I've long had a problem with the way the relationship between geek and user works. My frustration can be illustrated with Gmail's and Blogger's new Interfaces.
Sure they've given people plenty of warning. However, the new interfaces just don't work at all well with smaller (think 10" netbooks) screens. Gmail feels unnecessarily cluttered and busy and Blogger have compromised bits - mainly around size.
So there are perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting the "old" interface. It works for certain people.
But there's this weird thing that Geeks dictate how people should be working. I find myself doing this at times. I believe, that to get a truly usable interface, we need to stop and ask people what they want. What works for them. Why something else might not work for them. And hell - offering the choice of multiple interfaces makes a huge difference.
This is happening on the desktop as well. As an indication of how dissatisfied people are with the Linux desktops, this blog suddenly became horribly popular again when I started writing about how to change it (I'm probably going to follow up on the gnome-shell post this week). People work one way, Ubuntu wants you to work their way and Gnome-Shell it turns out, wants you do things in their way. So while Linux offers a choice, the choices all feel.... well.... like someone just made a whole lot of arbitrary decisions rather than looking at how people work.
The question is, how do we get control of our machines back?