Oh, the pain of bad software design

I consider myself fairly dextrous normally. I can certainly use menus on software and most websites, although there are a couple of sites that I struggle with on a good day. Graphics packages are fine, whether I’m using my track ball or my graphical tablet, and there aren’t many computer-related tasks that I can’t do.

Unfortunately, one of the pieces of software that I need to use for work causes me problems on a good day and right now I’m having a wobbly, dizzy, wiggly day. There are no keyboard shortcuts. Preparing mappings for the data warehouse loads is done entirely through a GUI that is finnicky at best and bloody annoying at worst. Drag and drop a line between two functions? Sure, but only if you can do it with pixel-accuracy otherwise either nothing happens or the wrong thing happens and there is no undo facility. You must back out without saving your changes and try again. From scratch.

The menus are even worse. The precision required is ridiculous. The menus disappear if you accidentally click on a greyed-out option. The flick-out menus must be hovered over absolutely precisely or they disappear, which is frustrating when you’re attempting to access something five layers deep in the menu. And the software is so incredibly slow that if you accidentally select the wrong thing from the menu (very easily done) it takes five minutes before you can cancel out of that incorrect screen.

Wobby, dizzy day? Poor co-ordination? A task that should take an hour will take more than half a day. How do people get away with designing something like this?

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