Okay. They “updated” Outlook.com again and I’m starting to wonder why I still use this piece of slow-ass service.
First of all, no hate towards Outlook (previously: Hotmail). They’ve served me well over the years and it’s actually been kind of good. Until recently, that is. It’s gotten worse with the latest update, but the issues have already been there for a month of two, maybe three. They’re cramming it chock-full of hooks towards their other services (Office Online, blegh), forcing web-based IM to log you in by default, and probably doing a lot of stuff under the hood as well, since the thing in its entirety has really slowed down.
Outlook’s a web app. What’s one of the greatest benefits of those things? They work almost everywhere, on everything. Since it’s a website, it also carries some cons. What do we hate about websites? Slowness, of anything. Hell, this applies to user interfacing in general, if things are slow to respond (ie showing you an email takes two seconds) then that’s generally a bad user experience. And of course, if things don’t work/flow right (ie randomly closing an email you just opened to view, or reloading the page while you’re in the middle of typing and accidentally hit space to confirm the reload) then you’re lucky if the user doesn’t break his device out of frustration.
As a rule of thumb, before adding more functionality (fancy integrations, cooler effects, etc.) to whatever you’re working on, think about the user experience. Would it be a good or a bad tradeoff to polish up the existing things before moving onto newer features? Might the new features interfere with the existing application? Will it reduce clarity? You don’t want to add more functionality and just shove it under some button, because if you keep doing that, the screen will be nothing but buttons in no-time.
I honestly prefer something that works well over something that does a lot. Efficiency over capability.