They Changed It Now It Sucks: Websites And Software Designs
If a design of a major Web site gets changed, it can likely cause upset and confusion. No exceptions. This can even lead to more changes being rushed through to alleviate complaints about the original change. Most of the time the complaining dies down after a while when people get used to it, but on very rare occasions, like if a more popular competitor moves in, this reaction can be fatal for a website.
Note: This article lists examples which take place within fandoms, not tropers' opinions as to whether a change is for the worse. TV Tropes doesn't have opinions. The focus is on over-reaction about minor changes.
Facebook 3.0 was infamously criticised for vastly redesigning the site. Two groups opposed to the change got over a million fans each.
Now it's their changing of "Becoming a Fan" to "Liking". There are now dozens of groups and pages requesting that they change it back.
It also happened with the change of the chat feature to only show people that you chat with a lot(regardless of if they are online) and nobody else, however that feature was quickly changed to just show the people you chat with the most at the top and show everybody else online under them.
EVERY DAMN TIME Facebook updates, people get annoyed. You know, despite the efficiency and usefulness of the new version.
The timeline, to the point that whenever someone's profile was changed to it without them asking to do so, many a status update went up complaining about it.
This was the reaction of many MySpace users when MySpace allowed anyone, not just 14- and 15-year-old users, to have private profiles. Complaints ranged from "If I want privacy I'll go to Facebook!" and "MySpace should be for users over 18 and have absolutely no privacy whatsoever!" In short: features that cater to users concerned about their privacy always ruin MySpace.
Then there was the "Myspace 3.0" update, Myspace's first attempt to become just like Facebook, featuring a dramatic overhaul of the homepage, and taking away most of the ability to customize one's profile. For a while this only affected newly-made profiles. Then they began aggressively forcing people who still had their 1.0 profiles to upgrade (along with basically taking away the ability to edit their 1.0 pages until they did upgrade). The number of outcries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks was no small number, and users who hadn't already moved to Facebook (mostly because they liked Myspace's customization) began moving there in droves. This didn't go unnoticed by the site, who showed some signs of begrudgingly back-pedaling a bit and allowing a "downgrade" to 1.0 to please the few who hadn't abandoned them for Facebook yet. But the site never quite recovered, and was faced with a downward spiral from then on.
The CEO replacing founder Tom Anderson then changed the site's direction towards being entertainment-based, stating that Myspace is "no longer a social network but Social Entertainment". It was the last straw for a lot of users. The changes only hastened their downfall in the end, and Newscorp ended up selling Myspace to an obscure advertising agency for a fraction of what it paid for the site in its heyday.
When the new owners revamped the site in late 2012, any change at all from what it had become was generally seen as positive. Except that to access the "New" Myspace people have to create new profiles. The New Myspace is generally just like Facebook's timeline only it scrolls sideways. Customization of profiles has completely vanished too. There aren't many people left to complain about it though, as so far it's failed to make an impact and bring people back. However, some people are angry about the nonchalant way Myspace simply deleted years worth of blogs, comments and messages without any warning whatsoever.
This also happened when LiveJournal announced that their invite-code system would be discontinued. From now on, anyone, just anyone, could sign up for a free LJ account. The expected influx of teenyboppers and fake anon accounts did happen, but LJ managed to survive. Mass exoduses have been threatened (and somewhat carried out, with users changing to new LJ-like services) every time LJ pulls something new, such as pop-up ads, Strikethrough '07 (suspension of thousands of user accounts after some trolls posing as Moral Guardians pointed out pedophilia content — which turned out to be, for the most part, fan fiction) and the sale of LJ to the Russian company SUP. Despite user complaints, LJ manages to carry on and is still the largest and most popular service of its type.
Also, commenting via Twitter or Facebook.
And now there's the new redesign of the commenting system, removing subject lines and changing the way icons work so they'll only show up if there's one keyword. The subject line thing in particular has really Unfortunate Implications, as they're often used to denote triggering material in a comment.
