Feature

5 Things That Should Be Banished From Tech in 2012

3 minute read
Chris Knight avatar

As much as I love those adverts where gadgets and services just work, we all know that is really some marketer's fantasy, a dream that never happens. So here are some of the "features" that have bugged me this year that should be fixed in 2012 by the various powers that be in technology today.

1. Notifications Without the Notification

Emails from cloud orweb services that say, "you have a new notification inService X.Please log in to see it." You just sent me email -- why nottell mewhat the notification was in the email to save me logging intotheservice that I obviously rarely use, otherwise I'd know about thedamnnotification! Klout is just one service that does this and I hate it. Consequently, I am less likely to use that service.

Could this be any more annoying?

Could this be any more annoying?

2. Text in a Box, How Hard Can it Be?

CMSes,comment boxes and other instances of input thatdon't clean text when pasted in from other sources. Ordoes the rest of theworld really like typing stuff into those crappydinky panes? I writemost of my stuff in Word and have a bunch of extra checkers and filtersto create better text. How hard is it for any CMS to understand theconcept and auto-clean the text without using a Paste as Plain Text optiontucked away on a menu bar in a dead-end option up a one-way street?

3. Ad Creep

Theincreasing number of seconds it is taking foran advert to clear from awebsite/web game/whatever. It used to be about five seconds, then 10,now often 15 and in some cases longer. A similar trend is the increasing difficulty in finding the pesky close button when you'verolledover unwittingly on some advert. Those buttons are becomingincreasingly invisible.

4. It's One Planet, Man!

I appreciatethat Europeans won't ever be allowed to watch whatever is on NBC.comthe minute after it airs in the States, or that we can't get live Sumofrom Japan easily. But information should be for all, so explain whyMicrosoft just launched its new Answer Desk service with this messagefor non-Americans?

In the connected age, there is no reason for this sort of message

In the connected age, there is no reason for this sort of message

Learning Opportunities

Anyinformation service should be visible to all, even if the informationisn't strictly relevant, but in Microsoft's case I'm pretty sure it isand a service like this could benefit some users around the world.

5. The Wheels of Progress

Thisone will probably be seen more in 2012, rather than less. I thinkit's an HTML5 "feature." It's on a lot of sites where the content canbe dynamically constructed or redesigned. While the service doesthat, it presents you with one of these glowing little wheels, rotatingdiscs or these little cogs from Blogger.

Like a Windows 98 hourglass, only it's 2011

Like a Windows 98 hourglass, only it's 2011

And, if something goes wrong, it just sits there, whirring away like a techno-hamster. More descriptive percentage or fill bars may be boring, but they help users understand how long we have to wait.

Please, Just Make it So

So, there's a lot of small things wrong with technology today, andquite a few big ones. Feel free to share your major bugbears and let'shope the tech world becomes a better place where developers, productmanagers and others realize how their decisions affect us, the humble user.

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