Google Notebook finally got a feature I’ve been asking for since the beginning: The ability to remember whether I want my notebooks sorted alphabetically or by date of last update. When the service launched, notebooks were always sorted by last update. When they finally added the option of alphabetical sorting, they left out the ability to make your choice sticky across sessions. This little wrinkle annoyed me almost as much as the Google Calendar search box’s default action of searching public calendars rather than my own. I can’t believe what a difference it makes in your relationship with a webapp when you don’t curse out loud every time you use it.
Many users have the tendency to get bent out of shape about deficiencies in a tiny, tertiary portions of an application – or, for that matter, an operating system. Mac users devote entire forums to complaining about changes to, or lack of changes to, the Dock. PC users are still cursing those stupid Windows XP “You have unused icons on your desktop” messages. When we spend increasingly endless stretches of our lives in front of a terminal, tiny annoyances add up.
I call this the Disproportionately Annoying Detail Syndrome, or DADS. It has a tendency to flare up worst when you’re working late on a short deadline and your computing environment fails to read your mind.
A couple of years ago, when I first started abandoning desktop software for cloud computing, I gave Ta-Da List a shot. I couldn’t get over the placement of the “Add another item” command. Instead of putting it at the top of the list, they stuck it at the bottom. Every time I wanted to add a task, I had to scroll down to the bottom of the page before I could start typing. I worked with this system for about a week before jumping ship to Remember the Milk, where I can hit the “t” key to add a task without ever picking up my mouse.Read more »