Project 313 – Post No. 060

Yesterday I mentioned unwanted updates . . . not only unwanted but updates that make things worse. 

For instance, Google “improved” GMail. Let me describe one “improvement” . . . GMail uses Labels to help you sort and file your e-mails. 

The way it used to be:
Pick an e-mail, choose a label, click apply. Right after you hit apply, there was a menu that popped up confirming the label you just applied. That menu was positioned right below the icons where you made your choice and it also gave you the option to “undo” the action. Same for “delete” and a few other options. Your mouse pointer was practically on top of the menu and the menu was right where your eyes are looking.

The way it is now:
Pick an e-mail, choose a label, click apply. Right after you hit apply, there’s a confirmation box that pos up confirming the label you just applied. That box is now position at the bottom and at the left edge of the window. Away from where your mouse pointer is, and nowhere near where your eyes are looking. 

So, you now have to move the mouse a long way and that’s after you locate the box. The first few times, I didn’t even see the new location of the box (I have a big screen).

Why do this? Why make it more difficult for the user? As far as I can tell, there is zero advantage to the change and it’s actually a detriment to my experience and the navigation of the page. 

In other words, it looks like change for change sake. They also made the font fatter and bold, thus making it more difficult to read. Also, because it’s a bigger font, what used to be a useful preview of the e-mail now cuts off before you can read much of the preview . . . unless you make the window you’re using very wide. Even then, it looks like crap and it’s difficult to read. That means you have to open the e-mail to see if you’re even interested in what it contains.

Again, it’s a change in format that adds nothing to the usability of the product and — if anything — makes it annoying and user-unfriendly. 

Is there anywhere to give feedback? Supposedly, but my experience is that no one ever reads it.
Were users asking for the change? Not that I’m aware of.
Is my experience dealing with my e-mails any better? No; the opposite. 

So, why do it? Why does Google (and other platforms) mess with things that are working? Because they can and they don’t give a flying crap about their users. 

They do offer the option to revert to what they call “Classic GMail” (done) but they’ll eventually make the switch for good. They always do. I think all they’re doing with this “optional” update is checking to see how many people they piss off. Once they piss off a majority of the users, they’ll call it a success and make the change permanent. 

I’m getting tired of it. Tired enough that at some point, I will change my e-mail. After 14 years of using GMail, I’m looking around for alternatives. I’m looking at alternatives for many of Google’s offerings. Will I miss them? I don’t know, but at some point, I’ll be willing to find out. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 060

That is a pencil drawing treatment of a photo from one of my Florida trips. I hope to one day have the skill to draw that well.

It’s just a hope and so far I’m not applying myself to that goal so when I say I “hope” I actually mean “gee; wouldn’t it be nice if I’d already invested two or three hundred hours in learning how to draw?”

Suicides have been in the news lately. I’ve had a few experiences with suicides and I read here in the US they are on the rise. Honest, without knowing the person and circumstances, I’m willing to at first brush cut the person some slack. If it’s peace they sought, peace they now have.

They obviously had enough problems without me posthumously pouring more guilt on their memory. Without knowing the circumstances, I can’t even muster up being sad for them. I can maybe muster a bit of sadness for the life they were living that made that choice seem as the better way. The act of checking out? Well . . . like I said; circumstances matter. 

Also, because we can’t read people’s minds, it’s useless listening to friends and family with the hope of getting an explanation. Honest, unless you’re suicidal or have contemplated suicide at one time or other, you’ve no hope of coming to terms with someone deciding to end it all. Even then, it’s unlikely as no one can read minds. Even if the person left a suicide note, it seldom satisfies because we — the survivors — can easily dismiss whatever excuse is given as not sufficient to justify the act.

There is an argument to be made that life, in general, is really not all that pleasant. We live for the moments when we can enjoy ourselves but for most of us, life is one long tedious slog though worries, aggravations, disappointments, failed hopes and dreams; a slog that’s occasionally punctuated with moments of bliss and genuine happiness. Do those moments balance the scales? It’s difficult to say.

Don’t get me wrong; I love life and I try to make the most of it. But, like most people I know — all the people I know — it’s not a carefree life. Even so, I think I give it a pretty good go at maintaining a positive and often bemused approach to whatever comes my way. 

Bad luck aside (and bad luck happens) we are the architects of our lives and we have to find a way forward even when it appears The Way Is Shut

The Way Is Shut

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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