Skype can be even worse than my mom

I Skype home every weekend with my mom. She always has troubles using Skype. Sometimes she cannot find the place to see some words I type to her while we are video chatting. Or she doesn't know how to mute her camera or microphone. As an impatient guy, I become upset when she cannot figure things out.

Today, I used Skype for Windows for the first time in years. And I found out that it's not my mom's fault. It's Skype's. If you compare Skype for Linux or Mac with Skype for Windows, you can feel the stupidity in the UI design of Skype for Windows.

I just wanna mention one thing here, the stupid default view.

On default view, you have contact list on the left column, and then a row of profile pictures of some of them on top of the right column (under Skype Home tab). Why put the same thing at two different places to confuse users? Even worse, many of my contacts do not pick their profile pictures. And some of them on top of the right column are offline, below which you have a button called ``video call.'' Is this a joke like ``tax the dead?''

I experienced the same trouble that my mom had - couldn't find the text conversation window while in video chatting.

A slight workaround is to use the compact view of Skype for Windows. Ok, mom, do like this:


I have so many complaints about this stupid UI. Why do they confuse my mom by ``connect to facebook'' on the right? She will spend another 5 minutes to think about what Facebook is - because she doesn't know using Skype has nothing to do with Facebook.

Last thing. That huge ``Give feedback'' tab. Is giving  feedback a high priority for a software user?

With due respect to Windows users and programmers, I think M$ Windows is a great platform to make unfortunate users' life more miserable via building poor software. And this is a dead loop - you suffer it, and you bring more people to suffer from it.

1 comment:

Elvis Xu said...

so buy her a mac :)