Saturday, October 15, 2005

Whaddya Hate?

The Software Management Bible, Peopleware, has a parable buried within it somewhere that goes something like: (I'm paraphrasing, because someone nicked my copy, and I haven't read it for years)
People hate Change.
They really hate change,
They really, truly hate change,
Oh yes they do.
With software - the path of least change is always the path to greatest acceptance. But then, without changing anything, the software doesn't get better. Sometimes you have to just give up and force people to make a change, in order to make the world better in the long run. Check out the new Office 12 Interface. I automatically hate it a little bit, because it's different. But I know what's going on under there. Microsoft are bridging the gap to Vista (which has a radically different look and feel) with the big product that most people use. They're forcing us to change. And most people will absolutely hate it.

I'm not sure exactly why, but today has just reminded me of that fact. Examples include:

  • Stilly's apprehension about taking a brilliant job in another country;
  • Listening to my wife complain about Firefly, because she expected it to be as cool as Buffy (I think it's way cooler)
  • Listening to me complain about how all new music sucks, and back in my day, there were Real Musicians...
I'm not exactly the most conservative person I know, but on some level, it seems that the older I get, the more my default reaction is to be perhaps a little defensive when confronted with anything new.

Kids are so great at accepting new things. Older folk these days are watching the teenagers with their iPods and their SMS and their X-Boxes, and scratching their heads because they don't get it.

The next time you find yourself objecting to something new, maybe you should check yourself to see if you're just auto-responding.

UPDATE: The office 12 interface is actually really, really well designed. Check out this channel 9 video for proof.

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