When I first saw this in my email inbox, my immediate reaction was… well, let’s just say it was unprintable, but went along the lines of “are you […] kidding me?” But then I reminded myself that it does in fact (attempt to) consolidate content from several disparate sources/interfaces into one unified contact point or “portal”. This in itself is a laudable goal, in principle. However, the execution leaves a fair amount to be desired:
- When trying to rearrange resources to be easier to find, more organised, this cannot happen at the expense of any of those resources. ALL of the functionality needs to be accommodated by the new format/procedure/facility.
- It can be argued that this is a good time to trim some fat, get rid of superfluous non-used non-features. Fair enough - but the determination of what’s wheat and what’s chaff depends on a proper understanding of the workflow and the manner in which the current tools/systems are used.
- User feedback CANNOT be ignored! If you are ostensibly doing this FOR the users, then their needs must be taken into consideration - to assume that “you know what’s best” for your users is at best naive, but likely closer to stupid and arrogant.
- NEVER introduce an unfinished, improperly tested system “into the wild”. Whenever possible, run the new system side-by-side with the legacy one, to give time for users to get acquainted with it while retaining the full and already-known/tested functionality of the predecessor as a fall-back to missing functionality. (Real-life example: a few months ago the company where my sister works foisted a “new! improved!” ordering-handling and logistics system onto its staff - it was much like The Agency has been handled: an improperly tested and unfamiliar system missing vital functionality and introduced abruptly. It resulted in serious inefficiencies in workflow, mishandlings of jobs leading to customer dissatisfaction, and major dissatisfaction and morale damage to the staff - in the months since, this has cost that company to the tune of possibly as much as millions in lost revenue! CCP, you have been warned!) There was no reason to summarily retire Agent Finder rather than let it be used side-by-side with The Agency (in much the same way that the two universe maps have coexisted for so long) - unless it was your (CCP’s) intention to prevent players from making direct comparisons and thus expose The Agency’s shortcomings - well, if that was the intention, it failed, as you can see how many people remember Agent Finder’s functionality well enough and miss so many specific features/filters as to be able to point out the failings from memory alone.
- Not a good idea to try make life easier for beginners at the expense of amputating the capabilities of your experienced users. That’s close to the very definition of the opposite of progress!
[EDIT: added omitted words]