I Just Want To…

Any time a user laments, “I just want to…” you have encountered a software failure. The failure might be in the design, it might be in the implementation, it might just be in an overloaded server somewhere.

But “I just want to” is real, and if UI designers and the engineers that support them heard every “I just want to” out there — millions every day, I’d bet — then the software we use every day would be a lot better.

Because here’s the thing: “I just want to” is followed almost always with a well-defined use case, often with a very realistic expectation.

As a software guy I can tell you that often the requirements we get for making the things we make are horribly vague.We make those applications to spec (as far as we can tell) and feel good until actual humans start to use the system.

During testing of a system, you get fairly convoluted feedback. But that frustrated voice saying “I just want to” is almost always followed by a very specific and reproducible case. tonight, I just want to add a link in WordPress 5 that has a description that is not identical to the URL.

That’s a REALLY DAMN BASIC THING. But I don’t see how to do it. I’m sure it’s possible; WordPress 5 block editor couldn’t possibly be that impaired.

Less-ethical companies might just keep the mikes on and listen for “I just want to…”. But if I could say “Hey Siri, I just want to put a link in WordPress 5 with a different description,” and Siri said, “Well, have you tried…” and when I say “Yeah, that doesn’t work,” Siri would say, “I will tell WordPress that all you want to do is…” and the bug report would be filed.

I just want to tell Siri my problem and have it be handled.

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