While Poser's new editions tend to be met with mostly positive community reactions, Poser's cousin DAZ Studio (which is essentially a freeware stripped-down version that uses the same content) tends to explode whenever a new version is released. DAZ Studio 4 sent angry ripples across the community when it first became available both for stability issues and a very different content layout. The poster child feature of the release (a system to re-fit clothing and props between characters of different sizes and genders) was locked away at a price of almost US$100 (half for loyalty program members).
Many Web communities, such as ShareCG, also host 'model loyalty'. When previous primary base figures Victoria 3 and Michael 3 were re-released as Victoria 4 and Michael 4, many Poser and DS fans became enraged because the new models didn't fit into the old V3/M3 clothing, hair and props. Since a longtime Poser/DS artist might have hundreds of dollars of content for the previous 'main' models, these users often rage at the new content and stick to their old kits. Fear of this was palatable when Smith Micro announced Genesis: a single, androgynous model for DAZ Studio 4 to replace all past models. This was less severe when SM announced that Genesis would be backward-compatible with previous version clothing.
deviantART receives a giant influx of complaints annually every time a new version of the site is launched. With the seventh iteration, over 3,000 deviants have "rejected" this news. Made even more ridiculous by the fact that version 7 brings very little changes compared to the switch from 5 to 6. Yet people seem to flip out more than back then.
To be fair, the main complaint seemed to be that the "search" bar had been removed for some reason. It has been returned to us, and the complaining has, for the most part, stopped.
Retro Junk had its layout changed, and some sections are gone. It doesn't even look like the site that members knew and loved.
FurAffinity had its members practically screaming the trope name and Rage Quit from the site after the administrator revealed that all cub art is now banned due to advertisers threatening to pull their ads from the site since they didn't want to be associated with a site that could be promoting child pornography (which is extremely Serious Business in a lot of places). Many members cried that the admin had no balls for pulling this stunt, even though he made it clear that without ad banners, the site would lose money and then shut down from lack of funds.
There was another change enforced where people that were holding raffles for watchers to win free art could no longer require users to post a journal that links back to the raffle holder. The notion was made due to complaints from people that their inbox was cluttered with journal entries that were nothing but links heading back to someone's contest. The admins saw the whole thing as "spamming to win", but everyone else complained that they now would get less hits and people to their page.
Often invoked by fans of evolving items on the avatar and forum site Gaia Online - despite the fact that the entire point of the EIs is that they undergo dramatic changes every few weeks.
In May 2013 Flickr updated its photo-viewing layout, design and controls. Again, complaints aplenty (and few, if any, compliments on Flickr's big new selling point - a colossal 1 Tb of storage space).
Windows XP's revised Start menu—which was optimized for navigation by mouse and functioned quite differently to previous incarnations—forced users to relearn everything they'd been doing instinctively for the last half-decade, which must have rather offset any theoretical gain in productivity. However, XP/Vista users can revert back to NT4/2000/Win9x style. This criticism has died down as of late, not least because XP is nine years old now.
Their next OS, Windows Vista, was a radical change from XP, but despite its many improvements and new features and the time since its release, allowing hardware to be able to support it comfortably and users to adjust to it, people still reject Windows Vista with very little or no reason. Hell, so many businesses still use XP that its support life is going to be at least 13 years (2001-2014).
These same fans praise Windows 7 as "Vista done right", even though it continues using many of the features and changes Vista introduced, but doesn't change as much about the operating system than Vista did.
And the reverse happened, with people complaining about the Windows 7 Beta cutting out features from Vista.
And there was the whole business of requiring more powerful hardware than some brand-new machines had at the time. Many such systems were sold — with Vista, because Microsoft refused to give them any other option — anyway. That Dell actually sued Microsoft for the ability to continue selling machines with XP is telling.
Distilling the Vista problem was the "Ribbon" interface for Microsoft Office 2007, due to get added to new versions of many of Microsoft's other programs. The internet raged with the voice of a thousand IT people who will have to retrain employees once they inevitably upgrade. It is, from a complete newcomer's perspective, better to be more graphical and icon-laden, but people have gotten so used to the menu system for over a decade it's quite jarring.
Some might argue we use words instead of hieroglyphics for a reason. Also, try giving directions verbally that involve nondescript little icons.
