If it’s fixed, break it.

I’m muddling around the changes to both Office and SharePoint 2013 and much of what I see is depressingly similar to what I’ve seen happen to good software products that their creators are constantly changing in order to justify requiring users to purchase updated versions of their software. Namely, the Peter Principle has made it’s way to the software industry. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Peter Principle states that “An employee will rise to their level of incompetence”. In other words, someone will keep getting promoted until they land a position that they are not qualified for. With software it means adding more and more features until the it becomes virtually unusable.

QuickBooks used to be a wonderful product. The interface was clean and it let me manage my checkbook. More “features” were added to each new edition and simple things are not so simple any more. To add insult to injury, if you wanted to skip a couple of versions you are not able to import your existing data. How exciting!

The Inbox page on Outlook no longer shows a calendar (and if there is a way to show it, the instructions are well hidden). And the overall look and feel is a celebration of blandness. Processes that were easy in SharePoint 2010 are more complicated in SharePoint 2013.

This is not to say that there isn’t the need to improve upon products. But do so in a way that does not confuse the users nor take away from the quality of their experience with the software.

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