The imagined experience of a new UI or system experience being "harder" is often attributable to the unconscious mountain of troubleshooting behaviors that you've accumulated in your experience no longer being applicable. If I tried to use a Mac, it would be just as "painful to watch" for people who have grown up with it as watching Linus from Linus Tech Tips trying to use Linux. They know the best ways to do things from learned experience which seems second-nature, I do not. The same goes both ways.

Microsoft is keenly aware of this phenomenon and has used it to create a near monopoly. Microsoft works so hard to make their software and workflows free or highly discounted for educational institutions in an effort to teach users who to subconsciously work around the inherent brokenness of windows early on so that everything else seems broken by comparison, for example. Whereas in reality, most amalgamations of software that comprise something as large as a modern OS is going to have rough edges somewhere to roughly the same extent whether you realize it or not.


@thufie that said, like, there are objective improvements that make an experience more readily learnable than others (say: all Mac apps being basically guaranteed to have the same keyboard shortcuts, unlike Windows apps). That’s perhaps a more important metric than flailing in the moment.

@thufie disclaimer: I’m a biased party because I help make macOS.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!