Admittedly, computer operating systems of all varieties are a rare example of why the "They Changed It, Now It Sucks!" brigade sometimes has a point; time that workplace users have to spend learning to use a new or altered function is time they no longer have in which to do their actual job.
And with that said, usability is measurable, and Microsoft sure as hell measures it. They wouldn't have released Office 2007/XP/Vista/7 if its UI wasn't tested and shown to be superior. But it's possible, and even likely, for a UI to be more efficient and simultaneously more hated. Microsoft designs for efficiency over aesthetics, being the most popular OS with businesses.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is out. The Start menu is now gone, replaced with a Start screen. Cue the Internet Backdraft that says Windows is becoming too "tablet-y" in 3...2...
Some of the complaints are justified, since the interface and wording semantics are geared towards touchscreen interfaces, not the older input devices like keyboards, mice, and trackpads. You don't "tap" on a button in an OS with these inputs (well, if you exclude that you technically "tap" a mouse or trackpad button).
There is also the Windows Store, which discourages the usually open nature of the PC and requires certification for all its apps. Gabe Newell, head of Valve Software, openly expressed his dislike of This decision and stated that the Steam Box would allow users to run any OS on it because of this. On a similar note, Marcus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, was actually offered to make the game a Windows Store app. He refused and told Microsoft to "stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform" and even went so far to say he'd rather it not work on Windows 8 at all than have it certified.
The Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview is out. They brought back the Start Button, but not the Start Menu.
YouTube's "new [video page] design" on being "simplistic". Cue a good amount of vitriolic rage from users and viewers alike, from wanting the 5-star rating system back (now it's a thumbs up/down) to how clusterfuck the layout looks. Although it was already proven most people used 5 stars or abused 1 star...
As of April 28, 2010, the video playback bar has been changed once again. Simply put, they shoved the playback load bar to the top of the gray bar part, and threw the volume control to the left.
The new layout of the comment section of YouTube. A lot of users say it's now a confusing jumbled mess. And then there's Vevo. It's amusing seeing fans complain about music videos being taken down, and then complain when music labels put them up.
As of January 2011, the new layout for video subscriptions and current activity has been changed. There is an apparent merge of both events on one page, and the outcry was staggering: from highest-rated comments proclaiming how the new layout sucks to blatant, widespread awareness of how irate the fans were on any video possible (especially the new trending videos or most watched).
The beta channels in 2009 got a lot of heat. Apart from being very slow and clunky when they were first released, they crammed everything they possibly could into one spot. The old channels were generally considered far more organized than the beta channels, but they forced it upon the whole community anyway, despite the fact that a good 90% was strongly against it.
On December 1, 2011, YouTube changed their layout again. Like the previous updates, it got a lot of complaints from the users. Mostly, people missed being able to delete videos from their subscription updates on their home page that they either didn't want to watch or already watched, which was made impossible by the change. Around nine months later another update made it so users could at least be told when they've watched a video in their subscriptions already, correcting half the problem.
March 7, 2012 forced the "Cosmic Panda" channels on everybody. YouTube wanted to make them look similar across all the channels, which led to them basically removing all customization options besides the background, and burying the many things into tabs, whereas the previous design had everything conveniently on the same page. The channels, to put it bluntly, weren't well-received.
On 6 December 2012 it changed yet again. Besides the appearance, the recommendations have been mixed in with the subscriptions and seem to show less new stuff. But on a slight Pro people can delete videos on there subscriptions page. The video player itself gained a side effect: it is now very prone to being off center on larger screen/window widths, creating an ugly white space on the right side of the screen, despite being able to center itself on small widths. On the flip side, playlists are now on the right side of the video player instead of taking up the bottom portion of the screen.
The "One Channel" layout was met with this when it came out. Most of the complaints are that the layout looks the same and backgrounds are now replaced by Banners.
As of September 12, 2013, video responses have been removed, due to the official claim that not very many people clicked them. Player settings (quality, speed, and player size) were also all stuffed into one menu to make the video player look more compact, but it wound up making it more tedious for the average user to change simple settings while watching a video. The Settings have been returned to being separate options. Youtube has added other stuff that got removed such as the "Reaction" option that lets people know what the reaction the viewer had with the video.
