The Old Coot dreads ‘new and improved’

Every time I turn around, one or another of the web pages or Apps I use is revamped. “Improved!” They claim. “Ruined,” in reality, for the users who figured out how to navigate the old program. Two of my banks did that to their websites and Apps during the past year. They hid some of the functions I use in new sub-menus, stuff that used to be in plain sight on the home page. That was one problem, but they also renamed some of them. The techies that design these things live on a different planet than old guys like me. I’m pretty tech-savvy, yet the new programs bamboozle me. 

Microsoft was the first company to change and mess up their programs; it affected millions of users – which is why you might hear me mumble under my breath, “I hate Bill Gates,” every time I encounter a change on a computer program. I don’t hate him, but I do hate how he made this process commonplace across the industry. 

He’s retired, but his legacy lives on. I used his “Word” program to write with since the 1980’s. Every time it changed, which was just about every year, it was radically different, and confusing. He really put it to the test when he made us push “Start” to stop the program. I know he was messing with our minds with that one. 

Over time they’ve changed the Word program so many times I’m a novice when I use it now. I can’t figure it out when it used to be so simple. It’s also become very bossy, correcting mistakes that aren’t really mistakes. Half of the time I don’t even notice that it changed something, making me appear more stupid than usual.  

I think the trouble is caused when the design teams use each other to test the new (and improved) programs. Even when they get users involved in the test process, they won’t allow old coots like me to participate.  

The website revamp situation is even more exasperating when the change is caused because the company I was a customer of is bought out by another company. This happened to me last year; our local water company was bought out twice. I can’t even keep track of whom I’m doing business with, which makes it hard to find them on the web and the old App doesn’t work at all. 

That’s a lot of crabbing, but I bet I’m not alone. It’s why you hear old coots like me say, “Leave things alone.” We hate change (for good reason). The words I dread the most are, “our web page (or App) won’t be available this weekend so we can install a new and improved version.  

Oh no, here we go again! 

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