and are complicated to use because of bad design.
i can imagine it depends on the person. but why not make all programs simple and self explanatory? no program is like that from what i've seen.

there might be one thing you might have to do/click on to make something work. but if you have several options of other windows to open to find that then that's when it goes into months of guess work with several options.

just like with things with forums, myspace, facebook, etc. something with as simple as logging out. one day the log out button is right there all the time and easy to find and log out, next day you have to find it by opening several other windows to find the log out.

---------- Post added at 05:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
Programs are similar to tools, you can use a simple tool like a handsaw or a much more complicated & powerful tool like a table saw.

Wordpad and Word are both word processing programs. One is very simple but lacks power, the other more complicated but offers much more power & capability to the user.
i see your point.

however, if you go get a saw, shouldn't the handle to that saw already be attached? instead of directions on the saw telling you to look in the wallstorage? wallstorage being a new word for tool shed. then you go into a wallstorage to see that it's jam packed with all kinds of stuff, thus begins the search for a handle that should have already been attached. simple easy.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

I am starting to believe that in your case, it's you. No, I am not saying you are slow.

But rather you are not used to user interfaces typically employed by application software in general. All interfaces -- and I mean this in the broadest sense, including hand gestures and languages and handles and knobs, inherit a certain rationale. This rationale is closely affected by zeitgeist, i.e. spirit of the [current] time. If you are not used to this -- and I must emphasise that I am not trying to offend you or blame you, then it is going to be like a foreign language to you.

Next time you find yourself confused by user interface, please take a moment and consider:
  • It is done this way for a reason -- but why?
  • Have I encountered a similar design philosophy or rationale before?

(And of course, you are welcome to ask on CF if you can't figure it out.)

This will help you in the long run.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

If you've never seen a piece of software before it can be daunting at first. But as you get used to using it you'll find it get easier and easier to use.

Take me and Excel for example. I've been playing around with it for years. To be honest I felt it was way too complicated for me to get a handle on. Last year I took another look at it as I needed to automate much of my paperwork here at the hotel. I buckled down and started doing research on how to make a simple template. As my knowledge of how it works grew, the less daunting it became. I'm not an Excel master but now that I've worked with it a bit, it works for me. I have made several templates that are being used through out our properties. And yes I did come here and ask a couple of questions about it. Nothing like asking others that use a particular program how does something work.

Having said that I do acknowledge some software is crap. Overly complex with little to no documentation. I'm an EE from MIT and some of the software I have used over the years was written by geeks for geeks. That sort of software really isn't for use by the general public at large. It's designed to target a specific user group.
If I can be happy as a pig in slop running my RF spectral analyzer but lost as a treasure hunter in a catacomb with Excel it doesn't mean I'm an idiot, it just means I didn't know the software well enough to get past the daunting stage. Now I'm as at home with Excel as I am with my spectral analyzer software.

It's comes down to how bad you want to learn how to use the program.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slamhound View Post
i can imagine it depends on the person. but why not make all programs simple and self explanatory? no program is like that from what i've seen.

there might be one thing you might have to do/click on to make something work. but if you have several options of other windows to open to find that then that's when it goes into months of guess work with several options.

just like with things with forums, myspace, facebook, etc. something with as simple as logging out. one day the log out button is right there all the time and easy to find and log out, next day you have to find it by opening several other windows to find the log out.

---------- Post added at 05:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 PM ----------


i see your point.

however, if you go get a saw, shouldn't the handle to that saw already be attached? instead of directions on the saw telling you to look in the wallstorage? wallstorage being a new word for tool shed. then you go into a wallstorage to see that it's jam packed with all kinds of stuff, thus begins the search for a handle that should have already been attached. simple easy.
For a simple tool like a handsaw, no, the handle would already be attached and it is pretty obvious how to use it. However, I recall when I bought my table saw 30 years ago, I had to assemble quite a bit of it before I could use it. On top of that, I had to learn how to use the fence, adjust the blade depth and tilt, how to change blades, etc... It was more complicated and not necessarily obvious but it had far more capabilities than my hand saw.

No software that I know of is purposely made to be difficult to use but some interfaces are better than others.

The
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: why are programs so unnecessarily complicated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dale View Post
I am starting to believe that in your case, it's you. No, I am not saying you are slow.

But rather you are not used to user interfaces typically employed by application software in general. All interfaces -- and I mean this in the broadest sense, including hand gestures and languages and handles and knobs, inherit a certain rationale. This rationale is closely affected by zeitgeist, i.e. spirit of the [current] time. If you are not used to this -- and I must emphasise that I am not trying to offend you or blame you, then it is going to be like a foreign language to you.

Next time you find yourself confused by user interface, please take a moment and consider:
  • It is done this way for a reason -- but why?
  • Have I encountered a similar design philosophy or rationale before?

(And of course, you are welcome to ask on CF if you can't figure it out.)

This will help you in the long run.
i know it's partly me because i don't use the computer much and get into it. but even with some computer wiz's i have known who love computer stuff, they would even get stumped for an unusual amount of time trying to help me with something at times and really have to work on figuring something out.
i still think too many things with computers are unnecessarily complicated.
have you ever come across something on the computer and thought this could have been made much more simple to figure out?

anyhow, thanks for the insight.
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