News reports showed up that the comments would be enhanced by Google+, which resulted in outrages despite the fact that said changes are trying to fix the problems relating to spam and negative posts and making them more constructed and personized by sorting by relevance instead of by recency.
The way top comments are shown have also changed. In the past, comments with the most upvotes would be considered the top comment for everyone to see and it was usually something positive. With the new changes, top comments are now determined by how many replies that comment has received, which makes it very easy for trolls and haters to gather attention to themselves.
Youtube's merge with Google+ now has the site periodically ask you if you want to use your real name (based on your Google account) or to continue with your Youtube name. Many people see the motion as destroying privacy, fearing that everyone will eventually be forced to use their real names and can't use their old names any more.
Speaking of Google, a few changes they've done with the search engine. First is the clutter of images in the image search results. There's no display of source without hovering over the image. If you want to switch to basic version with individual pages, you have to drag down bottom while images are loading. The other is Google Instant which displays results immediately upon typing before you hit search. This can slow or freeze your browser if you type fast and don't have a very fast connection and require cookies to turn off Instant. YMMV on this.
vBulletin 4. The changes to the style and features were not popular to say the least, going far enough to start a Hatedom for the software including multiple blogs against the company. But it was part justified, in that before the former manager left, there was a completely different set of screenshots of what the software was going to be like, which apparently many of the customers preferred to the finished product.
And again with vBulletin 5. People hated the new look, they hated the features (and in some obvious cases, the removal of well used ones) and they certainly didn't think it was worth the cash, causing people to switch away to rival software and talk about the death of the company. The fact they then sued a competitor for making a Spiritual Successor to the old version of vBulletin 4 didn't help their case either...
The change in design from Apple's Safari browser for Windows between versions 3 and 4. Safari 4 features a so called "Windows-native" look so it looks more like a Windows program. Which is now rendered moot by Google Chrome using the same rendering engine as Safari (WebKit), hence the only reason to install Safari now is to make your computer look like a Mac.
Digg V4. You know you've screwed up when your userbase leaves for your main competitor [Reddit], a move said users would have considered blasphemy mere weeks ago.
Wikia in general. Took away the nice spread that they had, moving images, search bar, all over the place, making it look very horrible in comparison to what it was just a few (to this wiki's editing) days prior. And now they've got a new style, "Wikia New Look". No one likes it. They're planning to do completely away with the older "Monaco" skins and force everyone to use Wikia New Look anyway.
The switch of many of the wikis related to The Other Wiki from the longtime Monobook skin to the current Vector by default (along with a more WYSIWYG editing interface) got a few longtime Wikipedians annoyed, but usually minute changes to the site's "puzzle piece" logo are much more noticed and have to be rolled out carefully.
Oh, Neopets, Neopets, Neopets. Every change is met by rage by the players, even if it's something as a simple as taking out a feature that never got used. Most prominently, people hated the NC Mall, the customization option, the revamp of the Neopet designs, and Viacom buying Neopets.
Even TV Tropes itself can be subject to this. The most complained about changes are locking off anonymous editing (wasn't our fault, though), splitting objective and subjective tropes, and the renaming of the "Crowning Moment of X" tropes. The latter would probably not have being so ferociously opposed if Linkara hadn't used the term not long before.
Deleting various tropes, taking away Troper Tales, and importing articles onto Wikis have caused tropers to riot.
Not to mention removing the strike through feature and the increasing push towards more mainstream and professional-looking articles. Some users feel that it takes away a lot of the community feel the site.
Ubuntu was designed specifically to be a user-friendly, Windows-like Linux distribution, one that would be accessible to first-time Linux users without hindering power users. It was successful; as of this writing, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro, and the third most widely-used computer operating system in the world (behind Windows and Mac OS). However, beginning in 2010, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, began making curious, largely arbitrary interface changes to the desktop (moving window controls from the right side to the left, among other things) in the name of progressive design; the most radical of these changes was the introduction of the Unity desktop in April 2011. Unity is a mobile phone-like interface that was once used in Ubuntu's now-discontinued netbook editions; its adoption has polarized the user base amid complaints likening Unity to beta software, calling it buggy, unpolished, clumsy, and prone to crashing. Despite these claims, Canonical has stated their intention to continue developing Unity and eliminate the "classic" Ubuntu desktop altogether. As a result, other, similar Linux distros have been seeing an influx of new, ex-Ubuntu users who want nothing to do with Unity.
