As today is a Valentine’s Day -I believe that my post should be at least a bit about love. I’ve chosen the anti-valentines confessions in public to the particular mobile app makers (I won’t say just developers), who don’t care about the UX and their users so much that they still deliver their apps to Google Play and feel good about themselves.
The post would be about a particular app and what is wrong with it – not about teams that delivered it. I work within the industry and I know that sometimes people do development that they are forced to do, weeping at night in the pillow. I know. I don’t understand, but I know.
Nevertheless, my choice, as usual, is completely subjective. This application is in Polish, but it’s so wrong, that I had to place it here. Don’t mind the language – knowing Polish won’t help 😀
The homework not done
The epic. The worst, not only because lack of any logical UX: Lekcja+ (Lesson+). I swore my private vendetta to this application – just try to download and try to figure out what is it about.
An app for teachers, who are supposed to provided their timetables and in-school information. #innovation #PolishSchool #LowBudgetTender #MyEyesBleeding
Tester for the rescue
It was Monday afternoon some time ago in September. A friend of mine – who works at school – called me for help.
– Hey, I’ve got this app from school, but it doesn’t work. You know what to do with the apps, could you help me? I’m clearly doing something wrong.
I’m referring to version of Android application which has been released in September 2016 – presumably without any testing before (according to well – known rule “We never test our software – but when we do – we do it on production only”).
I’ll start from translating this awesome pop-up which stroke me just after app installation. On the app it’s in Polish:
Due to large number of notifications about app lack of stability and some components not working some improvements have been introduced. It is obligatory to clear app data (including user data) to have the app updated.
We are very sorry for inconveniences
App changes include:
– stability improvement
– minor view improvements”
Like – SERIOUSLY – this is the message they provided users with on production. Hey user – clear app data by yourself, we did some minor fixes, but don’t bother .
The application is a perfect guide What you should avoid when creating an app.
There is no menu, guideline, referral to UX/UI of other known Android app’s pattern and I’m not even talking about app stability or it’s basic functions. I’ve installed it on 3 random devices – and it crashed on two of them after installation.
Clearly – it wasn’t my friend’s fault that it has not been working.
Why developers don’t consider the purpose?
There is plenty of horrible apps out there – BUT – this one won the tender for a teacher’s app. At first – it’s government’s fault that they accepted that level of development and paid for it – but apart from forcing people to use crappy software on daily basics – there should be a work ethics of the developer and a tester.
Someone took money for it.
Someone released it and placed it the Google Play.
Finally, someone thought “yeah, it’s good enough, let’s release it”.
I am idealist maybe. I would like the world to be a better place. BUT why U no think while working. I know dozen of stories when a customer forces the team to make an Android app “just like the iOS one” – destroying platform guidelines and architecture “because it’s pretty” kind of reasons. On the other hand, Lekcja+ is an example of making other people’s life miserable.
This app was supposed to be a tool
It’s not an app which you could simply uninstall after first setup and forget about it. It was “designed” for teachers, who are forced to work with it on daily basis. And think about it for a moment – they (mostly) are non-technical people. Maybe this app is they first installed app ever. Why – just why- it’s so horrible!
I just wanted to help a friend. Sadly, I was not able to. Taking into account app’s poor rank at Google Play – I was not the only person struggling with the installation and functions. Poor me. Poor them.
Working for people
Making applications for public sector is hard and demanding work. Agree. On the other hand, it doesn’t release any team member from thinking of other peoples’ needs. In the end, public money means everyone’s money, so we all eventually pay for crappy software. What is more, a friend of yours might be a teacher and at he is struggling with the app at the moment.
We don’t do software for ourselves.
We – I mean all people working in IT industry. We do it for other people. Each user has a name and a job to do. Sometimes they use our software to complete it. You might think that Lekcja+ is not a life-supporting software, so I’m exaggerating. Sure, it’s not, but why forgetting about the user, while he is the one that would be frustrated with a crappy app most of the time.
I wanted Lekcja+ to be just an example of terrible software that we all struggle with.