Familiarisation vs Changing the Way We Work

If like myself you find yourself are a creature of comfort it becomes increasingly frustrating that you have to find ways to get things back to the way you are familiar with; fixing things that you consider broken but others will say ‘you have to change with the times’. 

What is it with UX Designers?  Why do they feel the need to keep changing or moving things?  Surely productivity improvements is a personal thing.  I am all for new features and functionality (latest and greatest or whatever business bingo phrase your peers instil on you) but please let users have some choice in what we need  and how we present it “EASILY” – I feel a simple setting to revert key productivity settings to an early version i.e. Win7 [ Start Menu ] or Office [x] would be welcomed by many as it reduces the time for users to transition to your new world.

It is not just Microsoft with their Metro, Ribbon Bars, Sharepoint integration; or Apple with their OSX/iOS updates.

  • Outlook 2013/2016 “Replies and Forwards” default to reading pane with option to ‘pop out’

To help thouOutlook 2016: How to always pop-out email replies in Outlook 2016?

May 6, 2016 by joe0



This setting is one of those that are really frustrating to find.

Follow these steps to enable email pop-outs in Outlook 2016 settings:

  • Go to File at the top menu of Outlook 2016
  • Select: Options
  • Then Mail tab on the left side menu
  • Select section: Replies and forwards
  • Check-mark option: Open replies and forwards in a new window
  • Press OK button

Assistive Technology

There are many applications that address users with assistive technology needs – whilst it may depend on the size of business it should never be underestimated.

How can it be overcome?  As I get more involved and understand the topic more I will be updating this article.  But essentially it is important to maintain equality throughout.

One of the most common and widely used pieces of software is Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Nuance (the vendor) has a number of user based tasks on their support pages demonstrating how to migrate settings from legacy versions.  The important issue with Dragon NS though is that if you have let your installed version(s) get a long way behind then you may need to have a two stage migration process.

Remember each and every user has a unique set of requirements and you try not to differentiate between users.