In 2011, Tumblr redesigned their dashboard. Almost immediately after the change took place, many regular users loathed the dashboard's new look, saying that it's too ugly and cluttered. In addition, there are tons of posts (some of them have over 1 million notes) demanding Tumblr to change back to the original dashboard look.
And then there's the new ask system, which changed things, including limiting the ask one per hour, limiting characters to less than 100, reducing it from 10 to 5, and not putting links in the askbox. The changes were (and it still is) so widely hated that it prompted a "blackout" in early September 2011.
They initiated a 250-post-per-day limit. This has angered users so much that they vehemently refused to acknowledge any good points of new limit.
In September 2012, they changed their dashboard look again. Like in the previous dashboard change, users loathe the new dashboard look, saying that it confuses them to find something that they want to find but couldn't find and think that it's a useless change instead of changes that many users have asked for.
The new tagging function, which instead of showing tags on the dashboard sidebar, it shows the tags as a drop-down feature on the search box. Naturally, many users complained about the change.
The new posting interface has been released, and already people are screaming at how horrible it was, with the complaints raging from making them difficult to make photosets to putting GIFs into reblogs, especially from GIF makers and roleplayers who use Character Blogs. It got to a point where users started petitions in protest of the changes and asking them to revert to the original interface.
On the dashboard at least, chat posts now use courier font as opposed to the arial-esque font that is used for everything else. People seem to be mainly confused by it, as it doesn't match the other font.
In October 2013, the dashboard sidebar change (which now has no rounded corners and new icons), has earned the ire of many, as it is tedious for them to do simple things, like checking followers.
AutoCAD is a unique case of this trope being an Inverted Trope. When it got its "ribbon-like" interface in 2009, ◊, people were satisfied, but this is justified since graphic designers' work is fairly skilled and they need to be doing several things at once.
British radio station Web sites. Where do we start?
Orion Media in the Midlands, for using WordPress rather than FirstMediaWorks — apparently people liked the ASP.NET-based sites, even though the design can be mimicked in PHP or Ruby on Rails/Python.
Bauer Media are a constant victim of this trope, with people saying the 2001-2005 design with the "on-air now" icons on left-hand side was the best (and this was in the days before social media arrived!)
GMG Radio's new-look Real Radio XS and Smooth Radio site have been criticized for being harder to use than Real Radio. Example: see Real Radio Yorkshire.
In human-computer interaction circles, this phenomenon is known as "Baby Duck Syndrome", where users "imprint" on a set of features that makes it difficult to adjust to changes in software, even if they make it more efficient than the previous version.
As of December 2011, Yahoo! no longer just allows users to stay logged on for two weeks, without first typing a nearly illegible CAPTCHA code. It is possible to sign in through Facebook, but that requires signing into Yahoo! on every visit.
The new Yahoo! homepage, with it's miles-long news feed, hasn't been well received. Nor has it's new email, being called an Obvious Beta. Most people clung to Yahoo! Mail Classic for as long as they could before being forced to upgrade. Due to the site rushing in unpopular changes in an attempt to slow it's steady hemorrhage of users, one can see eerie parallels with what happened with Myspace.
People have expressed disdain for Yahoo's new Sept. 2013 logo and have downvoted its reveal video on YouTube.
After the reveal of the new Yahoo Mail in October 2013, more backlash ensued, with complaints that it now looks more like Gmail, unread mail no longer being bolded; and the removal of the tabs feature, which allowed for multi-tasking, proved to be a deal breaker for many users, demanding to put it back.
People started fleeing Stumbleupon to go to tumblr once Stumbleupon got rid of photoblogging.
AOL users fear change profoundly. When AOL 9.0 was released, the AOL Web site was changed to the new blue and curvy look of the new version. Users called the tech support line and shrieked for weeks. When it finally died down, AOL 9.0+ was released, the website was again changed... The only change was the 9.0 / 9.0+ logo, and a very slight change in the color blue of the Web site. And users called the tech support line and shrieked for weeks, claiming the changes were costing them money and making their children cry. (Really.)
