Various apps, websites, or soft wares are being constantly changed, modified, and enhanced. Well, at least the developers think that they enhance them. Thousands of people work on updates that should simplify their users’ experience, but in the end, they usually get many disappointed users who want to have things the way they used to be. Personally, I am among them. My opinion on updates is that they are mostly annoying.
(I need to specify here a bit: firstly, I am not talking about the updates that add new features and functions to an app, I am talking about the updates that just change the old ones (you can see an example below); secondly, I am not a professional in the sphere of IT and I may not know some things, so I am writing this as a usual user.)
Now, I really find such updates inconvenient: I have to get used to the new ways of finding something or figure out where some functions are, etc. So do we even need updates? Do we need specialists doing such an unrewarding job? And who actually decides on what things to modify?
There can be two main positions answering these questions: the one in favour of updates because if something can be enhanced, why not do it; and the one against them because if something works well, why change it.
Sounds simple but there is an important problem with both of them. Unfortunately, it is usually hard to tell if things “work well” or “can be enhanced” because this is quite subjective – the same feature might seem differently for different people. This is why conducting research based on focus groups may be untrustworthy in some sense. As I know, many developers just invite usual users to answer questions about their product and find out if anything needs to be changed but there should be a great number of participants to make statistically correct conclusions. It is also possible to collect data automatically from users while they use the product but I don’t think that it will help in functional stuff, it is mostly about technicalities (like bugs, glitches, etc.). So it is really difficult to decide if something has to be updated or not.
Anyway, updates, in general, are undoubtedly useful. They fix a lot of imperfections, they add new modifications, they correct the way a product works, so I truly believe that they are necessary. However, there are some updates that look even silly, like in the example above. People tend to get confused and lost when simple features change, something that they are already used to. Still, humans are extremely adaptive, so in the end, they get used to the new way too but they have to spend some time and even nerves to do it. Why do I have to change my behaviour patterns if everything was fine for me before? This is still a question I cannot answer.
This blog really covered what I think about new updates as well. In fact, I was just thinking about unnecessary changes to applications when the new Apple update came out. While IOS 15 is exciting and a lot of the changes are useful, some of their little changes can be quite frustrating to get used to. For example, the safari search bar was moved to the bottom of the screen rather than remaining at the top screen. However, it should be noted that apple gave the option to move the search bar to its initial home at the top of the screen. Perhaps all future updates can allow users to personalize their devices the way they like, still giving the option of the new update’s features. Great blog Anna!