Apple's decision to drop Rosetta support from Mac OS X 10.7 [Lion] has broken at least two popular applications: Color It! and TNT Basic. As of December 2011, both are being rewritten from scratch to run natively on Intel Macs, but completion dates are unknown.
TNT Basic is now available in beta for Intel Mac users, but Hieroglyph, the companion application for actual coding, has not yet been ported.
Gawker Media's (including Gizmodo, io9, Kotaku, Jezebel, etc.) site overhauls in 2011 caused much outcry that really hasn't settled down yet (as of January 2012, anyway). The biggest two complaints were the new homepage (which allowed articles to be "featured" like on most regular news sites, as opposed to the blog format) and numerous bugs in the commenting system (including issues like comments not posting, replies to comments being posted as separate comments, embedded images and videos not showing up, etc.). In regards to the first, there is a "blog view" that reverts to listing stories in chronological order like it used to be; in regards to the second, several bugs were fixed and comments usually work these days, but there are still issues with videos and images not being embedded.
The switch to Kinja caused even more outcry. The Kinja commenting system is organized horizontally rather than vertically like most websites. Most of the criticism has been about the new system making it harder to report trolls. Many users just left the site altogether. For example, on Jezebel, the weekend open threads used to get upwards of 1000 posts, and now they are struggling to get to 300.
Every time Newgrounds gets a redesign, there's always a split in the fanbase, the current problem, it seems, is the change to the auras and the fact you have to scroll all the way to the top to reply to posts on the BBS. When they changed the slogan from "The Problems of the future, today!" to "Everything, by everyone", there was backlash. every time anything is changed, there is either backlash or user split.
When Image-Line removed pattern blocks in FL Studio 10, the user base wasn't exactly pleased.
When Libre Office, the free-office suite alternative to Microsoft office, released version 4.0, they removed the "Insert Horizontal Rule" function, replacing it with a complicated series of instructions involving styles and formatting in order to place a horizontal rule bar there. Many users were outraged that they took something simple (one click as opposed to a series of steps) and made it into something complicated and useless (the new horizontal rule bar sometimes doesn't show when converted to HTML). Naturally some users are still going with Libre Office 3.6 for this reason alone
When I Can Has Cheezburger updated their format, it was not well received by many users of the site, especially after the company's claims of adding requested features and listening to the fanbase.
Club Penguin gets this reaction a lot more than you'd expect. It started with the banning of the heart and skull emoticons, which caused such fan backlash they had to change it back. Once Disney bought over the company, they made major changes such as redesigning The Dojo and changing the secret agent missions. Censorship also went rampant.
Internet Brands (see vBulletin 4 and 5 above) were also hit by this when they 'redesigned' Audi World, a car discussion site. They changed the software from the site's custom solution to vBulletin, then the users revolved and jumped ship to a new site called Quattro World that was running the original software. this is a blog post describing what happened.
GetGlue went through this twice. First when the site was retooled to be focused only on TV and movies, with music, games and books ignored entirely. The old site was kept online and remained usable, though it was no longer updated.
When GetGlue was acquired by i.TV, it was announced that users would no longer be able to order physical copies of their stickers, which would be replaced by animated GIFs. The aforementioned old version of the site was also taken offline. This was... not received well.
Digital Spy's December 2013 revamp was widely disliked. The old logo is gone, replaced with one that's almost identical to AOL's. The site layout has changed. And the forum was redesigned - but lacks a vertical scrollbar, even though it's too wide for a 1024x768 resolution display, making it impossible to navigate, affecting tablets and older computers adversely.
Radio-Info.com was a forum run by a mom-and-pop operation where users could express their thoughts about anything radio, from programming to engineering to FCC policy. It was then bought by Streamline Publishing, who changed the site’s URL to Radio Discussions.com and later gave it a top-to-bottom redesign. Naturally, many long-time users hated the changes. Some members’ posts seem to disappear, while others couldn’t log in at all. Then on Dec. 3, 2013, Streamline announced that it had shut down the site, saying it was “an economic decision.”